The last country on my European tour was not in the initial plan. My original plan was to visit a friend in Croatia, and I was really excited about it. However, plans changed on his end, which left me with a whole week left in Europe and nowhere to go. Luckily, my Aussie friend Brooke had reached out to me and offered to let me stay with her at a chateau in France that she was house-sitting for. Of course, it didn’t take me long to make my decision, and I booked my tickets from Berlin to Bordeaux–my first time traveling between countries solo.
I slept overnight in the Brussels airport, which is something I’d never done before. It was a beautiful airport, with long lounge chairs and walls that were made out of windows. It was the perfect airport to sleep in, if you had to choose anyway. I was treated to a beautiful sunset, and subsequently a beautiful sunrise, and then I was on my way to Bordeaux.
I arrived in Bordeaux early in the day, and I navigated myself from the airport to the city center, where I would catch a train to Jarnac, a little French town not far from Brooke’s accommodations. The train ride was beautiful, winding through the French countryside, with sprawling vineyards blanketing the landscape. I was greeted at the train station by my beautiful friend Brooke and her Australian pal, and they drove me through the rolling hills and little French towns to the city of Gondeville. Soon, we had arrived at the chateau, and I was speechless. It was better than anything I could have imagined–a 19th century country manor, covered in vines and oozing stately elegance.
It was as beautiful inside as it was outside, and we even had guests! A little yappy pup named Yomi, and a white rabbit named Lucy. (My life literally could not have felt more perfect than it did then).
Brooke and I decided to have a bike ride around town, so we rounded up two bicycles (one with two flat tires) and began riding through the vineyards. We stopped at a beautiful aqua blue pond, and then continued on into the city center.
Oh, this place was too gorgeous for me to believe. We explored the gorgeous French towns, rivers, forests, and parks, and I was on cloud 9 through all of it.
The next day, while I was taking a bath in my room’s clawfoot tub, I was suddenly hit with inspiration. I wanted to do a shoot with Brooke in this bathtub, with all the fresh lavender that grew around the chateau. I had to take advantage of the perfect white walls and dreamy window light. That shoot is on its way to the blog soon, so keep an eye out for it! Here’s a few little sneak previews 😉
Brooke and I also spent a fun day making yummy treats with the lemons and lavender we found around the chateau! We also got some delicious scones from the boulangerie in town.
You can see the full set of images HERE.
I took advantage of some quiet time at the manor to take some self-portraits in the quiet afternoon light.
We went into Cognac that evening for dinner, and we walked around the park for a little while. A river wound through the park, and it was the most vibrant azure blue. Man, I don’t know what it is about France, but holy cow…everything is so romantically beautiful. Ugh ❤
I also did a shoot with Brooke in the chateau that I can’t wait to share images from! I’ll be posting those soon too 🙂
That evening while Brooke and I shot some images in the countryside, the clouds started to gather over the vineyards and rain began to fall. We ran back to the chateau in the rain, and by the time we got back, we were soaked to the skin.
The rest of the afternoon, we watched the rain fall from inside the warm comfort of the chateau. The soft drizzle and hazy light changed everything about the landscape, and I cherished the simple beauty of the moment.
There is nothing more calming to me than gently falling rain.
Our next (and my last) stop on this European adventure was a weekend trip to Paris. I had been to the city twice before, but I was excited to have full freedom this time, not having to follow a schedule or a group around the city. This was my chance to explore Paris exactly the way I wanted to, and see it in a whole new light.
I think that adventure deserves a post all its own, so keep an eye out for that soon 🙂