Today we are in Bergerac France which is a beautiful little city on the Dodrogne River. It is linked to the famous story of Cyrano de Bergerac. The book Cyrano de Bergerac is loosely based on the life of a 17th century French soldier, but the actual connection to the city of Bergerac is a little tenuous because while his family was from Bergerac he was born in Paris. That hasn’t kept the city from using Cyrano for marketing.
It is also one of the lesser known wine regions in France, but unlike any other wine region in France it produces roughly 50% red wine and 50% white wine, the rest of the regions in France tend to specialize. We like to find these lesser known wine regions and see what we like so that was our primary motivator for swinging in here for the day.
One of the difficulties in traveling here is figuring out when the reception areas at the campgrounds are open. The French take their lunch seriously and all but the biggest businesses close down during lunch. The problem is figuring out when lunch is. Yesterdays campground was closed from noon to 2pm but fortunately we arrived at about 1:50 so we had a short wait. Today we arrived into town about 12:10 so I told Ton they are probably at lunch so lets go ahead and get gas and make our final shopping run. When we arrived at the campground about 1:15 they were closed as we expected, but when I went to the office to see when they opened it turns out their lunch was from 12:30 to 3:30, which is exceptional even by French standards. So if we had hustled over when we got here we would have gotten checked in before lunch. There was already a Dutch group that had arrived right in front of us, so the two of us found a place to park out of the way and settled in to wait. Ton took it in stride and decided to knock out supper, a delicious clam pasta with pesto sauce. By the time lunch was over another 5 RV’s had arrived for a total of 7 squeezed into a very small parking area and spilling out into the street. Everyone took it in stride, and the third arrival who was Italian took charge of the order for reception based on arrival, and we were all settled in pretty quickly.
When I checked in the manager said I had never had a customer from the US before, and now I have had two in two days! We found the other American couple who rented a van in Spain and have been over for about the same time we have.
Bergerac is a charming town with possibly the best visitors center we have visited in Europe. Downstairs they have nice information on the region and local products. Upstairs they have a wine room featuring local wines, and daily a different local winery provides tastings. The winery today was very good and we enjoyed talking with the representative once she realized we were not part of the Spanish tour in the building, even though her and I were communicating pretty well in Spanish until I informed her I was American, whereupon she said can we speak English it is much easier for me!