My first Dutch wedding

After leaving the Jura mountains in France a month ago, RB and drove to a small town in the Haute-Saône part of France for the wedding of two very special people. The weather remained hot, 35+ degree Celsius days, but that didn’t stop our having a great time!

Despite leaving from two very different locations, we arrived at the bed and breakfast, Château Armand Bourgoin in Raincourt at about the same time as most people coming from the Netherlands. After a quick shower and change of clothes, we drove to the wedding venue in Vitrey-sur-Mance for a lovely and relaxed dinner and pre-wedding celebration.

source: Lola`s events

The majority of the guests enjoyed a relaxing morning and early afternoon at the bed and breakfast, where there was a large back yard area and pool to enjoy. We enjoyed some rousing games of Jeu de Boulles (Bocce Ball) in the sand pit. The good guys came out victorious in the game I played in (obviously!)

Credit: Charteau Armand Bourgoin

Late in the morning, I went up to shower. I figured that would be a hot commodity later in the day as people began to get ready for the wedding ceremony and celebration, and I didn’t want to be typically late! I then went back to the back yard and found a large tree to sit under and read. How relaxing!

At 2:30, when we were all clean and beautiful, a non-air conditioned bus came to pick us up at the bed and breakfast to take us back to Vitrey-sur-Mance for the wedding ceremony and celebration. We arrived a little bit melted but still in once piece!

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Before the ceremony

During the ceremony we were seated under a big tree, and the shade was cool and refreshing. At each seat was a pair of sunglasses, handkerchief (yay!) and hand-held fan. Unlike the Canadian weddings I’ve attended, the bride, looking stunning, and her father entered first, followed by her bridesmaids. The bride’s father surprised everyone and performed the ceremony, which was beautiful and succinct – my kind of ceremony!

After the ceremony we found shade by the bar for a celebratory glass of sparkling wine and to offer our congratulations to the happy couple. I was hoping that there would be no tossing of the bouquet, but apparently it’s also a Dutch tradition. Too bad! Thankfully the bouquet went in the opposite direction from me, and I received congratulations from RB for not catching it.

Our meal was prepared by the runner up from MasterChef Holland 2015, Stan Broere, and it was delicious!2015-07 Bruiloft

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Similar to the Canadian weddings I’ve attended, there were speeches, but these were spread out throughout the afternoon and evening, some during drinks and some during dinner. 2015-07 Bruiloft

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There was also a first dance for the bride and groom (missed the photo – arg!) as well as the bride and her father and groom and his mother.

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And, as it seems to happen at most Dutch events I’ve been to, Islands in the Stream was sung! Apparently I must learn the words for the next party.

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It was a gezellig weekend, one I won’t soon forget!

You can see some official photos and read about it on the event planner’s blog (warning: it’s in Dutch!)

A Hike in the Jura Mountains

A few weeks ago, RB and I drove to France for a few days. Despite the over 35 degree Celsius days (and no AC) we had a fabulous time. I haven’t spent much time in France before, and this trip wet my appetite to see more.

Our first stop was Le Frasnois, where we stayed with two friends who had rented a cottage for two weeks at the Gites des lacs et des cascades. We arrived later in the afternoon, and our first order of business was to go across the way for a swim in one of the lakes. It was refreshing – just what we needed after spending 10 hours in the car.

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Nighttime photo of the view from our window

The next day, we hiked in Les Cascades du Hérisson (The Herrison Falls). Along the way we stopped at a lookout for a quick glimpse Lac du Val.

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I thought it would be fun to bring my Garmin watch to record the walk. In total we went 6.59 km and walked for about 3 hours, with many stops for photos, lunch and swimming.

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RB’s friend had been there before and suggested we bring two cars and park one at the bottom and hike down, rather than hiking both down and up. On most days I’d like the challenge of the hike up hill, but it was 32°C that day, and I didn’t want to be a hot mess in front of new friends!

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RB is ready to go!
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Fun route symbols
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Beautiful Forest

The first fall we came to was Saut Girard. Because it had been so hot and dry, the falls weren’t particularly full, but they were still beautiful. There was a statue of an animal at Saut Girard, however there was no indication at the site nor have my searches on the internet yielded any story behind the statue.

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Mysterious statue
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Saut Girard
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Meandering river

The next falls we came upon were by the ruins of the  Moulin Jeunet. This mill was originally constructed in the 15th century for the villagers of Frasnois to use. It was ruined in the war between 1635 and 1639, and was ceded to Guillaume Grappe in 1663, since the villagers didn’t have the funds to rebuild it. The mill thrived under his direction until it was again destroyed in 1875. A year later, the mill was sold to a wine merchant from Lons-le-Saunier, and then to Seraphin-Francois Jeunet in 1882. It became the Moulin Jeunet until 1902.

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Next, we came to le Saut de la Forge, where we took some time to take some photos. As an aside – who chooses to wear white shorts on a hike through the woods?! Not my smartest move, though thankfully it didn’t end up being a big problem.

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RB & I at Saut de la Forge
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P&V at Saut de la Forge

After the Saut de la Forge, it became possible to walk in the water, so RB and I took off our socks, and P put his water shoes on, and we made our way through the water where it was possible.

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Cool feet!

My NB Minimus runners were a great choice for this hike! When we got back to the cottage I put them in the late afternoon sun, and they were completely dry by the time we went to bed.

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Some of us (i.e. not me) got adventurous and jumped into the pools below the falls.

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Jump at Le Chateau Garnier

We stopped for a lunch of baguette with cheese and ham (how French!) at Le Gour Bleu.

Not long after we set off again, we came to the top of Le Grand Saut (the big jump), which afforded a beautiful view of the valley below.

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Le Grand Saut from above
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View of the Valley
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Le Grand Saut from above

It was a bit of a treacherous hike to get to the bottom of Le Grand Saut, though I never unsure that we shouldn’t be going where we were. In looking at the trail maps after the fact, I realized it’s not part of the main trail at all!

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Le Grand Saut from below

P&V had been there before, and V built a beautiful tower that was still standing! What a beautiful structure!

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Tower of stones

Another short hike brought us to the top of L’Entretrail (the fan). At this point we had to come out of the water and back onto the trail, which were quite busy on this part, likely because it is the closest falls to the visitor’s centre and main entrance.

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Route to L’Eventrail
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Leaf in the water
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L’Eventail

At this point we came to the visitor’s centre, where we all went to the bathroom and got in our car to go get the car at the other end of the trail.

Along the way we stopped and caught some trout for dinner that night. I struggle with feeling disconnected from where my food is coming from, and this was an excellent opportunity for me to come to terms with it a little bit.

That evening we put our shoes out to dry, and got to work bbq’ing the trout, which was delicious!

The next day we headed off to what would be my first Dutch wedding, but that’s another post.