My Ban-Cheile* and I took a trip into Cognac to catch some of the ambiance of the Blues Festival. The festival runs from July 2nd -July 7th and attracts people from all over the world and not just France. The one hour drive north from Bédenac took us through undulating vineyards as far as the eye could see, interspersed with the red-roofed houses that created a panorama that might have been unchanged for centuries.
The festival itself comprises of a headline act in the Centre Ville and a scattering of other performance in a variety of locations from public parks to bars and on the doorstep of restaurants.
The crowd consisted of all age groups from children, through teenagers, to young parents herding their over-excited children, but if pushed I’d have to admit there were more than their fair share of grey-haired warriors like ourselves. All of whom were sauntering through the town from venue to venue and gathering in groups to have animated conversations – no doubt offering opinions on the quality of the performances – everyone’s a critic.
With most of the streets closed off to traffic parking was at a premium and after scouting out most of Cognac, like the Google Mapping Car, we settled on parking at the Gare (railway station) and hiking into the Centre Ville, about 1.5km. As usual, we spotted some parking opportunities along the way but my JEEP Wrangler shies away from cosy spaces and it was a lovely night for a stroll (I kept repeating that last line like a mantra while we trudged back to the car).
We ate a couple of salads while listening to a French blues group sing songs in English outside the Le Fair Play an Irish bar and restaurant – now that’s an international festival. The music was good and attracted quite a crowd and food was surprisingly tasty given the fact it is festival fair (and the price tags in some of the restaurants reminded you of that fact). As with all festivals it’s probably best to stay nearby and have the opportunity to share in the fun of eating and drinking the local produce – especially when you’re actually in Cognac – but the drive back home didn’t sit well with that so both SWMBO and I settled for the salmon and steak salads and unblemished memories of a good night at the Blues Passion 2013.
More pics in my France 2013 album HERE
* Ban-Cheile means Wife/Spouse/Life Partner in the Irish Language. A literal translation would actually be “woman I’m together with” or thereabouts. SWMBO = She Who Must Be Obeyed 🙂