Travels in France Part Two

Simply too many local trips to get all in one post, so I will continue with a few visits to cousins, Paris with friends, Rouen where Joan d’Arc was burned,Giverney and more. One of the nice thing about living in France is that it is the most visited country in Europe. Which means that many of our friends and family have visited. Bottom line seems we always have something going. For instance, this month alone we will see three different sets of friends from the states.

I have 5 cousins living in France. It is completely my mistake, but we have not seen them for decades of travel to France until we moved here. So now to rediscover family is one of the rewards of moving here.

Cousins Therese in Pink, Jan, Cousin Andre ( brother to Therese) and Jacqueline wife of Andre in Andre’s home in Brunoy. ( Nice town just outside of Paris)
On a winter walk in Brunoy. Cannot believe how much Andre looks like his father Uncle Jean.
In the Park in Brunoy, loved this scene.

Our trips took us on day ventures, and overnight trips, all depending on where we wanted to go. One spot that is only an hour out of Bordeaux is the Ade La Sauvre-Majenure. This is a UNESCO Heritage site. At one time the most powerful abbey in France controlling over 70 different regions from England to Spain.

Main tower of the Abbey. Grounds were huge. We really enjoyed this visit. Several brass plates in the ground to describe the buildings. Plus books at many locations with lengthy pages of information.
Just a different View of the abbey
Just loved this wall. Obviously, the building have suffered since being built in the 12C. War, fire, etc.
From the grounds of the Abbey

Next trip was to Paris to visit with friends Dave and Dee. Jan and Dee taught school together in Carmel. Dave is one of the best golfers I know a true 1 handicap.

Breakfast snack on the canal St. Martin, Paris
Picasso Museum in the Marais District (4th ARR.) Paris
Enjoyed a concert in St. Chappelle
A little secret, go to the top of the Montparnasse Tower to see the city
Sacre Coeur Montmartre

From here we took the TGV to Normandy, and stayed in Rouen. This is the town where the English burned Joan d’Arc. So we have visited both towns were she was made famous. Poiters and Rouen. Perfer Rouen.

Rouen is a fairly large city in Normandy. Several very large churches plus the cathedral. Our hotel room overlooked it and the grounds, It is so large it was impossible to photograph all from the two windows.

Cathedral in Rouen from our room
Side garden to Cathedral. Building on left is Bishops castle, attached to the cathedral
Grande Clotche in Rouen
Modern church built on site where Joan d’Arc was burned by the English
Restaurant Row, we ate in a place that had been serving food for over 200 years, family owned. One word, Fantastic

The French do have a since of humor

Our stop on the way back to Paris and Dijon was Giverny. We stayed at a nice B&B in town, and this turned out to be a bit of luck. With the evening prior to our scheduled visit, ( Yes Scheduled, you have to have tickets in advance if you do not want to wait in line for hours) we explored this village. I saw a small road bordering the property belonging to Monet. So in the morning tickets in hand, we went down the road, found a side entrance and presented our tickets. WE were early but they allowed us to enter. We were blessed to wander around the Japanese water gardens for nearly 45 minutes prior to the official opening. So glad we did. Once it opened the tour boats, buses etc. all emptied our and it was impossible to walk let alone take a good photo. After that we went up to the main house and upper gardens, still crowded but not as bad. Really a wonderful experience.

Jan on the famous bridge
From a different angle, once the tourists arrived, it was always full of people.
This shot would have been impossible later in the day
Enjoying a coffee next to the gardens

Monet’s homeland upper gardens, really colorful

That night we stayed in the Hotel St. Cler, yes on the famous street. Nice views.

A peak at the Eiffel Tower.

One night in Paris and we were on our way to Dijon. My Cousin Jean Francois and his wife Nicole live there. Really some of the nicest people one could know. Always takes us on short trips around Bourgogne (Burgundy). They have a wonderful home just outside of the city. We really enjoy visiting them.

Cousin jean Francois in his home , fantastic wine cellar
JF’s wife Nicole rubbing the figure for luck in Dijon
Pharmacy in Dijon, here it is the White Cross
Oldest house in Dijon, does to 1483AD
Stairs between floors often outside
These colorful tiled roofs are common in Bourgogne
could not resist taking this photo
Modern art in Beaune
Exterior of the oldest hospital in France. Founded by the Duke for poor people. New version still functions today. Owns some of the best vineyards in the region, which funds the operation.
Health car nearly 250 years ago, free to the poor.
More roofs

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