Monday, September 30, 2013

the church

I snapped the St. Lawrence church on one of my bike rides through the nearby town of Montlouis-sur-Loire.  The oldest part of the church dates back to the twelfth century.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I don't know what the common name for pyracantha is in France so perhaps someone can help me out here.  Anyway, what was amazing was that this photo is a tiny slice of an entire "wall" of bright red berries that surrounded a field of sheep.  I tried to capture the entire panorama (and the sheep could not be seen, only heard) but it was just not possible to do it justice.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

the shadow

The shadow of one of the town's classic street lamps stopped me in my tracks on this bright sunny afternoon.  Does anyone else see something else ?

Friday, September 27, 2013

early morning on rue Nationale

Rue Nationale is the main pedestrian shopping street through Amboise.    The arch is under one of the icons of the town, the bell tower.  On this early morning there was a bright and cloudless sunrise that illuminated the end of the street that opens onto the main square.  A few hours later this area was wall-to-wall tourists and shoppers.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

September blue skies and open fields

Another snap from one of my favorite bike routes.  The wild flowers were having a field day.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

the fish parade

As part of the festival of the Loire (see yesterday's post), there is a "parade" of fish in which 100 professional artists create fantastic interpretations of the same basic fish form.  It's so amazing I couldn't resist posting another dozen images.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

la fête de la Loire

Every September in Orléans, there is a festival to celebrate the history, the commerce, the music, the arts, and the culture of the river Loire.  Highlighted are a wide variety of boats that are classic to this river as well as regional food and wine to taste.  The festival lasts five days and pretty much takes over all of the city close to the water.  It was a fantastic event this year.

Monday, September 23, 2013

fishin' on the Loire

It was one of those perfect days in Amboise, the first day of Fall.  I hope it is a predictor of what is to come.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

the floor of the cathedral at Orléans

Last week I revisited the cathedral at Orléans only to find that I had not really seen/apprciated the stone floor on previous visits.  To me it has a very modern look... or is it that the modern look is often just a simplified reflection of classic design?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

a tribute to windmills

At least that's what I call it as this structure probably doesn't collect a lot of wind power.  (But possibly some TV channels.)  Anyway, this is another open air art installation in the gardens at château Chaumont.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

the entrance at Chenonceau

Just at the entrance to the grounds at Chenonceau, visitors pass over a little bridge over the moat.  The shade is quite dark but punctuated with bright rays of sunlight, thus making for a nice reflection.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

les Prés du Goualoup

A recent addition to the gardens at château Chaumont are meadows (les prés) with somewhat large installations of contemporary art.  In this little pond, a circuitous pathway has been installed along with bamboo polls painted bright red to create an interesting study in line and color.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

the grapes

It won't be long before the Loire valley grapes will be harvested.  These guys look like they're ready.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

the butterfly

It's two-fer Tuesday.  Here in profile is a butterfly I encountered in the gardens at château Chaumont.  And below is the same guy from above.  What a disguise.

Monday, September 16, 2013

the feast

I mentioned in an earlier post that we had seven American friends visiting us in Amboise last week.  This group truly appreciates fine wine and fine dining.  One of our adventures was to go to a Michelin two star restaurant nearby.  You might wonder why an automobile tire manufacturer would be in the restaurant rating business.  Well, Michelin has been publishing travel guides for over a hundred years, offering motorists advice on tourist attractions, lodging, and food.  There are only 86 two star restaurants in all of France, and only 26 three star restaurants.  A chef's career can be made or destroyed by this system.  As you can see, the food is not only wonderfully imagined and prepared, but also displayed as a work of art.  Indeed, we had a fantastic three hour extravaganza.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

le reflet du château à Amboise

A view of the château from the Ile d'Or (island of gold).  It's interesting how the reflection on the Loire dramatically deepens the blue of the sky.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

veiled beauty

Another snap from my recent Sunday bike ride.  This is a typically shaped water tower in France but what I found interesting was the "veil".  It turns out the tower is being painted and I suppose this is to keep birds and bugs off while it dries.  Either that or this tower is soon to be wedded.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Up, up, and away - le décollage de la montgolfière

We have seven friends from the States visiting us this week and one brave soul decided to take a hot air balloon ride over the châteaux.  As a result, I got to see the launching up close.  Below is a series of shots showing the balloon and its basket being unloaded and then the balloon being inflated, first with two large fans and then with the burners.  It's a fascinating and exciting process.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

the gardens at Villandry

This shot from above was taken from the château.  Not a bad view to have of one's backyard.  It's somewhat the reverse of this view.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

the field of sunflowers

I just have to post one more sunflower shot for the season.  While there were fewer sunflower fields this year (as least in my opinion), this enormous field was nonetheless spectacular.  Please enlarge for the full effect (on a PC, click on the image then maximize your web browser window).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

le Cher à Chenonceau

This is a shot of the river Cher that flows underneath the château at Chenonceau. It was a very calm day on the river.

Monday, September 9, 2013

September vineyard

I had one of those glorious September Sunday afternoon bike rides today.  Sunny, warm, light winds, blue skies, white clouds, vineyards.  Heaven.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

sunrise over the château d'Amboise

Here's a break from all the sunset photos... this is a sunrise over the château at Amboise.

We are now back from a road trip to Paris and then to the Pays Basque so I will now try to start catching up on responding to comments from the last two weeks.  I had little access to the internet during this time so I am glad that allowed me to queue up posts in advance.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

the moat at Chenonceau

This moat routes the river Cher around château Cheonceau to enhance the castle's defenses.

Friday, September 6, 2013

brown-eyed Susans

In the States, we call these flowers brown-eyed Susans.  I don't know what they're called in France, but I do know that when the low rays of an August sunset hit them, their colors are even more intense than ever.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

the bread oven

The bread oven is just one part of the beautifully restored kitchen area of château Chenonceau.  I'll certainly be posting more of the kitchen in the future.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

crépuscule sur l'Ile d'Or - dusk on the Island of Gold

I recently learned that the Ile d'Or is the only island in the Loire that has has permanent buildings.  That island in this photo is just that little green strip between the blue waters of the Loire.  It was just dusk when I took this a few days ago and the street lights and bridge lights had just illuminated.  Anyway, I thought the golden glow of those lights did in fact capture the idea of the island of gold.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

the egret

Here's another shot I took from the bridge in Amboise looking down onto the Loire and this beautiful egret.  Note his cool yellow socks.  Later, he was hunting for lunch in the shallow waters:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

theme day for city daily photo bloggers - September's theme is "pink"

Those who visit ADP regularly will not be surprised that I chose this pink sunset for today's theme day.  Of course, I have lots of pink flowers to show as well, but I'll take any excuse to post another sunset.  Anyway, you may see the interpretation of the theme by other city daily photo bloggers from around the world here.