Saturday, 23 July 2016

Friday, 22 July 2016

Maturing with age...

Just because something is old does not mean it has less life in it!
Enjoyed sharing this bottle from our cave with friends and neighbours last night.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Something for the weekend...brocantes


Brocantes / vide greniers Sunday 24th July

* Up to 50 stalls ** 50 to 100 stalls *** 100 to 200 stalls ****More than 200 stalls    ? Unknown

BUXEUIL  Brocante et vide-greniers***


ROUZIERS DE TOURAINE  Brocante vide-greniers*****

LA BUSSIERE  Vide-greniers ***

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Road trip part II... Pont-canal in Briare

As it was close to where we were staying and some of our party hadn't seen it, we decided to make a visit to the Pont-canal in Briare which,until 2003,* was the longest canal bridge in Europe at 662 metres.


Pauline and I, along with friends Mike and Liz, had visited it back in November 2013 (how time flies when you are having fun) and were lucky enough to have a fine day weatherwise. The only thing missing was the sight of a boat making the actual crossing.

I love the detail of the bridge...

Shades of Parisian bridge art.

There is a handy cafe/chocolatier at the entrance to the canal bridge which includes the 'Chimera and Chocolates' shop offering macaroons, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and other refreshments. It is open every day in July and August but closed Mondays the rest of the season, We would be poppimg in after our walk along the bridge.

We were passed by this boat as we made our way across.

The bridge takes boats over the river Loire on the 'Canal Lateral a La Loire' 

The Midway point offers great views of the Loire river.

Once on the other side you have to make your way down an embankment and under the canal and back up the other side

More barges on the other side of the canal bridge. 

After a group photo and head count it was back along the other footpath.

Another boat passed us on the way back.

Once on the other side I decided to have a closer look at the metalwork of the bridge.

Gustave Eiffel was involved in the bridge's construction but not as you might think in the metalwork but in the stonework of the supporting abutments and piers.

The sun came out for us on reaching the other side so it was time for another group phto.

* It is now the Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Road trip part I...'Guedelon' a castle in the making...

Friends Dennis and Angela were kind enough to invite Pauline and I plus four other friends along on their trip over to see the site of castle Guedelon in Burgundy, in the department of Yonne (3hrs north-east of Barrou). TThe castle is being constructed using traditional 13th century methods, this was of particular interest to Dennis,not because of his age but because he is an experienced builder and is in fact working on his own renovation project at the moment.

I have always been intrigued by how the great castles,churches and cathedrals of the past had been constructed. This was an ideal opportunity to get some of my questions answered.

Our English guide for the visit was excellent and was able to field almost any question with an authoritative answer. She made the tour both educational and fun and her presentation was enthusiastic even though she had obviously done it many times before.

The building site opened to the public 1n 1998 and the 'work in progress' is the attraction.

Our guide took us around the exterior of the castle before entering its main courtyard where the chapel and great hall and great tower were the main attraction as well as a walk along the battlements.Below are some of the details from inside the small chapel..

From the chapel you can make your way along a corridor into the great hall

Window seat at the end of the great hall.

There is a smaller anti-chamber off the great hall which would be easier to heat and thus more comfortable for visiting dignitaries.

It has been decorated using local materials.

This is the vaulted ceiling on the ground floor of the 'great tower' and in answer to one of my 'how did they do that?' questions you can view the supporting woodwork frame outside the castle.

Walking along the battlements you can see the 'progress' of the flanking tower and the 'hamster wheel' used to hoist the materials up to the builders.

The site apparently gets over 300,000 visitors a year and as I have become quite adept at getting people-less shots I thought I should include some populated views.

Our group heading for a refreshment.

Someone had to do it...and it fell to Dennis (sorry)

Here is a shot of the man Ihad to chase from the window seat!

and of course there were the 'medieval' people wandering about

Here is a completed view of the castle by Nicolas Gasseau. © Guédelon Photo Nicolas Gasseau but wth 300,000 visitors paying 15 euros a head don't expect to see it anytime soon!

You can see more here:

Official website here: