Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: arcachon

March getaway part 1, Saint-Émilion and Arcachon

Yes yes, I know it’s been almost two weeks (again) since the last update, but I had big plans. March is a very active month because of two main events. First, LY, a friend/colleague from my lab in Belgium, came to visit last week, and we went on a 3-day trip to some places around Bordeaux. Second, the annual IDS-FunMat training school is taking place next week…in Annecy! Since it’s so close to Switzerland, I planned a little detour to Geneva and Lausanne with my IDS colleagues, but you’ll read about that when I come back at the end of March đŸ˜‰

Alright, let’s first talk about my visitor from Belgium and our little trip. We’ve been planning LY’s visit since what, last November? All the details – itineraries, flights, train tickets, hotels, places to visit – have been arranged. So I awaited his arrival on Thursday and the journey began.

There are two must-see points of interests for any visitor in Bordeaux, outside of the city itself: Saint-Émilion and Arcachon, both of which I had been to (perhaps too many times, to Saint-Émilion). And we were going to do both places in one day, as proposed by my guest. I was skeptical for two reasons: timing and weather. In order for this to work, we’d have to leave quite early and hop on and off trains and buses non-stop. As for the weather, early March may be a bit too cold for Arcachon and the Dune du Pilat, and the forecast predicted rain for the entire weekend…uh oh.

Even with the skepticism in mind, we went. I mean, we couldn’t have let months of planning go to waste, right? Saint-Émilion would be alright in the rain, but Arcachon would have been disastrous if it rained, but no such worries existed in the end because we were blessed with the most gorgeous weather of this year by far. I guess my friend was right in saying that luck accompanies him wherever he goes đŸ˜‰

The morning started in Saint-Émilion when we realized that…LY left his memory card at home. So I lent him mine. I’ve probably already taken enough pictures of Saint-Émilion to last a lifetime anyway. I did take a photo or two with his Canon EOS 60D though, and this is one of them. I liked this photo so much that I put it on Picture Worthy and named it “City and vineyards”, as the town of Saint-Émilion could be seen in a distance, contrasted with the vineyards, still leafless, right in front of us đŸ™‚

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Sherry’s European adventures: Belgium, Paris, and Bordeaux

Well, after months of planning and anticipation, the sister is finally here to visit. I meticulously planned this trip so that when she arrived, she would be visiting Belgium when I was still there. Then we’d head to Bordeaux with a short stay in Paris, and in the end, we’ll fly back to Canada together, for MY vacations. This way, she would get the benefit of experiencing a little bit of both countries while I’d have some company for the long trans-Atlantic flight đŸ˜‰

It’s been almost three weeks of hopping between cities, most of which I’ve been to already, and I wanted my sister to get the best out of her first European adventure. It certainly wasn’t easy for her to be away from home for so long, all by herself, and it wasn’t easy to plan a feasible route for her, but I enjoyed the process of showing some of the places I loved and exploring new places with her. Of course, food was a big part of our adventure, as you’ll see later! So let’s start with…


I was finishing my 4th session in Louvain-la-Neuve when my sister arrived, and she got to stay with me there for a full week. I brought her to Bruges, a popular tourist destination that I didn’t like when I first visited, Ghent, like Bruges but much more lovely, at least to me, and of course, Brussels, the European capital. Chef tagged along as well, triple the fun!

Sista time! Sherry is 9 years younger than me – quite a huge difference, no? Almost everyone told us that we don’t look alike, and most would agree that I am more like my dad while my sister is more like my mom, both in terms of physical appearance and personality. Do you think we look anything like each other at all? đŸ˜‰

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