Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Leonardo ?

Awhile back my neighbor and friend in Amboise was talking about the statue of Leonardo da Vinci on the Ile d'Or (the island in the Loire across from downtown).  And I said, that's not Leonardo, it's some sort of a mythological god, maybe Neptune.  He insisted, but I just couldn't believe it (see photo)!  Well, after that, I discovered a little plaque next to this sculpture and it explains that it is "Leonardo in the guise of an ancient god" (translated from French).

Saturday, September 27, 2014

the utility box

It looks like it's been awhile since this utility box was painted so as to make it more attractive than just a dull steel box.  The PTT stands for Postes (as in Post Office), Télégraphes et Téléphones which was the name of the old French consolidated telecommunications utility.  However over time, technologies and organizations evolved, and the PTT no longer exists.  Today we have La Poste and France Télécom.

Friday, September 26, 2014

le donjon du château de Beaugency

As I have explained before, the word donjon in French means a defensive tower and not a dungeon despite how close the two words sound.  In this case, the donjon in Beaugency looks out (in this photo, somewhat literally) over the town as if to protect it. And it's been doing so since the 11th century.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

a wonderful door

This door to the courtyard at château Gaillard looks to me like a modern construction.  It is in absolutely flawless condition.  The carving on the bottom panel is beautifully done.  The iron work also looks new.  I cannot image what this little jewel would cost to have made.  Unfortunately, the photo does not really do it justice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

close to home

Here is another example of our temperate climate (even though we are at the same latitude as the northern-most tip of Maine).  We bought this lemon tree at our local gardening center which had it labelled as a Meyer Lemon.  We never expected to see one here.  The entire tree is around a yard / meter in height.  Anyway, it appears to be quite happy on our terrace with over a dozen little lemons on it as you see below.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

not so wild flowers

On an earlier bike ride from Orléans to Amboise, I passed by a number of stretches like these where the wild flowers had been spread in a rather dense manner.  I'm showing just a fraction of this huge field of colorful beauties.  I hope this will be a new trend.

Monday, September 22, 2014

the building entrance

I found the colors in this old building entrance in Tours to be interesting.  It reminds me of works by Mark Rothko (although this is "tad" more subdued...and has graffiti...but hey other than that).

Sunday, September 21, 2014

better days

This old tree has indeed seen better days.  But it's still hanging in there.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

the bike path

Here's another shot from the bike ride from Orléans in August.  Can't beat those clouds.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

a study in purple and green

I found this interesting plant by the side of a country road in early August.  Others that were nearby were fully opened up and the general structure resembled the queen Anne's lace I've seen so often.  These were quite a bit larger however.  I'll bet someone out there knows.

Monday, September 15, 2014

the organ grinder

This organ grinder was turning out some fine tunes this day on rue Nationale.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

a parting shot

This is probably the last shot of sunflowers for the season (but no promises if I need to dig deep to find a worthy photo for the day).  Of course it's not terribly obvious that the little band of gold here is a sunflower field.  But I thought it was an interesting contrast with the field of wildflowers in the foreground.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

la reine Claude

Claude de France was married to King Francis I (roi François premier) and thus was the queen (reine) of France.  This type of little sweet plums were "invented" at château Gaillard and named in honor of the queen.  They are still known today as reine-claudes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

the Indian

Here's another shot from the recent America Days event in Amboise.  While there were lots of Harleys to choose from, I decided to go with the other American classic motorcycle, the Indian, for today's post.

If you want to see a wonderful film featuring one of these machines as well as Anthony Hopkins, I recommend you watch the film The World's Fastest Indian (2005).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

emblems of royalty

At château Gaillard, you will find over a carved stone fireplace hearth these royal emblems of King Louis XII and his Queen Anne de Bretagne.  The king's is the porcupine and the queen's is the ermine. What do you think that said about their personalities !?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Place Plumereau

This beautiful plaza is in the heart of the "old quarter" of the city of Tours.  It's surrounded by little side streets that have even more restaurants.  We had a nice, long leisurely lunch here with a visiting friend.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Just when you think you've seen every angle on street performances...

...there's always another one.  And it seemed to be working as lots of tourists stopped to check out this "hat"!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Matford V8

Recently there was an event in Amboise called American Days.  It turns out it was mainly a show of American cars and motorcycles.  Most of the cars were from the 50s and 60s but this one from the 30s was the oldest and I think the most interesting.  It was assembled in France (in Alsace) by a German owned company Mathis and the Ford Motor Company.  Thus the name Matford.  The combined company went out of business during World War II.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

l'Hôtel de Ville à Tours

On a recent excursion to Tours with a visiting friend, I snapped the city hall under a glorious blue sky.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

low flying

It's not been a good year for the hot air balloon companies this year.  At least, not according to the number of them we've seen overhead.  But in recent weeks, they seem to be making up for lost time.  This one was flying very low right over our house and I "shot" it right from our terrace.  It was probably less than two hundred feet/meters overhead. The roar of the flame is quite impressive at that distance.

Friday, September 5, 2014

the caves

These caves on the grounds of château Gaillard have a rather spooky appearance.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

the fiddler

The other day, this fiddler was fiddlin' up a storm underneath the bell tower on rue Nationale.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Queen Anne's lace dethroned

This is how the magnificent wildflower looks after it has gone to see.  Beforehand this is how it looks opened up.

Monday, September 1, 2014

CDP theme day - "rust and ruin"

The first of every month is theme day for the City Daily Photo bloggers. In Amboise, this building is a little rusty and faded, but it's not really ruined as there is still a working carpenter's shop here.  In any case, I find it makes an interesting collage of muted color and texture. Click here to see how the other bloggers interpreted today's theme.