We were fortunate to enjoy a spectacular trip this year to Northern Italy and France. As always when travelling abroad I head right for the examples of early Timber Framing…and then the local Bouchon or other emporium of culinary delight. A daily diet of FOIS GRAS and ESCARGOT is an excellent way to prepare for strenuous climbs to the tops of the Cathedrals and other structures which feature early and still functional examples of Timber Framing. The Timbers often located in the ceilings of otherwise stone structures, are magnificent to behold. I never cease to be impressed by their history, durability and beauty.
The food and architecture may be straight out of the Middle Ages…but our appreciation is as contemporary as can be. The magnificence of Versailles and impressions of relatively Modern structures like the Eiffel Tower embed the memory as well as imagination. Calculating the degree of difficulty for building these historic monuments is as mind boggling as understanding how (and why) one properly opens a bottle of Champagne with a ceremonial sword…but both are done.
Tasting wine from Cinque Terra, Italy to the vineyards of France’s Provence and Beaujolais region is tough work…but someone has to do it…and do it we did. As with all journeys…the people you meet along the way are a key to the experience. We were very happy to be traveling with a small group of revelers, devoid of negativity, not dieting and totally immersed in the moment. Now…that’s my kind of travelling companion.