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April 9, 2017

France: Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains and the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans


A tunnel beneath the saltworks at Salins-les-Bains brings brine to the drying pans.

Salins-les-Bains and Arc-et-Senans are in the Jura and Doubs departments of France, respectively. Both administrative departments are on France’s eastern border with Switzerland. As of 2015 Jura and Doubs were part of the larger administrative region of Franche-Comté, the only region of the continental portion of France that we hadn’t visited. But by the time we first arrived in Franche-Comté in 2016 it turned out that we already had visited all of the administrative regions of continental France. How did that happen? At the start of 2016 Franche-Comté was consolidated into a larger region, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. A legislative act eliminated Franche-Comté before we could visit. (more…)

April 8, 2017

France: Arbois, Maison Pasteur

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 11:22 am

Pasteur’s laboratory

In the Jura department of France, near the border with Switzerland is the commune of Arbois. The town of around 3,500 people is known for its cheese-centric food, theft-worthy Comté cheese, and wine. Indeed, in 1936 Arbois’ viticulture areas became the first designated “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” or A.O.C. in France. Today the Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne appellations are more famous, but Arbois was the first. (more…)

March 18, 2017

France: Côte d’Or


The commune of Vosne-Romanée

Burgundy’s most famous and most expensive wines originate in the Côte d’Or appellation, a band of vineyards extending from the southern outskirts of Dijon to Santenay. On the east side of this limestone escarpment the vineyards spill down the hillside onto the valley floor. A designated 60-kilometer long road route through the vineyards, the Route des Grands Crus, takes oenophiles (more…)

February 17, 2016

France: Châlons-en-Champagne

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 4:51 pm

Inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Châlons

Inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Châlons

Châlons has interesting history, attractive historic buildings, and good food. One of its churches, Notre-Dame-en-Vaux, is included on the UNESCO “Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle en France” World Heritage listing. The French Ministry of Culture and Communication has designated Châlons-en-Champagne as a “Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire (“Towns and Lands of Art and History”). (more…)

February 16, 2015

France: Reims


Looking up inside one of towers at Reim's cathedral.

Looking up inside one of towers at Reim’s cathedral.

Eighty miles east-northeast of Paris is the historic city of Reims. Founded before the birth of Christ by the Gauls, Reims later became an important city in the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Reims rose as a religious center. It’s famous cathedral was the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France, playing the same role in France as Westminster Abbey does in the United Kingdom. (more…)

December 7, 2014

France: Bailly-Lapierre


Dégustation at Bailly-Lapierre

Dégustation at Bailly-Lapierre

 Not far from Auxerre France, alongside the River Yonne, is a cave that houses Bailly-Lapierre, a large cooperative producer of Crémant de Bourgogne. Crémant de Bourgogne is Burgundy’s sparkling wine, a competitor to nearby Champagne’s bubbles.

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December 23, 2012

Portugal: Alto Douro


Heading to the Douro River

Heading to the Douro River

Where do the grapes come from?

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December 19, 2012

Portugal: Porto


A tram rolls through Porto's streets

A tram rolls through Porto’s streets

Twenty years ago during a particularly pleasant work related boondoggle I visited Porto Portugal for the first time.  Though I include the stop on my travel resume, the visit was (more…)

November 15, 2012

France: Medoc and St. Emilion


Château Pichon Longueville Baron in Pauillac (HDR)

Though we frequently make threats, we don’t often get the chance to return to places we’ve visited.  On this visit to Europe we lived up to our promises and revisited a couple of places that we’ve been to recently.  We returned to Bordeaux and its surrounding wine country.

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France: Tain L’Hermitage and Vienne

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, The List, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 2:30 am

The vineyards of Hermitage

A careful reader might notice that we have a tendency to travel to wine producing regions.  It hasn’t been a conscious plan.  But yes, in retrospect, the labels on the front of more than (more…)

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