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Champagne - Back home after 382 days of traveling.

France (Pommard, Champagne, Starkeryd and Täby) 2006-10-09

How does the alarm to our house work?? We look at each other and realize that no one knows how it works – this is normally a standard routine BUT we have forgotten it!! We don’t dear to enter the house so we find a solution – we call our friend Per Johansson who has been our landlord during our absence. After a very short instruction we put in our key and unlock the door to the house at Thursday October 5 at 10 AM after 382 days of traveling around the world. It is a very special feeling!

Our last journey in Europe has involved some logistic challenges but with the help of friends and family we have solved it in a perfect way.
The best wineproducer in Pommard. If you travel in the region stay a couple of nights at their Gite de France. Click to enlarge.Back to the hard work in Pommard! In our last letter we where waiting for Bengt & Kerstin (who also visited us in Singapore and Malaysia). After 1.800 kilometer and 22 hour of non-stop driving from Gothenburg they arrived in Pommard. No rest – no, no! After a late lunch we took them to Beaune where we walked for a while in the town and bought some cheese for the evening. BBQ at Thierry & Estelle’s house with some phenomenal wines and after that some great French cheese. They had no problem to fall a sleep that evening!!!

The next day we took the car and visited some of the small villages in Burgundy and spent some time at Chateau de La Rochepot before we went back to Pommard where Bengt & Anders took a bath in the swimming pool. Wine tasting in Thierry’s wine cellar, dinner with 200 snails and fabulous Pinot Noir wines to the food and the cheese – they had no problem to sleep this night either!!!

Some of the Chablis we tried at Chablisienne. Click to enlarge.We went up relatively late the next day and had an emotional farewell with Thierry & Estelle – We will be back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are in France you have to see them. See the link to their web site in our previous letter. It’s a great place with lovely people!!!

We packed the car with ”some wine” and our luggage and headed for Chablis in the northern part of Burgundy. We had pick nick before we drove into the village and visited the producer Chablisienne. Here Bengt & Kerstin had their first vertical tasting of Chablis wines. They tried Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Vielles Vignes, 3 different Chablis Premier Cru and 3 different Chablis Grand Cru so now they understand there is a different Chablis wines!!

Friday dinner and accommodation where booked at Logis Aux Maisons outside Chaource south of Troyes, a very nice place which Eva has used before during a Sundström Travel trip a few years ago with some lady golfers who went down to France to play golf and enjoy life.

Saturday we made Champagne. First we went to one of our favorite places in France - Hostellerie Mont-Aime in Bergeres Les-Vertus which we just wanted to show to Kerstin & Bengt for their future trips to the area. After that we went to Valérie at Michel Lenique. Michel Lenique has been our supplier of champagne for many years and we just love their champagne. If you come to Stockholm we promise you will be served chilly champagne from them!!

Lunch in Epernay and then we visited Moet & Chandon. We took a guided tour in the wine cellars (their cellars are more than 28 kilometers long!!) including tasting before we went to Prim’Hotel Bagatelle in Dizy where we had dinner and accommodation for the night.

Sophie and Fabien Pekus, Click to enlarge.In Southern Highlands in Papua New Guinea we met two lovely persons – Sophie & Fabien Pekus. They live only one hour drive from Epernay and they had invited us for Sunday lunch and accommodation so the next morning we went to their house. They are both veterinarians and they love nature, animals (especially birds and monkeys) and are very, very good photographers. We had a 4 hour lunch in their house from 1716 and watched some fantastic photos from world known photographers and had a lovely afternoon and evening with them and their friends. We ended the evening with a hike in the forest to listen to the deer’s shouting.

At 4.30 AM we went up and 30 minutes later we started the long drive to Sweden. In the south of Sweden we had planned a rendezvous with our friends Lars-Gunnar and Maria Wiss so late that evening we move all our luggage and wine to their car and said bye-bye to Kerstin & Bengt. They continued to Gothenburg while we went with Lars-Gunnar and Maria’s car to Starkeryd in Småland. It took us another 1,5 hour to get there so before we uncorked a bottle of champagne we had already passed midnight.

Sweden is a beautiful country. Early morning in Starkeryd. Click to enlarge.They are now living in their old summer cottage by the lake. They have sold their big house in the countryside and will move into a newly built apartment in Jönköping next summer and they have also bought an island in the lake where they just started a fantastic building project.

We got one and a half day together in their cottage, on the lake in their boat and had a very relaxing time with newly caught fish and chanterelle before Anders father Alvar came down from Stockholm to pick us up for the last drive to Stockholm. 400 kilometers later we came to Stockholm and as our house where occupied by cleaners we spent the last night on our travel at their house. The next morning we stand outside our house and wondered how to handle the alarm!!!

During the next month we will renovate our house so we will keep most of our things at Shuurgard (the storing company) until that work is done. Anders starts to work this Monday so things will slowly go back to more normal routines. But we are sure some things will change as we have experienced so much during our year and we have new perspective on many things. What will happen in the future we don’t know at the moment……maybe working with Sundstrom Travel.

We have had a fantastic year and we have received so many positive comments on our letters and pictures and we hope these have inspired you and given you some air in your daily life. Last but not least - we have met so many fantastic people during our trip that will be our friends forever.

A big hug to all old and new friends from your Professional Tourists EvAnders

Anders & Eva Sundström