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. 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
chuckling through the whole ordeal. The old cliché about
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.
naturally, miles of vineyards are a common sight.