Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Les pigeonniers, also called dovecotes in English, are often found on farms and old estates. As the names imply, these are shelters for pigeons or doves who enter and exit by small openings such as the rectangular ones here just under the roof. The owners would collect the eggs and as well as the birds themselves for food.
The big job of renovating this old pigeonnier and converting it into human living space is currently being done by two American friends of mine. The owners who have a larger home nearby plan to use it as guest quarters as well as for their own use. All of the stone and timber framing in the structure will ensure that it will be a real show piece when finished.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Every April, the Fair of Amboise brings a few days reminiscent of the classic American state fair. For the kids, there are wild rides, junk food, loud music, and arcade games. For the adults, there are a wide variety of merchants hawking their wares, plus lots of interesting local and not so local foods and wines. And of course there is the fireworks display over the Loire to close it out.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014
Rue Nationale is the Main street of Amboise. During most of the day it is blocked from traffic and is a pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants. From this vantage point, one can see the chapelle St-Hubert on the grounds of the château.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
To me this old factory clock reminds me of a certain 1980's movie ("Back to the Future"). This was taken on my recent tour of old factories in Amboise. It's a little sad to see these once interesting sites slowly disintegrating, but at least they haven't been totally destroyed in the name of urban renewal. So perhaps there remains hope that it's future will yet be taken back to the past by being restored and re-purposed.
Here is an old image of the factory (l'usine Pathault-Leclaire) that I believe produced tobacco products. You can see the clock just to the left of the big smoke stack which is now gone.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
I recently took a tour around an old industrial neighborhood of Amboise. While most of the businesses and factories have long since been closed, to my astonishment there is still one family business still making making walnut oil the old way... since 1834... with an old mill stone from 1783 (you can just barely see that date on the right side of the mill stone above) ! And below is a close up detail of an amazing old cast iron press that itself was made in Amboise to extract the oil.
A volunteer from a local association conducted the afternoon's tour of the neighborhood which also included a personally guided tour of the walnut oil mill by the current family manager. The wonderful smell of the freshly ground and roasted walnuts just poured out onto the street in front of this little factory. Here is a link to a longer description (in French) of this little business.
I'll be showing more photos from this fascinating afternoon. In fact, the old speed limit sign I posted on Saturday is on the grounds of a former factory nearby.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Eglise Notre-Dame-du-bout-des-ponts sits cuddled up next to the levee on the right bank of the Loire. Note the "11 D" marking on the opening... that indicates stairway number "11 droite" ("right" in French). The stairways allow you to walk down to the base of the levee on the river side. Here is the church from another angle.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
There is an old water wheel on the grounds of Clos Lucé that was left by a now defunct factory adjacent. The mechanics have been restored to now show how water power was harnessed for factory use. Today, one can find this display of pottery next to it.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Recently, carnival was celebrated in Amboise. This is where the school kids accompanied by adult bands and dancers parade through the streets. Confetti by the ton is thrown throughout the route. After it was mostly over, I came upon this good witch putting her broom to use not by flying on it but rather by sweeping up confetti. It was the perfect day for celebrating... it was a lot warmer than last year when the kids had to wear heavy coats under their costumes.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
This fellow sits atop the roof of a hotel in "downtown" Amboise. Hopefully he's not scaring off potential clients.
I read online that the site dates back to the 12th century as a priory. The exterior walls have just been cleaned up and it really looks fabulous in the bright sunshine. Here is a little wider view of his perch:
Friday, April 4, 2014
Here is another angle of the pagoda in Amboise... that's it at the end of the road. Even though the sun was out on this day in March, there was practically no green or any other color. So I went for the black and white treatment again. Don't worry, there are more colorful spring colors to come.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
This fish should have paid more attention to the sign.
Poisson d'Avril tout le monde ! Happy April first !
For an explanation of these expressions, you can look here. And for you non-Europeans, the sign is the international road sign for Danger! Since I am studying now to get my French driver's license, these triangular signs are seared into my consciousness. See how the other City Daily Photo bloggers interpreted the theme for this month here.
The fish in the photo is enormous, at least 4 feet / 1.2 meters in length. I believe it to be a type of catfish (probably a Wels catfish in English, Silure glane in French). A fisherman caught it on the island just in front of the town of Amboise.