Watertravel & Waterside Destinations A provincial countryside manor overlooks freshly mown hay in Central France.

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Central France Countryside

Wherever you go in the Upper Loire region, the countryside is dotted with Charolais cattle.

The breed originated in the area, near the town of Charolles, roughly 125 kilometers southeast of Nevers. A Charolais calf stands by an old barn in Central France. From the Burgundy region, Charolais breeding stock have been exported around the world. The roads and waterways of this agriculturally rich region take you past vineyards, forestland and most every kind of farming.

While parked at the side of the road to take the inset photo at right, we must have appeared to have broken down because carful of young women stopped to offer help. The driver rolled down her window to ask, “Ça va?” They just wanted to know if we needed assistance. Nice.

A few days later I managed to get the car (which has German plates, by the way) stuck in a ditch. A very friendly local man with a smiling face like Lou Costello (and a body that made him look like he could have picked the car up by himself and set it back on the road) helped us get back on the pavement, Much of the Central France landscape is devoted to vineyards. chuckling through the whole ordeal.

The old cliché about French unfriendliness toward foreigners was similarly dispelled on various other occasions during trips to France. You can’t judge the populace by the waiters.

Since ancient times, the Loire Valley region and province of Burgundy have been famous for producing excellent wines. So, naturally, miles of vineyards are a common sight.

Copyright © Don Douglas