The Périgord of“Bruno, Chief of Police”
Q. How many people will be on the trip?
The maximum number of people is 18, so you won’t feel like you’re part of a huge group.
Q. How physically demanding is this trip?
We’ll have a walking tour in the city of Bordeaux which will call for walking about two hours on city streets. We’ll also have a walking tour at Eyrignac Gardens, but it is not difficult (mostly flat) and goes at a slow pace. Otherwise, on most of our days we’re taking nearby trams or buses in Bordeaux, and will have our own bus in Sarlat.
Q. Why aren’t lunches and dinners included in the price?
Restaurants that accept tour groups are usually the last places we want to eat. And we hate eating at long tables where we haven’t got a choice about what to order. Instead, we’ll find typically French places for lunch, and, in both Bordeaux and Sarlat, there are lots of restaurants to sample at dinner. You can choose where you eat, and with whom and how much you want to spend.
Q. What’s the best way to get to Bordeaux?
As of this writing (airline schedules are always subject to change), we strongly recommend flying Delta Airlines to Bordeaux. You have a choice of changing planes in either Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris or Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. We find the Schiphol Airport much more manageable, but of course you’ll decide what suits you best. Other airlines that fly from Washington, DC to Bordeaux with only one stop include United and Lufthansa.
Note that if you book through Delta, you’ll actually be flying on Air France or KLM. At Dulles, you’ll check in at the Air France/KLM desk, not Delta’s.
Q. Do we have to fly to Bordeaux? What about taking the train from Paris?
You definitely can do that. There are several nonstop trains a day; they generally take about 2.5 hours or so. If you plan tostay in Paris beforehand, that can be a good way to go. You’d catch the train at Gare Montparnasse, and there are several a day.
At this writing, there are two TGVfast trains from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Bordeaux, but neither areconvenient if you are flying in that day – one too early, the other too late.
Q. Do I have to pay a single supplement?
No.This trip is priced based on each person having his or her own hotel room.
Q. I’m coming with a spouse or partner and we want to share a room. Do we both have to pay the full rate? For people who share a room, we offer a discount of $150 each. We’ve priced the trip primarily for people to have their own rooms, because French hotel rooms just aren’t as large as those in the U.S. But of course you can share a room if you prefer.
Q. Do you require us to buy travel insurance?
We strongly recommend it. In particular, you’ll want to have trip cancellation insurance in case something happens and you can’t come at the last minute, and also medical evacuation insurance which will fly you home if needed. Remember that Medicare is valid only in the U.S., so if you’re on Medicare, you’ll definitely want some basic medical insurance. The best time to purchase your travel insurance is when you pay your deposit for the trip.
Some travel insurance companies include covid coverage, so you’ll want to make sure your policy does that.
And please read the trip Terms and Conditions carefully for our cancellation policy.
Q. Tell me about the trip leaders. Donna Morris has lived in Paris, France for the last seventeen years. She founded her business, Best Friend in Paris, in 2009 with her signature tour, Follow Me, an experience for her clients that helps them see Paris with the same love and appreciation for the City of Light that she has. She has developed and organized Politics and Prose trips to Paris, Provence and the Loire Valley, as well as in Barcelona,Spain. She speaks fluent French.
Sheila Campbell of Wild Blue Yonder has been organizing Politics & Prose trips for nearly ten years, in countries including France, South Africa, Spain, Morocco, England and Italy. In her day-to-day work, she was a group retreat leader who understood how to ensure everyone is involved and having a memorable experience. She lives in Washington, DC, where she has been a volunteer at the National Gallery of Art for many years. She speaks tourist French.
Q. What is the Hotel Plaza Madeline like? What about the hotel in Bordeaux?In Bordeaux, we’ll stay in two buildings belonging to the same hotel, The Bayonne Etche-Ona. It is a charming hotel in historic buildings, perfectly located in the center of the city. The hotel is typically French, with small but nicely appointed rooms. The Plaza Madeleine in Sarlat is a quite sophisticated hotel, beautifully designed, with a spa and swimming pool. We particularly love sitting outside at the bar in the evenings.
Q. What’s included in the breakfasts? Both hotels offer a wide selection of croissants, rolls and pastries, cheeses, coldcuts, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, cereal, French yogurt and so on. At the Plaza Madeleine, breakfast is definitely a treat. Unlike many European hotels, they also have eggs and bacon or sausage every day.
Q. Is there internet access at the hotel?
Yes, free wifi comes with your room at both hotels.
Q. What will the weather be like?
It’s hard to say for sure, but it should be sunny and warm enough most nights to sit outside at dinner with a light jacket. It’s always a good idea, of course, to come prepared for rain, so do pack an umbrella, a light jacket and – most important of all – very comfortable walking shoes.
Q. What to wear?
Wear just what you would at home – casual jeans, slacks or skirts, even for eating out at night. Of course, for any place where you need a reservation, you’ll want to dress appropriately. But let comfort rule your choices.
Q. I don’t speak French. Can you help me figure out what to eat? Absolutely.We’ll provide a list of common menu terms, and let you know how to do things like ask for the check.
Q. Is it safe to walk around by myself atnight in Sarlat and Bordeaux? As in any city, it makes sense to be aware of your surroundings after dark. But these are small cities with lots of charm, and our hotels are located where there are lots of people about. You can feel quite comfortable walking around after dark.
Q. When do I need to sign up by? The sooner you put down your deposit, the better. This trip is likely to sell out very quickly.
Copyright Wild Blue Yonder, Inc.
Wild Blue Yonder plans, organizes and leads group trips for bookstores, historic associations and other corporate and not-for-profit entities. All our trips are designed for the specific interests of the groups for whom we work.