France 2004 – Day 6-8 : A REAL Internet Cafe

By real I mean that it has a ‘standard’ keyboard and I can type quickly and spell correctly – trust me it makes my brain hurt to type on a European keyboard.

If you aren’t familiar the real differences are – you have to shift to get the numbers – lord knows where the @ symbol is. The ‘A’ ‘M’ and ‘Z’ keys are in the wrong place and that really hurts.

Anyways – I last wrote from Chartes and since there was still some light I drove south for a bit to a town called Sully-sur-Loire to photograph the Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire it was dusk and if all goes well I should have some interesting shots with the moon overhead.

I had dinner at this Italian restaurant that kept talking about an assortment of jams – which sounded good to me – even better when I found out that jam = ham.

Speaking of funny restaurant stories – earlier I was at a place where the waiter spoke English – I still tried and for my French fries I asked “How do you say Mayonnaise in French?” “Mayonnaise IS French” was his reply – whoda thunkit. Well one more word in my vocabulary.

I started to drive to Moulin since there were no rooms in Sully and in my very tired state forgot to check how much gas I had – I really was in the middle of the country and figuring it would be better to not be lost that to be stranded I pulled over and went to sleep in the car in what I later found out was Lassay-sur-Croishe – don’t look for it, its not on the map.

I woke up to a slight drizzle and thought of the Sting song – “woke up in my close again this morning – don’t know exactly where I am … Chateaus in the rain” OK OK the verse is really Shadows in the Rain but I thought it was better like this.

I did get to a gas station before I ran out but it only took plastic with a chip but we don’t have those – so this very nice man bought me gas and I gave him cash.

Next to the Chateau du Moulin where I was adopted by a group of French couples who just decided to go see the Castles and bought my ticket for me so I could get their group rate – it was very sweet.

Then I went to the Chateau de Fougeres-sur-Bievre but they were closed for lunch – I wonder what Castles eat?

Then to the Donjon in Montrichard – really sucky castle with an AMAZING museum attached.

Then to the Chateau de Montressor which had a Medieval Festival going on and I got to eat a little.

On the road from there I found this building marked La Corroierie du Liget which I later found out was a 15th century fortified house – good enough for my Castle list 🙂

Also I stopped at the remains of La Chartreuse du Liget which only cost 0.5e to get into but it cost me 1 cause the little girl didn’t give me any change.

At the very outskirts of the Loire is Logis which turned into a 3 for 1 – I saw the Chateau Logis Royal – the Donjon de Loches and the Port Royale de Loches – its a walled city (2km around) with only one entrance.

I drove further and saw – by chance- the Chaetau de Preuilly as I stopped to photographs some Lilly pads in the water.

Drove a bit further and saw the Chateay Baronnial de Angles-sur-l’Anglin which was on my list – I wasn’t able to go inside but I was able to climb around the rocky hillside that surrounds it.

I kept driving and drove though Chaunigny which -though I was tempted- I didn’t stop in – the Medieval Crepery that I twice ate at was still there but there was no parking so I kept driving – plus Id been noshing all day.

I found a self service hotel outside Niort – I love these things – I checked in and out and never saw a person just a machine. I managed to steal not a towel but a sheet from the hotel so I have something to wrap up in if I sleep in the car again.

It was drizzling this morning – its about noon now – and I photographed the Donjon in Niort – next to it was a little indoor food market – yummy.

I tried to go shopping but everything seems closed I think it might be some sort of holiday weekend cause the Banks were closed on Friday (they are always closed on Monday).

I drove up to La Rochelle (where I am now) and another 3fer-The Tour Saint Nicolas the Tour de la Chaine and the Tour de la Lanterne. Not easy to shoot in the rain and I figured I would duck in here and type for a few.

My next stop isn’t photographic – it’s to Rochfort 🙂 YUM

Then the long drive to Bordeaux. I’m pretty much headed south and my next big stop is the Pyrenees.

See what a difference a real keyboard makes.

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

France 2004 – Day 5-6 : An Internet Cafe

Well it is a Cafe that has 2 computers in the back that they rent out.

I get waves of happiness when I think I didn’t pack my keys, or leather jacket.

I could really use some Aloe Vera Gel for my sunburns.

I have 2 weeks to find lead film bags – this is going to be trouble. I hope I can find in Bordeaux.

OK enough whining.

I am in Chartres and the Stained glass is wonderful. I climbed top the top – over 300 steps OUCH.

When I last wrote I was in a hotel outside Angers heading east – which I guess is wrong since you are supposed to travel the Loire from east to west.

I went to the Chateau de Montgeoffroy which was just the Castle at the end of a dirt road.

I went to the Chateau de Saumur which has great Dungeons.

Then to the Chateau de Montsoreau – lovely but a real travesty of overdone multimedia – you couldn’t see the inside of the castle because of all the exhibits.

Next to the Abbaye Royal de Fontevraud – very nice – famous dead people.

Took some lovely photos of the Eglise Saint Michel there and learned all about Stencil Illumination.

Saw the fortified city and Chateau of Chinon

Finally got up close to the Chateau of Usse which I had seen years ago from a train and a bus.

Then to the amazing gardens of Villandry – very peaceful – I met some Americans there and funnily enough bumped into them here 200km later and they told me about this cafe.

I got lost and ended up at the Chateau de Bourdaisiere and almost got locked in – probably cause I snuck in – I made it out and then spent last night in Amboise.

Amboise int the home of the Chateau du Clos Luce where Leonardo da Vinci lived his last 3 years (he died here too) – there is a secret tunnel to the Chateau Royal d’Amboise where his Tomb is. You have to pay 11€ to see the house and there is some sort of park with is inventions – but interesting anyways.

Then off to Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire where I got lucky and found a hidden path that led around the Castle – i.e. I didn’t pay – I paid plenty at The Chateau de Chambord – not in admission – I was HUNGRY.

I stopped in Beaugendo which has some unusual stuff for the Loire – mostly 12 century it has a keep a tower and some other fun stuff.

Then I came here – I’m too close to Paris and so much driving to do and maybe some castles to see while it is still light.

Summary – 1826km – 34 castles – 5 churches – 1 other (Monet’s gardens)

More in a few days…

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

France 2004 – Day 2-5 : Finally an Update

Since I haven’t seen an Internet Cafe I treated myself to 2 hours of wireless on my handheld. I can read but not reply to my email but I was at least able to delete some crap.

Boy this has been a challenge.

Anybody know what size pants they wear in France? How about underwear? And they stole my suspenders!!! Which I can’t find at the store.

How about which shampoo to get? They had head and shoulders. Which deodorant? How can you tell which soap is for what?

I spent 4 hours and $200 and barely got anything and that was at the mall.

Well it is Thursday night and I am sure some of you are wondering, where I am and where I have been?

I am currently in a little hotel in Angers – it was 29e a night which isn’t bad my best so far has been 22e.

It is Thursday Night and since my last post I have been to:

-Chateau de Bernicourt

-Amiens Cathedral – WOW was this place big.

-Mairie Trie Chateau

-Old Walls Trie Chateau

Slept the Night in Gisors

-Chateau Gisors

-Ruin on the D14

-Chateau Gaillard

-Monet’s Gardens in Giverny which was AMAZING and I’m told it was rare that it was sunny,

-Chateau La Roche-Guyon

-Chateau de Bizy

-Ruins of Chateau Robert le Diable – Saw it on the highway and stopped to photograph it.

-Chateau de Guillaume le Conquerant – Turns out the first time I was in Caen I missed it all together there are really 2 castles here Ducal and this one.

-Chateau Ducal

I spent the next night in Aunay-Sur-Odon

-Chateau Fougeres

-Chateau du Trecesson

-Dolmen de la Maison-Trouvee

-Chateau du Crevy

-Chateau de Josselin (de rohan)

-Chateau de Chateaubriant

I had dinner in Chateaubriant where I met a guy who light castles for a living. He took my map and gave me some real hole in the wall places that he though I might like along the way.

Anyways the adventure continues – I will find out mid next week how bad I’ve blown my budget. I have as yet to find a film shields and earplanes and need both before I leave the country.

I should be back on in a couple of days!

Oh and I’ve gone about 1500km.

And some automatic car – if you want it to actually shift right you need to shift it yourself – the automatic mode doesn’t work very well its more of a clutchless stick.


[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

France 2004 – Day 1 : Oh and…

They took my tunes!!!

All I have is one sting mix I made.

Grr why did I even bother to pack???

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

France 2004 – Day 1 : They Took Everything

So I get back to my car and I’ve been robbed.

All that was left – 120 rolls of film – my cane – my umbrella – a hair tie – and the road atlas.

I spent the afternoon filing a police report.

The bad news is – no VR, no panoramas, no virtual world tests, no video.

But I have my film camera and film so the show goes on. They didn’t get my Nikon 880 but I will have to buy batteries for it since they stole the charger and the spares.

My friend Michelle lent me a charger for my handheld and as Wendy said the rest is just stuff. Now the here is hoping insurance company likes my list!

I need clothes and toiletries.

FYI I photographed 4 castles today
-Chateau Chantilly – nice but I got robbed
-Chateau Pontarne – I think it is privately owned
-Chateau Raray – A hotel
-Chateau d’Aramont – I don’t know what it was and it looked like it would fall down soon

I am in Valenciennes – without the video camera or the meter for the 3D camera shooting should go faster and I should shoot more spots.

I hate European keyboards.

Night all

Summary Day 1 – 4 Castles, 0 Possessions

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

France 2004 – Day 1 : Crazy Crazy Day!!!

Well I arrived in Paris. No lost luggage or anything.

I was clever and only got 20 dollars changed at the airport because the rates are bad – more on that in a second.

So I pick up the car – get it all set up an comfy and get on the road.

I see a sign for Chateau Chantilly and figure even though it wasn’t on my list – why not?

It was great – got some great shots and they have an amazing art collection.

The funny thing is I spent all my cash on admission to the castle and then the lady reminded me that banks are closed on Mondays – this is not good.

