Sorry it has taken me so long to report back on our trip to France! It took me a few weeks to recover (felt like I was in a daze, in a good way), then life intruded and etc...
Overall, the trip was fabulous: what's not to love? The country was gorgeous, the people friendly, and the food to die for. We especially loved the Normandy region, as we both love seafood and don't really get the fresh kind here in Colorado. If you're a history buff at all, the WW2 period is preserved there and worth a visit.
I must mention the wonderful hard cider in this area. I'm definitely going to make a batch or 2 this year. Also, I was surprised at how inexpensive the wine was.
The only actual cheese "making" that we saw was the caves in Roquefort, which was a bit touristy, but fun anyway.
But, as Yoav said, there is cheese everywhere. I really loved the town markets, where we found some farmstead cheese producers. There were lots of sheep's milk cheeses in the southern area where we started out, and the cheese makers also sold fresh yoghurt and raw milk from their stands. I didn't taste a cheese that I didn't like, but I'm easy to please.
I think my favorite was a slightly aged goat cheese, sold in a market in Bayeux by the maker. He had chevre cheeses that were fresh, aged a bit and aged a lot. The aged ones had a bit of blue and grey molds but they didn't taste "bluey". I liked the idea that he just made basically this one cheese type but that there was all this variation by how long it was aged. I also realized how much more attention I need to pay to my humidity issues. The aging container has so many limitations and I am going to really try and watch the moisture levels.
Paris was fun for 3 days. I'm not a city person, but I enjoyed walking around and seeing the sights. I loved the mustard shop and the tea store, and how old everything is!
Next time we're going to rent a house for a bit so that we can eat more from the markets.
Anyway, I've been missing the forum, and hearing about everyone's trials and tribulations, questions and solutions, but mostly all the successes, and the great community here.
Nice to see you all here and I look forward to hearing more "Adventures in Cheese Making"!