What follows is not a proper photo essay because my journey through England, France, and the Basque Country took me to some eddies and side-tours not strictly focused on cider. But maybe that's a feature of this post and not a bug. I'll put most of them below the fold so they don't run forever down the page. They proceed in chronological order and although I took about the same number of photos of each place on my good camera these, on my phone's, seem to be unevenly distributed. Sorry, Normandie! Also, I tried not to repeat photos I used in earlier posts about Herefordshire
, wild fermentation
, Txotx season
, or perry
|The Grain Barge in Bristol had the best tap cider I found, but Ashton|
Press, which I liked, is owned by Butcombe Brewery.
|Sometimes the hedgerows seemed menacing.|
|Another shot of Tom Oliver's cellar in the old hop building.|
|Mike Johnson's orchard. Compare the size of these trees with the Basque|
|Burrow Mump in Somerset. According to the interpretive material, both|
words mean "hill." You can see the flooding if you look through the ruins
of the door. The entire county seemed to be under water.
|The only place you can see cheddar cheese being made in the village of |
Cheddar in Somerset.
|Drouin has barrels of Calvados dating back to the war. |
These family, which founded the distillery in 1960,
purchased these lots.
|The gorgeous coastal town of Honfleur in Normandy.|
|The view of the Drouin distillery from the farmhouse.|
|The oak tree in Gernika where Basques have traditionally|
met to formalize agreements. This is a descendant of
the original. It's a sacred symbol to the Basques.
|A device used to pick apples up off the ground; called|
a kizki in Euskera (Basque).
|So many sidras....|
|The Basque Country was fascinating. It's incredibly wet there, and the |
emerald hills look a lot like Oregon's. They now grow conifers as a crop,
enhancing the counterfeit. The villages are tiny and compact, built tall and
oddly urban, even when the population is less than 5,000.
|Tiny Basque apple trees. Some are bigger--but none more than about 8 feet.|
|Pinxtos, or Basque tapas, in Donostia (aka San Sebastian). This is one of|
the rare places you don't find cider. Beer or wine is more common. (I saw
not a single decent beer when I was there.)
|Donostia. It's sometimes called Donostia-San Sebastian, but on road signs,|
the later name was often defaced.
|These glasses were ubiquitous. Short and wide, made of incredibly thin,|
elegant glass. You pour only two fingers from a great height to "break"
the cider--or rouse and aerate it.
|The calendar at Isastegi. On the right is an activity; an apple means it|
happens that month. Edan, for example, means "drinking." Every month!
|Typical Basque construction, reminiscent of the interior of Norman homes.|
|Snow-capped mountains near Bilbao.|