Tuesday, March 31, 2015

l'école élémentaire Rabelais

This amazing elementary school is just a block away from our home.  I wish I could say my old elementary school had this much architectural interest (I guess if it had, it might not have been torn down).

Monday, March 30, 2015

the blue door

What I like about this door is all of the textures.  There's the blue-painted wood of course, but there are also the old wood beam lintel, the window glass and curtains, a ceramic street number, plus stone blocks and the stone pavers.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

a grey sunset

This sunset for Saturday seems appropriate given all the grey weather we have had recently.

Friday, March 27, 2015

le manège des contes

Here is a mystery to be solved, I hope, by one of my local readers.  This charming sign could be translated literally as the merry-go-round of tales.  It is attached to a building in which the current business occupant would appear to have nothing to do with this sign.  So I am guessing it was left behind by the previous owner.  Since the background looks like a book, maybe it was a book store for kids?  In any case, I'm glad it's still there.

Voici un mystère à résoudre, j'espère, par un de mes lecteurs locaux. Ce signe de charme pourrait être traduit littéralement à l'anglais comme the merry-go-round of tales. Il est attaché à un bâtiment dans lequel l'occupant d'affaires actuel semble ne avoir rien à voir avec ce signe. Donc je devine qu'il a été laissé par le propriétaire précédent. Parce que l'arrière-plan ressemble à un livre, peut-être ce était un magasin de livre pour enfants? En tout cas, je suis content qu'il est toujours là.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

abstract for Clyfford

This "canvas" is actually stone wall near my house.  The rectangles are sunlight reflected off the windows of the house across from the wall.  I'd like to think Clyfford Still would approve of it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

le marchand bestiaux - the cattle merchant

The building doesn't look to me as though it is still a commercial enterprise, but I'm guessing the current owner appreciates this old merchant sign as much as I do and kept it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

le technician

Recently the streetlight attached to the side of our house went out.  After only a couple of days, the technicians were dispatched and quickly repaired the light as well as giving it a good cleaning.  We are very grateful to these guys and the town for their efficiency.  And especially to this nice fellow who allowed me to take his portrait.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

shocking !

After a few nice warm days, it was a shock when the temperatures turned cold again.  But they'll be back.

These grasses and flowers were found on top of the levee near our house on one of those beautiful days.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

la 2CV

The Citroën 2CV is a classic in France.  Although they haven't been manufactured for 25 years, you will still find examples like this one that looks like it just rolled off the production line.  Just look at this lineup and further explanation from an earlier post.

Alas, the 2CVs as well as all the other cars on the road are now a little less safe... that's because I just learned I passed my driving exam and I can now drive with a French license!  Hmmm. Now what car to get?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

flowering moss

I captured this moss flowering on top of a nearby stone wall awhile back.  The bright sun resulted in a nice golden glow.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

to the market in winter

In a few months this should be a totally different scene (which is on top of the levee; the Loire is behind).  By then this arbor should be totally covered in roses.

Monday, March 16, 2015

quilting in brick

I found this unusual brick facade on a home in Tours.  I wish I could have gotten past the gate to get a better shot from inside the walls around this amazing place.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

the south wall

Long before the château was built, the Romans selected this site for one of their protected settlements (oppidum).  Sitting on high, it was a highly defensible location and continued to be so for centuries after the Romans left.  Local wealthy families eventually built a château and embellished the grounds, around which the town of Amboise evolved.  By the fifteenth century the site came into the possession of the king. The tower on the left is tour Hertault which I featured in a post last week.  The challenge of this photo was to sew together five individual (portrait) shots into one big landscape.

Friday, March 13, 2015

blue sky and classic house

I snapped this beautiful home one sunny February morning on my way to the train station.  This style of architecture can be seen throughout the area.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

fog over Place Debré

Well we're experience a bit of a warming spell and I'm starting to sense that spring is coming.  But here is one more morning fog photo that I just had to post before then.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

the Amboise staircase

I have seen this classic stairwell design in a several homes in Amboise.  The top handrail is carved to be in uninterrupted continuous flow up the steps.  You can see the same in this staircase in the château in Tours.  The steps and landings are all solid wood although I don't know of what type.  In any case, I like this one so much because it's the one in our house.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

à la gare d'Amboise

Intense blue skies reigned over the train station on this day in February.  Now that's the kind of reign we like in winter.

Monday, March 9, 2015

cold nights

This frosty spider web illustrates the cold nights I mentioned yesterday.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

la tour Heurtault

While still cold at night (around freezing temperatures), we've had some nice sunny days recently in Amboise.  So on one such day, I captured the Heurtault tower which is one of two such towers at the château.  What makes these towers so interesting is that each contains a wide spiral ramp.  The ramp allows horse-drawn carriages to ascend from the river-level streets up to the main château level.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

frosty morning

We've had some frosty mornings lately but it doesn't seem to bother the flowers in the town's flower beds.  Bon weekend !

Thursday, March 5, 2015

you think full moons grow on trees?

I waited and waited for last night's sunset which was not so spectacular, and then I turned around.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

la Salle des Etats - the State Room

There is so much history around la Salle des Etats (also known as la Salle du Conseil) that I cannot possibly retell it all here.  But in this beautiful room is where the kings of the 15th and 16th century conducted the important business of state.  The one detail I will point out is the motif on the column in the foreground that represents Queen Anne de Bretagne (married to King Charles VIII).

Now about the photo: if you're thinking that it looks a little strange (for example the central columns in the background getting wider and wider), it's because this is actually two photos taken from different spots and sewn together as one.

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's no snow machine

That is clear because there is still no snow in Amboise this year and it looks like it's going to stay that way.  But the consolation prize is the little ice rink that has been installed next to the levee.  And this photo shows part of the refrigeration system that keeps that ice cold and solid.  The kids are on winter holiday now and they're loving it.  (Me too.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

City Daily Photo Theme day - "Ageing"

The first day of every month is theme day for the photo bloggers of City Daily Photo.  Today's theme is "ageing" and you can see how it has been represented by bloggers from around the world here.

This is my first day back on the job after taking "vacation" the month of February.  Since this is France, I guess I'm still due another two weeks!  Anyway, in my photo taken at a vineyard in nearby Vouvray, we have not only the ageing wine but the ageing barrels as well.  And like us, it's all getting better with age.