At the gift shop they sold 3D photos which I got and a book on Durher which is very nice – they have a huge private collection – I almost got to see but the lady had a tour.

So on a bit of whimsy I went walking through the gardens and actually got lost – the GPS was in the car but with that much cover it light not have helped anyways.

I got lucky when I spotted an employee leaving through a locked gate and snuck out with her into the parking lot.

What happens next gets its own entry.

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

France 2004 – Day 0 : Well I’m ready!!

I am fully packed – Finished with all my work – Ready to go!!!

And yes I saw on CNN that part of the Charles de Gaul Airport collapsed.

See you on the other side.

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

France 2004 – Day 0 : The Packing Continues

Well my clothes are in the washer, my electronics are all assembled (but not packed), and I am almost done with the last of the work paperwork. I had to replace my GPS unit today. I looked everywhere for it but it appears that I lost it. There is some irony in losing a GPS – like getting your padlock stolen. I am sure it is somewhere and am comforted by the thought that IT knows exactly where it is. The good news is that the prices have gone down and the quality up so that I am taking a better GPS with me to France. Here is hoping I come back with it.

Well off to do to my whites and bills.

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

France 2004 – Day 0 : Getting ready for the trip…

It’s Friday night. I’m finishing the planning for the trip. I have my maps. I have my CDs. I have my film and I have my schedule. I will attempt to post whenever I can. Don’t expect long entries just a quick where I am and where I am going.

Stay tuned.

Jared – sitting in my new (old) office in KSL – Cleveland, Ohio.

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]

Istanbul Day 6, 7, & 8 (Turkey Day 26, 27 & 28):

This is it folks – the last of the Turkey trip – written hastily on Sunday morning as we are heading to the airport!

Friday – Istanbul Day 6 – Turkey Day 26

On Friday we were going to do museums. On the way to our first one we saw some wonderful views of the Haghia Sophia. Our fist stop though was the Palace Mosaic Museum which was very nice – they just built a building around the mosaics they found.

We then went to the Archeological Museum – which really was worth it – we spent hours and hours there and it just went on and on. We have a great time exploring and reading though it would have been nice if all of it had air conditioning (it got stuffy at times). The Tiled Kiosk (also part of the Museum) was truly amazing and a real spot of color on a very monochromatic museum.

Yesterday we had passed another museum and we took a tram back out to see the Panorama 1452 museum. This museum is a giant dome that gives you an immersive experience when you stare out at this giant painting. It was clearly for children – who were having a great time. It did kind of grow on you after a while but it could just have been cognitive dissonance too.

Lastly we headed to Sirkeci Station which was the final destination for The Orient Express. Just some doors and some signs but it was very much (like the entire day was) – stepping back into history.

Istanbul Day 6 – Summary:
Palace Mosaic Museum
Archeological Museum
Panorama 1452 Museum
Sirkeci Station

Saturday – Istanbul Day 7 – Turkey Day 27

Saturday – our last full day in Istanbul and we have done everything on my list and then some! Today was pickup shopping day – we needed to get the last of our souvenirs. Since we did have some time to kill we took the trains out to Cevahir – the largest mall in Europe (and 6th largest mall in the world), It was fun to see the 6 stories of mall and marvel at the similarities and the differences.

We had lunch at the food course (which was awesome) and as we decided to go to a movie. We went to see Salt. Now yes I would be back in the US tomorrow but its always a fun experience. For instance – it was assigned seating! You picked where you would sit and an usher helped you in. The had cans of drinks in the theater. No butter on the popcorn. And half way through – an intermission – they just stopped the movie – the lights went up and an ad played for a few minutes. See you learn something – oh and the movie sucked – but we all knew that. I wasn’t about to go see inception and be distracted by the Turkish subtitles.

We then headed back to the Grand Bazaar to do some more shopping (outside it not inside it) and I took some photos of Istanbul University (which is very pretty) and even though it was mostly covered we walked to see the outside of the Suleymainye Mosque and the Tomb of the Sultan Suleyman I. We then went back shopping (all sorts of humor was had trying to find the price of fake perfume) and without rescuing a Turkish kitten headed back to the hotel.

We stopped for dinner VERY near the hotel and the lights went out everywhere – the blackout lasted for some time but the restaurant hand emergency power so we had a nice time waiting for it to restore.

Finally we came back to the hotel where we played music bags. Eventually we decided on having me take the souvenirs and Jenny take the dirty laundry – we will see if the balance of weight works (and if customs thinks I am crazy for having no clothes).

Right before we went to bed I went to the top of the hotel and got this amazing night shot of the Blue Mosque and the Haghia Sophia.

Istanbul Day 7 – Summary:
Cevahir Shopping Center
Istanbul University
Suleymainye Mosque
Tomb of the Sultan Suleyman I.

Sunday – Istanbul Day 8 – Turkey Day 28
Up and out! Jenny’s flight is at 9am mine is at 11:20am we will be home tonight around 11pm!

Thanks for watching everyone!
A month is a long time to be gone!

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]