Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter, Chateaux Vayres & The Tidal Bore

"Mom, That was a great day!"...

So for our first year in France, I decided to do somethings a bit  different for Easter...some traditional celebrating & some new traditions.  Morning Easter baskets, delivered by the bunny were garden themed, with flowering plants, vegetable seeds, and gardening gloves...(Thanks go to another blogger who posted about this cool theme idea for baskets!!)

We then followed our tradition of going to church on Easter Sunday.  We found the Anglican Church of Bordeaux with services in English.  So we attended their Easter service.  It was certainly a change from our Congregational church back home in Saratoga Springs (missing Rev. Jay's thought provoking sermons!)  The fun thing for the kids was the egg hunt after church.  They all had fun searching for chocolate eggs!  It's very traditional here in France to have Easter egg hunt just using various sizes of chocolate eggs. (not the plastic ones used by Americans)

After church, we joined friends of ours for a nice lunch at their house.  Then the afternoon was spent together touring Chateaux Vayres, in Vayres, France.  This castle is about 20 minutes East of Bordeaux.  It is a fun place, close the the Dordogne River, on the way to St-Emilion.  This residence dates back from the 13th, 14th & 17th centuries and was once owned by Henry IV.  Architecturally, it boasts a beautiful stairwell going down into French gardens.

Once we arrived at the chateau, the kids saw the greatest hill to climb - the inside of the now dry, grass covered moat!!  So down they went and then back up the other side.  They must have spent at least 30-45 minutes rolling down and then re-climbing that moat!  Trying different ways to roll down or slide down.  Such a great entertainment - and so simple!  Now, I'm wishing I had Tide here to get out the grass stains, but they had fun!

We spent the whole afternoon at this castle.  They had a puzzle maze where you answered a question at each station and took down the letter.  After you had completed all the stations located around the garden (13 in all), you spelled out a phrase - "Sonnez La Cloche"..the kids did this at the registration center and were presented with a bag of candy.  Easter was certainly full of candy this year!

After  a guided tour of  the chateau, and the wandering through the jardins we wandered down to the river to watch the coolest natural phenomenon.....A Tidal Bore or as the French call it - Le Mascaret.  This tidal phenomenon happens when the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave or waves of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay's current.  This only happens in relatively few locations worldwide, so it was an unexpected treat.

As seen from the photographs, the wave rolls in quietly but distinctly.  It's actually a series of waves, changing the direction of the river.  It was also fun to see a couple kayaks and a surfer ride the tidal bore down river.  Certainly an interesting afternoon. 

I have to say it was nice not to cook a traditional Easter dinner - it was so nice to spend the day out and about here in this lovely country!  It was also nice to spend it with new friends!  

At bedtime, as I was tucking my kids in, I asked each of them - so how was today did you have a nice Easter?....All three of them answered the same...."That was a great day, Mom!!...can we do it again next year?"

and the river has changed directions momentarily as the tidal bore continues onward...


  1. Not sure how I missed this before!! So great that you have joined the blogging world! I will subscribe now so hopefully I don't miss anything!!

  2.'s been interesting..A fun way to journal and document our new life here...and at the same time share with others. I enjoy your daily blog also...very centering, thought provoking and inspiring!


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