This week I’m hosting a lovely shot of Saint-Emilion taken by Tricia Mitchell from Travels with Tricia Blog.
Tricia, an explorer, travel writer, and marketing consultant. Passionate about the power of citizen diplomacy – the idea that everyday citizens can promote positive intercultural exchanges.
She had lived abroad for 15 years and is fortunate to have visited more than 60 countries.
Photo Story: Saint-Emilion’s Paradise
I stepped onto Saint-Emilion’s cobblestone streets not long after sunrise. I felt like I’d gone back in time a few decades.
Perhaps even a few hundred years. In the early-morning light, the shops’ wrought-iron signs appeared in silhouetted form.
Though the establishments’ names were in shadows, the contours of a sign’s hinted at what activity would soon be taking place inside those Marchands de vins.
On the main square, waiters dressed tables with linen cloths and merchants set out pots of grapevine plants for sale.
Another shop’s proprietor rolled out a weathered, caramel-coloured barrel, carefully arranging bottles atop it for a shop display.
Hordes of visitors had not yet descended upon the 8th-century French city. I felt a bit like a local, even though my camera undoubtedly gave me away.
It was during this morning that I would first become acquainted with Saint-Emilion’s steep roads, known as tertres.
There are four of them in the city, and as I found out on a subsequent evening following dinner, they make for a lovely walk – especially after you’ve enjoyed a glass of the area’s wine!
Made of cobblestone, and featuring iron handrails to assist even the tipsiest of pedestrians, the steep streets give the calves a workout and easily gobble up high heels!
Their cobblestones were supposedly imported by English merchants.
On the way to France, the ships filled with the stone, acting as ballast, and on the way back, the ship was filled to the brim with Bordeaux wine.
Before bidding farewell to Saint-Emilion, my husband, Shawn, and I stopped by the UNESCO World Heritage’s Site’s visitor’s centre, picked up a walking-tour map, and enjoyed the historic structures at our own pace.
Pictured here is Saint-Emilion’s Monolithic Church. Built between the 12th and 16th centuries, its bell tower is the town’s highest point.
Saint-Emilion is a commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in south-western France.
Saint-Émilion’s history goes back to prehistoric times and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets.
The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. In the 4th century, the Latin poet Ausonius lauded the fruit of the bountiful vine.
The town was named after the monk Émilion, a travelling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. The monks who followed him started up the commercial wine production in the area.
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