29 June 2011
28 June 2011
27 June 2011
26 June 2011
Went to a vide grenier (flea market) for our Sunday out, also an opportunity to look for some bargain. This bar-globe-dome had to go so the seller put it down to 30euros from the original 50euros. This sells 200euros brand new.
Arpajon, Ile de France
25 June 2011
Driving from the south of France up to the North, we noticed the prevalence of foreign holidaymakers. This German campervan seems to have all sorts of holiday gadgets you could imagine!
French autoroute (motorway)
24 June 2011
We don’t normally eat in motorway restaurants when travelling, (1) because food is usually tasteless and (2) it costs a fortune, however, the weather could be a strong factor why we could not picnic out. Today, the wind was blowing something like 100kmh, impossible to boil coffee in the open air, so we don’t have any choice but to buy breakfast. These 2 cups of coffee and two croissants cost 8 euros! A big rip off!
French autoroute (motorway)
23 June 2011
After the choral concert, we drove straight to the next village for another sort of musical evening, performed by an ultra passionate italian singers and musicians which led the audience dancing.
Monastery de Saorge, South of France
21 June 2011
It’s the 21st of June, the first day of Summer, and in France it is celebrated nationwide with the annual Fete de la Musique where concerts are held in every village, town and city; on the square, in the church, on special venues, and they are mostly free for everyone, from 1 to 100. It’s great because it gives a chance to the aging locals who cannot walk or travel long distances to take the few steps to the church, etc. This one is a choral concert held in our local eglise, the 17th century Notre Dame de la Visitacion.
South of France
20 June 2011
19 June 2011
18 June 2011
We were in Vienne today and seeing this staggering gothic cathedral reminded me of Cologne Dom in Germany. This Cathedral of Saint Maurice was built over a long period, from 1052 and 1533, and houses some relics of the Saint bearing its name.
Vienne, Isere, France
Started our drive down to the South of France today, Friday afternoon, which is quite an unpleasant time as it is when most Parisians hit the road for their weekend retreat. Tsk tsk..it took us around two hours before we finally reached the autoroute. Never again on a Friday rush hour!
16 June 2011
15 June 2011
Everytime we drive to and from home, we see this colourful garden set amongst wheat and corn fields and I always wanted to photograph it but very difficult from a speeding car. Hence, today, while doing our afternoon walk, I made sure we go to the same spot so I coulld admire and photograp it up close. I wonder, the owner is probably selling the flowers to garden centers….
Essone, Ile de France
14 June 2011
The captive balloon in Evry Shopping Mall carpark.
We went to Evry today today for some errand. Evry is the capital of the Essone where we live and it is where the Prefecture and all other bureaucratic agencies of the region is situated. Of course, being in a bureaucratic country, we were not able to get what we wanted and we were prepared for it, but at least we came to discover the vastness of the town including its shopping centre where the big names such as Galeries Lafayette, Carrefour, Fnac, H&M, etc are represented which is great as we don’t really need to go to Paris for shopping Christmas presents and the like. One strange thing caught my attention. I thought it is an elevated water tank also used for advertising. Checking the net later, I learned that it is the symbol of Evry Shopping Center – this captive balloon.
The structure is an architectural combination of the Eiffel Tower and the balloon at Parc Andre Citroen. It is an entertainment attraction where it can carry up to 12 passengers at a time, rising up to 60 meters in height where a spectacular 360degree panorama of Ile de France can be seen including, on clear days, the Eiffel Tower and the Tour Montparnasse.
13 June 2011
The end of an era
Everytime we take our walks to the lakeside, this magnificent property consisting of several outbuildings (including an animal shed) always gave us a feeling of walking in history. It is amazing how they build houses in those days: not only strong but also aesthetically wholesome complete with flowing gardens and grilled entrances of the art deco style.
Alas! when we passed by it today, we saw this notice, “Permis de Lotir”, declaring that 26 units of housing will be constructed on this land. Our hearts almost cried out..does it mean they are going to demolish this old manor? We have seen a lot of these things happening all over France. How could they destroy a part of history? Surely, the authorities could preserve the structure and transform it into a community center or art and cultural venue.
12 June 2011
It’s our wedding anniversary today…and what a better surprise awaits a rosaphile like me than receiving a bouquet of roses!
Spent our special day exploring a new town, Etampes, in the Essone. This giant tromphe l’oeil welcomes everyone entering the town. It represents the glorious architectural past of Etampes.
11 June 2011
The Gothic door of the 10th century church of Saint Arnoult en Yvelines (78).
09 June 2011
08 June 2011
07 June 2011
It’s the season of roses and what a delight to see these beautiful blooms accessorize my home – for free as I just have to pluck them from my garden and from my absentee neighbour’s overgrown garden….
Essone, Ile de France
06 June 2011
05 June 2011
What happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday afternoon (when everything is closed) in a remote village where there is no mobile phone signal and pay phone cabin not working? Answer: Leave the car and get a hitch to home. The towing truck could always show up the next day….
Villeconin, Essone, Ile de France
04 June 2011
It’s the Fete Medieval in the town of Dourdan and we had the chance to explore the courtyard of its 13th century Chateau which is the scene of the festival. It is not usually open to the public but today, they are holding an open house. I saw this exquisite sculpture
Dourdan, Ile de France
03 June 2011
I was exploring the gardens of Maison du Balzac in the 16th Arrondisement when I saw these shaded spot. The colours of the chairs, the red and green leaves plus the shadows got my photographic juices flowing…
02 June 2011
01 June 2011