Tag Archives: france

Journey to the Vendange: A series of challenging events :)

From Slovenia, with thumbs held high we continued our journey to France and the grape picking that awaited us there and passed through Italy.

Remzi from Kosovo with Lidiya in his fruit store and bakery

Remzi from Kosovo with Lidiya in his store in Kobarid, Slovenia

Remzi, the first person from Kosovo I’ve had the privilege of meeting, fascinated and enticed me to the country he was born in as Lidiya and myself sampled his plums and two delicious croissants gifted to us to aid our journey. 🙂

Elia and Me in Portoguaro

Elia and Me in Portoguaro, Italy

Elia, picked us up and shortly after stopped in his home town of Portogruaro, Italy, without announcement starting a walking tour of a place he was clearly taken with. The unexpected stop off meant a very connected or real contribution to what otherwise would have been a flyby of the incredibly rich and beautiful country.

Portogruaro

Portogruaro

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

France was crossed in a day, passing through Mont Blanc to a truck stop within 100km of Bordeaux thanks to a fortunate series of hospitable truck drivers, from Poland, Bulgaria, then France, sharing their mobile homes with us.

Aosta, Italy, close to Mont Blanc

Aosta, Italy, close to Mont Blanc

Preparing our bed

Preparing our bed

Zdravko, a driver from Bulgaria

Zdravko, a driver from Bulgaria

In Bordeaux a series of unexpected and what I have no referred to as challenging events began. Delayed grape picking work, the vendange, meant ten days of waiting and searching. A night’s rest thanks to the fantastic Ivana, a friend from Macedonia, who Lidiya met in the States several years back, gave us a well needed pit stop. We spent a couple of nights camping at the Saint Émillion train station, thinking and acting on the possibilities our thoughts resulted in; knocking on Château doors looking for other work, before that which we had months before secured started. A group of French Roma were staying at the parking lot of the train station and helped us greatly during our short residency there. They kept an eye on the heavier part of our baggage during the day while we searched, gave us some advice on finding work, which they were also hard searching for, drove us to a nearby village and invited us to have dinner with them. Their support and company made train station life considerably more pleasant than I imagine it would have been without.

The streets of Bordeaux

The streets of Bordeaux

Our temporary home; Saint Émillion train station

Our temporary home; Saint Émillion train station

Saint Émillion, France

Saint Émillion, France

An unhelpful phone call ended up being our most promising opportunity and we gambled and took a taxi to a vineyard in hope. The secretary there was cold to say the least. I have a rake of other appropriate descriptive words quite clear in mind now, but I will put them aside; they’re all a little gray and I prefer my life and writing to be in colour. 🙂

Grapes on the vineThe positive outcome of the last effort was that we ended up at our assigned vineyard seven days early and settled in quite well. Staying in one place was much welcomed, we had a shower and bathroom, albeit with cold water and we had figs and apples, perfectly ripe and perfectly tasting.

Figs

Beautiful apples

Beautiful apples 🙂

The surroundings encouraged regular stops to just look and breath, they brought a very happy calmness that was especially appreciated after the inelegant series of events just mentioned. I picked a sheltered spot for the tent and faced it a little south of east so the first brave peak out of the partly unzipped entrance most often saw sleepy eyes greeted by the most incredible glowing sky, preparing itself for the sun; the pre-rise. Maybe because of the elevated position of the vineyard, the sky always seemed vast, a particular vastness that seemed unique to this area, that opened you up a little.

Pre-sun rise

Pre-sun rise

Sunset from the Château

Sunset from the Château

Liam, my brother joined us and was welcomed by a little drama, but the following morning with positive minds and bodies the week’s work started and continued very well.

Lidiya and Liam in Saint Émillion

Lidiya and Liam in Saint Émillion

A short stop off in Paris was made perfect with the company and guidance of Elena, who lead our eyes to the greatest and warmest part of our experience in the city.

A bus across Belgium and Germany, interrupted by a short and pleasant ferry ride, brought us to Denmark, the country we’ve decided to identify as the last leg of this trip, although our travels will by no means end here. For Denmark, I have something I want to discuss and I need a bit of space for that, so I will end this quick and very summarised summary of events here and let photos fill in some of the blanks.

Writing at the vineyard under our small lamp at nightMe peering through some grapesI intended to write about this thought, the something I want to discuss, and the first part of our Danish experience, but this post is what came out. I remember reading Screenplay, a book on screenwriting by Syd Field, which suggested a solution for writers block; to just write what comes regardless if it’s the direction you want to go in. Once you start writing anything you are no longer blocked, you are writing, and once then undesired or distracting thoughts, where ever they come from, have been written down maybe it will clear the path for that which is desired. I feel this is somewhat the case here, I had to get this onto some kind of paper to begin the next piece. A piece of something that I feel is taking form, I’ve named it, but I don’t feel like sharing the name yet. 🙂

Life is beautiful and people come in such colours as we can not imagine. 🙂

 

Portogruaro

Portogruaro

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy