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Marathon du Medoc

September 8th, 2007 · No Comments

Night fair/market – only made it out to one of these and even then it wasn’t that late. The community centre at the end was bustling (with a long line) and loud live music. The food looked plentiful but we were not prepared to wait.

Wandered along the little mini strip. Finally chose a small beer and sandwich place. The sandwich was a baguette topped with cured ham and tomatoe with a glass of wine for about 3 euros – did the trick to satisfy our hunger. Tried the duck magret sandwich – much better and of course much fattier with a thick strip of fat along its length with a glass of wine – 4 euros. The French love their raw oysters and it was abundantly available with most of the set meal menus we sae ranging from about 12 euros without wine to about 18 euros. There is a possibility to sign up for a chateaux dinner – limited seating and advance registration – but keep in mind that it is after the marathon so it depends on whether you think you will be up to a night of dinner and dancing.

The day after the marathon was the Balade – friends and family can join you on an 8km walk through the chateaux in the area with live music and wine tasting. In advance, you can sign up for a lunch at the host chateaux which consisted of white wine aperitifs, quiche, chili, cheese, bread and cookies from what I can remember – again the red wine available at lunch is free-flowing. Of course there is also live music and lots of dancing – I even got T to dance!

Will go back with friends for sure! A blast of a marathon with greater than 90% of people dressed up and many costumed extravagantly. We saw a full team of Vikings (so much for our original cost\umes) pushing a Viking boat complete with fake paddles! Hosted by a different chateaux each year – people return again and again. If you win your category the bonus is not just the glory but your weight in grand crus wines.

Weekend in Bordeaux.

Well, it’s not really a weekend seeing as we left on a Wednesday, but after the labour day weekend and one day back at work, it already feels like I need a few weeks off. But for an international trip, which always requires more coordination and thus more stress, we got off to a remarkably good start at home with a quick packing and bite to eat. During lunch, we realized that we didn’t have any maps so we headed down to the local bookseller’s to pick up a copy of Le Guide Rouge 2007 for France for a) its maps, b) so that we’d be able to track down the best restaurants and c) as a backup in case we needed (or wanted) a new place to stay. After this, a bit of a gate mixup at YVR and then the 8h10m flight from Vancouver to London.

Good advice: don’t wake up your sleeping fiancée for breakfast if there’s no breakfast left. You will get no delicious food and one cranky fiancée – hardly “the best way of waking up” – I’ll stick to the Folgers next time. The flight went mercifully quickly and really in what seemed like no time at all, we were descending over the green, green grass of outer London.

Also good advice: don’t pack your fiancée’s treasured swiss army knife in your carry-on luggage. While going through security between connecting terminals at Heathrow, it turned out that we had a corkscrew in our bag which turned out to be Tim’s swiss army knife that he got for working on the Swissair recovery. The gentleman at the security gate couldn’t have been any nicer (please take note, oft-cranky, zombie-ish Canadian and American airport workers) and he held our knife for us while we were able to get our boarding passes then head out through security to check-in a bag with the knife in it. Sigh.

A brief delay in the high-end yet remarkably shabby shopping village that is Heathrow and it seemed like the next thing we were doing was landing at Charles de Gaulle terminal F. This ultra-modern terminal was a pleasure to wait in while our slightly-delayed flight to Bordeaux was arriving. After an entirely disappointing pain au chocolat and sandwich, we decided to stick to rice cakes and gum for the rest of our dinner (who says we’re high end?) and wait for our now 10pm flight.

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