Tour de Tours - 2023Being sick is no fun, no matter where you are; but when you are on holiday, it’s an insult as well. The respiratory virus that attached itself to us during the early days of our third week in Tours, France was intent on making our lives miserable. It succeeded ...
Apprentices & Masters - 2023
The 13th-century Saint-Julien abbey dominated the view from our apartment and having such an ancient element of France’s cultural heritage in our “backyard” seemed surreal. But the truth is that the mastery required to create so many of France’s important cultural elements was not simply due to chance.
Langeais and its Château - 2023
Langeais is a picturesque little Loire village that has been protected/dominated since 994 by whoever was in power. The Château de Langeais we see today, was rebuilt in the 15th Century into tone of the best-known examples of late medieval architecture, including a moat and drawbridge, lavish defenses, and turrets.
Who Approved This Script? - 2023
On the way to see the doctor, again, a little bright spot in an otherwise home-bound week in Tours, France. It's a little video with music that shows how even going to the doctor can be a pleasant stroll outside in the sunshine as long as we are together.
Amboise - 2023
There were two good reasons to visit Amboise, one was the spectacular Château Royal d'Amboise and the other was Le Château du Clos Lucé which was especially intriguing because of its connection to Leonardo da Vinci.
A Bounty of Cherry Blossoms - 2023
In this part of France, cherry trees are the first to bloom generally at the end of March to early April, and herald the return of spring. Cerisier produces sweet fruit, guignier if it produces sour fruit, and a merisier if it is a wild tree in the forest. But they all flower. Though we will not be around for the cherry harvest, we have been granted an abundance of the trees with their lovely flowers all around Tours, and as their petals begin to fall, they decorate the ground like nature’s confetti. That is until the wind picks them…
“But that's the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don't want to know what people are talking about. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” ~ Bill Bryson, an American author who lives in…
After a week in Paris, we traveled to the city of Tours in the Loire Valley. This region is rightfully famous for the many famous châteaux that are part of the cultural and architectural heritage of the historic towns along the river Loire. But we explored the city first.
Paris – Life Goes On - 2023
To hear the news reports or see the videos, Paris is aflame and being overrun by protesters battling the police throughout the city. While the media are doing their job focusing on the worst of the situation as news media has done since the printing press was invented or ever since tongues started wagging, the situation for us wasn’t nearly so dire.
A Little Jazz Manouche - 2023
We were joined by my brother and his wife for a performance at the small, intimate l'Apostrophe jazz club in Paris was nothing short of spectacular. It was a jam session, and musicians walked on and off the stage after beginning with two guitars and a bass, then the gentleman that was sitting beside us with his young son, pulled out his clarinet and moved to the stage to join in. Later, violins and an accordion and different guitarists came on stage, yet there were never more than five musicians playing at any one time.
We’ll Always Have Paris - 2023
Of course, this title is a quote from the famous film Casablanca a 1942 film starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. In a pivotal scene Ilsa (Bergman) refuses to board the plane to Lisbon with Victor Laszlo (Henreid), her husband, a hero of the Resistance. Rick Blaine (Bogart), the dark American whom she secretly loves, urges her to do her duty and tells her, as a final argument “We’ll always have Paris”.