Archive for June, 2013

Le Tour de France – 2013

June 26, 2013 @ 8:02 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Tour de France 2013

Racing to Mont Saint Michel

Finally, our beloved Tour de France is almost here again!  This year marks the 100th Tour de France and will take place entirely in France.  Fans throughout the world will enjoy magnificent sights and phenomenal racing feats.  Beginning in Porto Vecchio, Corsica (Saturday, June 29)  and finishing in Paris (Sunday, July 21), the Tour will visit no less than 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites.  NBC in the U.S. will offer expansive coverage of what is always an exceptionally-well broadcasted series of sporting events. 

A few sights to watch for range from Albi’s Gothic cathedral and Saint-Malo’s military fortress to the breathtakingly beautiful Mont-Saint-Michel and the impressive new MuCEM in one of Europe’s Capital’s of Culture – Marseille.  Corsicans are especially pleased to make their debut on the Tour stage, where the peloton will pass the Bonifacio cliffs and the peaks of Bavella in a land of re(markably rugged coastal beauty.

Naturally the Alps and the Pyrenees are ‘polishing their ragged peaks’ to intimidate mountain racers in stages that always promise mind-boggling speed and endurance.  We would love to BE in France for the stages that drift (so it would seem…to non-racers!) through the Loire Valley and to Vieux Lyon.  And there is nothing quite like that last ritual race through the capital of France. 

Well wishes to all teams and to the French people who host them so well.

We’d love to hear from you!


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Fête de la Musique – the longest day!

June 21, 2013 @ 11:47 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris music festival

Fête de la Musique

June 21 – the summer solstice and the Fête de la Musique.   The festival began in Paris but is now celebrated across the county, an all-night, all- free festival of music.  People of every age and interest take to the streets for a magical night of music. In Paris, the longest day of the year features all types of music spread across a world capital that offers a sweeping bow and an uplifting halleluiah to the pleasures of music.

Children dance to the sweet sounds of a Chamber orchestra in Place Dauphine. Indian dancers in full costume perform in front of Notre Dame. Rock throbs through the Place de la Republique, and classical orchestra sounds sweep through the extravagant courtyard of the Palais Royal.

Tonight’s Palais Royal recital at 6:00 is “Prom’nons us in the voice,” presented by a choir of 150 students from Paris and 30 elementary school teachers in music education.  Afterwards four unique artists will perform until midnight, offering attendees a diverse range of music.

Paris Lyon Marseille music festivals

Music celebrates the longest day

This is the 32nd year of the festival in Paris, but the events are now celebrated throughout the world.  We think it is particularly special, in light of so many hardships and uncertain times, to imagine people united by music throughout the world.  From Bordeaux to Brisbane and Marseille to Miami, people will turn from everyday concerns to a night of celebration.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.


Saint-Emilion – A Fascinating UNESCO Site

June 17, 2013 @ 12:30 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan

Charming lanes and the sweet smell of macaroons

Everything about the village of Saint-Emilion is appealing.  Steep winding cobblestone streets lead us to colorful boutiques, while the sweet scent of freshly baked macaroons drifts through the open door of the patisserie.  In the heart of the lush Bordeaux wine-growing region, Saint-Emilion radiates a distinct aura of medieval charm.  The 8th century city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so distinguished as an outstanding example of an ongoing historic vineyard landscape that has operated intact from Roman to present-day times. 

The village seems to take the best of every available resource to contribute to the welcoming atmosphere.  The limestone soil provides exceptional conditions for winegrowing.  The rocky land gave way, over a ten-century period, to extraordinary architecture, the largest monolithic church in Europe and some 200 kilometers of underground galleries.  Local artists and craftsmen draw inspiration from the region to create lovely linens, glassware, pottery and paintings. 

And always the famous Bordeaux vineyards fill local cellars with superb wines.

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Sipping Wines in Bordeaux

June 16, 2013 @ 8:46 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

French hospitality and delicate wine

We yielded to our wanderlust spirit one day, winding along narrow Bordeaux country roads in our little Peugeot.  When we spotted a “Cav” sign ( indicating a vintner’s tasting room); we turned down a dirt lane, until we came upon Chateau Vieux Mougnac.  In hindsight that’s a quaintly humorous moment.  Imagine if one were to turn down a lane somewhere in the Appalachians.  We might not receive such a hearty welcome, if a moonshiner found us nearing his still.

We were in for more serendipity moments, as the Chateau’s proprietress – Sylvie Milhard – welcomed us to her cozy tasting room.  Somehow with her little English and my little French, we were able to communicate quite well.  Do you suppose the wine made the difference? 

Indeed it did, as well as Sylvie’s hospitality.  “Oh, this one you must try with bread and cheese,” and off she went to the main house.  We must have spent an hour with this delightful lady, whose wines were exceptional – earthy, delicate, but full of character.

Bordeaux France

Chateau harvest time

Over five generations, the Milhard family has mastered the wine-making tradition, cultivating by hand and using only environmentally friendly products, as well as hand picking the harvest.  We packed up a case of the Chateau’s dry and delicate white wine, said our ‘adieus’ and felt we were leaving a friend –  a very special experience!

And in a special Father’s Day tribute to our son …. who is a wonderful Dad to his 5-year-old Charlie, we wish him God speed and fantastic travels, as he heads tomorrow for a whirlwind tour of Italian wineries.  That will be a fine stepping stone to touring French vineyards.

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