Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

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Powered by nature

I fell in love with Secret Garden’s song Powered by Nature as soon as I heard it (lyrics here). It makes me remember the times nature has touched my heart and once again reminded me of the greatness of God’s creations. “I’m powered by mountains, they make me feel so small, so I can seize the wonder and the greatness of it all…I know I’m a part of God’s great universe!” Often throughout my travels, I like to pause and just let the serenity of nature surround me. Then I am thankful that God granted me this big big world to explore, to experience, to enjoy.

No lavenders in Provence nor tulips in Keukenhof this year, but what a blessing it was to see the sunflower fields last week, row on row, stretching without end towards the blue sky, beyond the vast horizon. To be in touch with nature in its purest form, to listen to the voice of the truest beauty speaking through the wind – such marvel and awe. This was in the midst of a trip to the Royan zoo, two hours away from Bordeaux. If anything was worth the trouble of going all the way, this was it. (By the way, I almost fainted from this indescribable beauty…it was way beyond anything words can hope to convey.)

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Bergerac in the mirror

The first time I’ve ever heard of Bergerac was in grade 12 when in French class we read the play Cyrano de Bergerac. I had no idea what Bergerac meant, and I didn’t care enough to bother to find out. That was 6 years ago.

The second time I heard the word Bergerac was at a church service, when the English pastor mentioned that our French pastor’s daughter is going to move to Bergerac. Then it kind of struck me that I’ve heard of Bergerac somewhere, though I couldn’t recall for the life of me where and when I’ve heard it.

Then I began to look up small places nearby Bordeaux to visit on a Sunday with some friends. Near meant less than 2 hours by train, and with my limited knowledge on French geography, I opened up Google Maps, Wikipedia, and SNCF side by side, magnifying the regions around Bordeaux and looking up any towns or cities that seemed promising for a day-trip.

Lo and behold, directly to the east of Bordeaux, we found Bergerac hidden in the map, only an hour and a half away by regional train. Only after checking it out on trusty Wikipedia and reading the short blurb on Cyrano de Bergerac did it hit me that yes, that was indeed why it sounded familiar. As the TGV to La Rochelle was too expensive to book already, friends and I set out for Bergerac on a glorious Sunday morning.

As it turned out, Bergerac is one of the prettiest and most tranquil towns I’ve been to. This is why I enjoy visiting small towns. They give off an inexplicable aura of freshness and “soul”, and you can discover such inner peace by just walking down the old streets and staring at the reflections of the town in the river. In this case, Bergerac is situated along the Dordogne river, and though it may not seem as wide and majestic as our Garonne in Bordeaux, it shows a completely different kind of beauty. Of course, we were blessed with impeccable sunshine and warmth on the day of our trip, and as it was a Sunday, the town was calm and quiet, as if it was taking a break…

A tiny local market taking place among the trees. There weren’t many people, perhaps ten booths/vendors at most, but it was cute and cozy.

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