21 August: Château de Sully

Author: Mr A

Location: Sully, Bourgogne, France

A short drive today heading west through the rolling hills of Burgundy and we arrived at Château de Sully, a castle built in the late 1500s we had seen on the France Passion website that apparently allowed motorhomes to stay for free overnight in their adjacent car park.

Truffy likes his view this morning

We signed up for a tour of the chateau and were pleasantly surprised by the quality content of the English language materials that were offered to support the guide, who delivered in French. The materials were all written in the first person, and as we worked through them realised the author was the current Duchess of Magenta, who owned and still lives in the house with her husband and family. It really brought the whole expedience alive for us. Sometimes these tours can come across as so impersonal. Even I, the Philistine, was engaged.

Call that a front door? Oh ok….entering via a bridge over the moat
The inner courtyard…as a private home, this was the extent of our photography within the gates, none allowed inside

The chateau had had many notable owners over the years, but what struck me from the Duchess’ account of its history was how love and lust so shapes the story…. Would it be culturally stereotyping to say…’especially in France’? For instance, the chateau was owned for many years by an Irish family, and when the current marquis had dug into how that came to pass she discovered one of the previous Dukes had taken a wife a lot younger than him (say 70 years) and had then required the services of a local doctor (Irish!) to try and keep him…going. Anyway the Duke passed away and the doctor married his young wife! There is a lesson in there somewhere for me…

Mrs A checking out the moat
A magnificent building – needs some work, but fabulous all the same
The moat was reintroduced during the 1800s after being filled in
We toured the ground floor but the first floor rooms remained private
Windows open to the breeze on this warm summer’s day

The current owners of the chateau now have have a financial interest in the quite famous Montrachet winery, and they were offering a tasting of some of their lower end wines. We wren’t impressed enough to buy them, but did splash out on a Chassagne-Montrachet 2014 Grand Cru that had won some prizes. Look forward to sharing that one back in the UK! Put your bids in…

We had spotted a rail trail on our way though the village so as the weather was delivering an unusually sunny day we headed out on the bikes. Such a peaceful ride. There’s something about pottering around in rural France that just slows the heart rate down, and makes you want to sigh with languid contentment. Ahhhhhh…

Peaceful until a high speed intercity train from Paris comes past!
Beautiful woodland cycleway
Topped off with a cup of herbal tea of course

So this is our third consecutive free night of camping – bless France – we might get our budget back on track after all from Austria and Switzerland! There are of course no facilities – other than sometimes a facility to empty your toilet waste – but a small price to pay (well none in fact) to park up for the night and spend the money we’ve “saved” on wine instead 🙂

Sante! Is it sacrilege to drink an Italian wine at a French castle? Ah no, we think not….
A lovely sunset to finish off the day
One of our more scenic campsites

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