Saturday, 31 March 2012

A walk around...Chemille sur Indrois

 For our recent walk around Chemille sur Indrois we could not have picked a better day - spring sunshine at its best. We found the board easily enough but again were unsure where the start of the routes were. We picked the route that we thought started at the other side of the bridge on the Indrois.

We crossed over the 'purple'bridge.

Looked back at the village...

and on to the lavoir on the river.

Then beyond that towards the restaurant 'Le Moulin de Chaude'.

It was only after crossing the river that we picked up a route marker which took us up the hill in front of the restaurant  with great views down to the lake.

The higher we climbed the greater the views

Well most of them!!

Just after the 'block house' we lost the markers  but it didn't matter  as we were just happy to be out there.After checking with a friendly 'local' we got back on track and headed into the woodland.

Down past some impressive stables...

on to the 'Moulin de Pont'.

 Then back out into lovely open undulating countryside.

We eventually ended back on the other side of the lake...

 Which we walked around before we headed back into the village.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Bottle plants...

When we were walking in Martizay last week  we noticed this very meticulous bit of plastic bottle recycling - offering individual greenhouses to these early spring plantings.

On the same subject,  these items caught our eye as we were out walking around in the woods near Chemille sur Indrois (still to post).On closer inspection it was a forest of plastic bottles.

Like the others these were obviously put around the seedlings and left there as the trees have grown.
Someone really needs to remove them - which would be quite a job!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A walk with the Cardinal...

Yesterday we were invited over to Colin and Elizabeth's at Braye sous Faye. We joined them on a couple of their local walks, one around the park at Richelieu and one through the woodland around the village.

Here a few photographs of the park.

Ladies of Richelieu

The grand canal

Here are a couple of the woodland featured many times on We could see why.

Took this shot in their garden as we were leaving after very enjoyable visit - which only confirmed the idylic location in which they live.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A walk around...Martizay

To be honest our walk in Martizay last week can not really be described as around the village as, due to my "I know where I'm going" (man-thing) attitude to these trips. we ended up walking 45mins along the D78 and then back again!

Here's why...Lets start at the beginning, or not as the case may be!

The boards displaying these routes in my opinion should be at the beginning of the route with a big blue, green or yellow dot to let you know 'You are here'. One underfoot would be even better (love the footprints in Poitiers for example) blue walk starts here, yellow here etc.... Though coloured footprints all over our lovely villages is not a good idea. Just a bit of a clue.  
Now, the people who promote these walks have gone to a lot of trouble, even if there is a lack of consistency in how they are presented and duplication of effort (what ? "in France surely not" ,I hear you say) but a little updating is necessary I think. We consider ourselves as reasonably intelligent people (or is that pushing it?) but along with friends have lost the trail, or should that be plot?, on a number of occasions due to poor or non-existent signage.

 My interpretation of the plan took us out over the river Claise -looking resplendent in the spring sunshine.

I was looking for blue markers as we left the village behind us

But all we had was tarmac!
With some nice views either side.

After doing the march out and then back in again, having realised we were never going to find any markers, we assessed what had gone wrong, other than following my lead. 

We had failed to notice the sign hiding behind the hedge by the church 

Or the blocked lane where the walk should  have started.

It seems  we are not the only ones who have a slight difficulty with these 'marked' routes judging from Colin  & Elizabeth's blog of Sunday.

Monday, 26 March 2012

High security...

Spotted on our way to Descartes market yesterday in Abilly - no one is going to steal this mixer.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Church on Sunday...Montresor

This Sunday I'm taking you to Montresor and the L'église Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Dedicated to, no surprise here... John the Baptist.

This Collegiate church was founded in the 16th century and has been listed as a 'Historical Monument of France' since 1840.  It has, like many French monuments, been heavily restored to its now (over)pristine condition.The church has a single naive with two bays, the central stained glass window behind the alter was moved here from another part of the church during the restoration work.

 Construction was started by Imbert de Basternay to house his family funeral vault - ironically he died before its completion. The family tomb can be viewed inside the church.

No matter where you are in this beautiful village the church and its steeple are clearly visible.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

I think, therefore I blog...

On Thursday Pauline and I were invited to the 'La Maison Musee Rene Descartes', Rene Descartes' house in the town of the same name (it used to be La Haye) here in Touraine. The invitation, we understand, was sent out to all the'local' gite owners of which only a handful turned up, sadly. There were however plenty of helpful tourisme people there to guide/answer questions and they swelled the numbers up to around 20. We were given a tour of the famous philosopher's house which is less of a house and more of a collection of exhibition rooms. The man is famous for his thoughts and the words in which he expressed them. Our guide through the house explained that a previous criticism of the museum was, like a lot of others here in France, the lack of translations. French museums for the people of France is commendable but if they are to truly embrace their hugely important tourism industry they have to consider' the visitor' Here this has been addressed with leaflets in English with, I understand, more languages to follow. They have also been given 5 (yes only 5) audio guides in French/English.

I cannot show you any photographs of inside the museum as this was not allowed - for whatever reason - there were no ancient artefacts or delicate materials to be affected by a flash bulb - I actually wished there had been. I think the 'selling' of the great man is a difficult thing from a tourist point of view. I would personally have liked to have seen a little more of the conditions he grew up in - and out of - as it might prove inspirational to people who do not think there is a way out of mediocrity. Philosophy students and the 'thinkers' of the world will no doubt love this place but even with the English translations the enthusiastic staff have a real job on their hands to get people through the door. We wish them well!
You can read a good 'bio' of him here

 Here is an extract from the English version of their brochure:
'The articulation of the philosophers thought'

 "The route opens up to an area bathed in light. On a huge tray,a genuine puzzle,several apples present each concept of the Cartesian method.It enables the articulation of Cartesian thought to be explained in a way that it is accessible to all. Method,doubt,"I think, therefore I am", soul and body metaphysics  and physics and passions are all themes explained by means of simple,attractive representations intended to initiate visitors into the basis of this philosophy which is known world-wide."

Now if that doesn't make you want to visit...

As a group we were lead down the town's rose garden where one day a 'Descartes rose' which is currently being cultivated will be displayed.

Not at its best at this time of year

Here it is in summer.

One of the custodians of the gardens 'Bernard' answered questions and presented some facts (and figures) on here and the rest of the gardens. 

The work he and his fellow gardeners put into these gardens is there for all to see during the summer months.

Here is one of our favourite displays in the garden - it's the spilt wine barrel

We had a had a lovely morning with lovely people in a lovely town.

Coincidentally a cat had a view on the great man here yesterday.