Well it’s been a couple of months since I last posted and I apologize. Not that I’ve been slacking but actually have been working very hard on my house putting in new doors and windows, new stone floor outside and basically preparing the house for a more comfortable winter. I’ve finally finished all the projects and happy with the results. While I haven’t taken any big trips, I was able to take a lot of 1-2 week mini Euro vacations around France, Spain, Andorra, Belgium, Holland and Monaco. So let me share a few pix from those locations….
I visited Alsace Lorraine for the first time. A beautiful part of France that has changed hands between France and Germany many times. You can really see it in the style of houses and a lot of the street names which are in German and French. One thing is for certain, it is pretty. Here is a shot in the little town of Colmar. Look closely and you can see the stork nest with stork on top of the church!
Another place visited this summer was St Martin Du Canigou, an Abbey built in the French Pyrenees mountains in 1009. It was a vigorous hike up to this but well worth the view. If you visit, you can do the loop trail which takes you back down on a trail through the woods and gives some great views of the Abbey.
Recently, I traveled through the Dordogne and Lot regions which are located about the center of SouthWestern France. It is an area of farms, rolling hills, Foie Gras and great old villages. Here is a picture of the bridge Pont Valentré located in Cahors, France. It was begun in 1308 and finished in 1378, a quick 70 years to build! But obviously it was well built as it is still standing over 600 years later. The towers were used by the military in the defense of the town but never actually saw combat.
The same bridge with some fall foliage coming through.
In addition to Cahors, I also ventured to Rocamadour which is a pilgrimage stop on one of the Santiago de Compostela routes. It had some beautiful chapels and very timely hot air balloon. I also found out through some research that there is a balloon festival every Sept so I plan on going back to catch that show!
Earlier in the summer, I was over by Arles for a great photo festival called Les Recontres D’Arles. When leaving the festival, I passed a lot of sunflower fields and decided to get in and up close with one!
I spent a couple of weeks over on the Cote D’Azur house sitting for some friends and was able to visit Monaco for the first time. You can’t really grasp the density of the place until you get up above it and gather the view.
While in Monaco, I stopped in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, a fantastic aquarium directed by Jacques Cousteau for over 30 years. I was really intrigued by this fellow, which I believe is a Blue Surgeonfish.
And my travels wouldn’t be complete without some visits to chapels including the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona…
the Strasbourg Cathedral at night during a light show projection…
and a tiny prayer room at Notre Dame D’Auvers in Arles
Well that about wraps up the travels. The summer wrap up wouldn’t be complete without a parting shot from my village, St Martin De L’Arçon. It is really great after being on the road to come back to this peaceful place, get a nice glass of wine and sit on the terrace and enjoy the tranquility.
I’ve got a big trip coming up very soon, destination is a surprise (for my friends who know, don’t give it away!). I look forward to blogging from this future locale which will be quite a bit different from what I’ve posted lately. Cheers and keep on traveling!