grape grazing in france
When Express reader Louise Macfarlane and her boyfriend decided on a picnic in France, little did they know it would end up more like a funniest home videos sketch than a romantic afternoon…
“One of the most memorable afternoons I have experienced whilst travelling, was in southern France. We were travelling on Intrepid’s Classic Europe trip and having a free afternoon, my boyfriend and I borrowed rickety bikes from the hotel and filled the baskets with delicious French fare for a picnic lunch in the surrounding grape-laden countryside.
We found the perfect location to lay our sarongs (always the most useful things in our backpacks!). We wanted to set up an idyllic picnic photo to record this special day, so we unwrapped our spread of fresh fruits, cheese, crusty breads, sweet wine and even a bunch of red radish for effect!
As we stepped back to admire our work, we heard some mad horn beeping behind us. A French couple drove out of the adjoining winery and noticed us and wanted to say “Bonjour!” We turned to them and tried to explain what we were doing. “Nous sommes l’Australie” I stammered, as the man jumped out of the passenger seat, looking quizzical and just a little too excited after his few wines over lunch. “Nous aimons prendre des photographies pour montrer nos amis” – “We like to take photographs to show to our friends” I tried to explain. “Ahh!” he said, then helped to further arrange the picnic, I guess in more of a French style.
Much to our amusement, he laid down for us to take photographs of him enjoying the picnic. As we snapped away, we heard beeping and yelling from another car coming down the driveway, and the man posed all the more for the attentions of his friends. But then we heard the sickening crunch of the friends’ car running into the back of our poser’s vehicle. We were horrified and worried we would be blamed, but our friend jumped up off the picnic rug, laughed loud and trod all over our radish and our picture-perfect bunch of grapes as he dashed to the accident scene!
We went to examine the cars for any damage. They looked OK and no one seemed too fussed, as they got back into their cars and continued to wave and beep and yell with friendly enthusiasm. We shook our heads in amazement. “Au revoir amis Australiens” called our friend. “Desole au sujet de vos raisins” – sorry about your grapes!”