The year 2015 is nearly over and with all the recent events on our planet it feels like it was not a very good one for humanity. However, this year was also filled with personal moments of happiness and joy, wonderful new discoveries, many trips and moments of peace and beauty. And I am very thankful for all of it. One of my personal highlights was my birthday trip to the little wine village Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux region of southwest France.
Visiting Saint-Émilion was magic – this wine producing village worldwide known for its excellent wines feels like the epitome of a peaceful French countryside life. Saying that the village has lots of history is almost an understatement – it dates back to prehistoric times and is nowadays a UNESCO World Heritage Site with wonderful Romanesque churches, building and ruins all around the cobbled streets. The entire village is surrounded by wavy vineyards and a lush, green nature. And the narrow, cobbled alleys are lined with blooming flowers of all colours. It feels like a piece of heaven on earth.
While in Saint-Émilion I was staying in a charming little guest house in the village’s center named La Maison de la Commanderie. I had a room named ‘The Commander’s Suite’ and it was on the top floor with a private balcony overlooking the vineyards beyond the village’s limits, the tiled roofs and the amazing monolithic church of Saint-Émilion. Even though my birthday and this trip were back in May, I still recall one observation: I walked around the cobbled streets and noticed lots of wine bars and good restaurants, but hardly any cafés. But then I told myself when you’re in Saint-Émilion you just skip your afternoon coffee and replace it with a glass of good red wine from the village itself. And you also buy one, two or three bottles to take back home. And a box of the famous Macarons of Saint-Émilion. Of course I turned the idea into practice.
My trip to Saint-Émilion was in combination with my visit to Bordeaux, so I only stayed one night in the village but in hindsight I’d have loved to stay longer. So maybe I will return one day and stay a few nights, probably during autumn to enjoy the vineyards laden with juicy and ripe grapes and observing the wine harvest, or better yet, participate in the wine harvest. With all the insanity on our planet it feels like an escape to an idyllic better and simpler life. But for the time being I will hope for a better 2016 and more peace for all of us.
Photography by Igor Josifovic