France 2004 – Day 20 : The Airport and The Final Tally

I got up on Sat to head to the Airport and on the way I actually got pulled over. The cops were very angry with me for something (probably not seeing them) but I talked them out of the ticket because I was on my way to the Airport.

I got through most of the Airport without incident until I came to the x-ray machine. Since all of my belongings were stolen and I since wasn’t going to be on video after all I had not shaved in 3 weeks and I was looking pretty scruffy. I let them x-ray my film (in the lead lined bags I finally found) and the man at the x-ray monitor looked at the bag then at me and said something in French.

I shrugged that I didn’t understand
and he said “I Liked Lord of the Rings”.
I said “So did I”
And he said “Are you Peter Jackson?”
I told him “No”
He says “Are you sure?”
“Yes” I said “I’m wearing shoes”

I arrived home without any troubles and the final tallies are as follows:

95 Castles
20 Religious Spots
19 Other Places of Interest

In the end I drove 6554 km which is 4008 miles

1-m Paris
1 Chateau Chantily
2 Chateau Pontarme
3 Chateau Raray
4 Chateau d’Aramont
2-t Michel
5 Chateau de Bernicourt
6 Amiens Cathedral
7 Mairie Trie Chateau
8 Old Walls Trie Chateau

3-w Gisors
9 Chateau Gisors
10 Ruin on D14
11 Chateau Gaillard
12 Monet’s Gardens
13 Chateau La Roche-Guyon
14 Chateau de Bizy
15 Ruins of Chateau Robert le Diable
16 Chateau de Guillaume le Conquerant
17 Chateau Ducal

4-r Aunay-Sur-Odon
18 Chateau Fougeres
19 Chateau du Trecesson
20 Dolmen de la Maison-Trouvee
21 Chateau du Crevy
22 Chateau de Josselin (de rohan)
23 Chateau de Chateaubriant

5-f Angers
24 Chateau de Montgeoffroy
25 Chateau de Saumur
26 Chateau de Montsoreau
27 Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud
28 Eglise Saint-Michel
29 Chateau de Chinon
30 Chateau Usse
31 Chateau de Villandry
32 Chateau de la Bourdaisiere

6-s Amboise
33 Chateau du Clos Luce
34 Chateau Royal d’Amboise
35 Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire
36 Chateau de Chambord
37 Cesar Tower in Beaugenco
38 Chateau Dunois
39 Tower of St-Firmin
40 Chartres Cathedral
41 Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire

7-su Lassay-sur-Croishe
42 Chateau du Moulin
43 Chateau de Fougeres-sur-Bievre
44 Montrichard Donjon
45 Chateau de Montresor
46 La Corroierie du Liget
47 La Chartreuse du Liget
48 Chateau Logis Royale de Locheg
49 Donjon de Loches
50 Port Royale de Loches
51 Chateau de Preuilly-sur-Claise
52 Chateau Baronnial de Angles-sur-l’Anglin

8-m Niort
53 Donjon de Niort
54 Tour Saint-Nicolas
55 Tour de la Chaine
56 Tour de la Lanterne
57 Porte de Blaye de Bourg-sur-Gironde
58 Chateau du Bouilh
59 The Chair
60 Bridge in Orthez
61 Chateau Moncade
62 The Pyrenees

9-t Sauveterre de Bearn
63 Chateau de Nays
64 Ramparts of Navarrenx
65 La Bastion Des Contre-Mines
66 Chateau de Pau
67 Pyrenees from car
68 Chateau de Foix
69 Ruin on Leychert – Chateau de Roquefixade?

10-w Lavelanet
70 Chateau de Montsegur
71 Fontaine de Fontestorbes
72 Chateau de Puivert
73 Gorges de Galamus
74 Chateau de Peyrepertuse a Duilhac
75 Chateau de Queribus a Cucugnan
76 Fortresse de Salses de Chateau
77 Chateau de Fitou

11-r Outside Beziers
78 Maison Carree
79 Les Arnes de Nimes
80 Fort de Iles du Frioul
81 Chateau d’If

12-f Carpentras
82 La Synagogue de Carpentras
83 La Porte d’Orange
84 Le Pont Saint-Benezet
85 Le Palais des Papes
86 Stone Quarry at Glanum
87 Le Mausolee de Glanum
88 L’Arc Municipal de Glanum
89 Chateau des Baux
90 Les Arnes de Arles
91 Roman Theatre in Arles

13-s Uzes
92 Pont du Gard
93 Caves of Roquefort
94 Bridge
95 Chateau de Severac-le-Chateau
96 Chateau de Calmont d’Olt

14-su Limogne-en-Querco
97 Pont Valentre
98 Ramparts du Chateau de Roc-Amadour
99 Notre Dame de Rocamadour
100 Gouffre de Padirac
101 Chateau de Castlenau-Bretenoux
102 Tour de Cesar de Turenne
103 Tour d’horlorge de Turenne
104 Chateau de Val

15-m Orcines
105 Puy de Dome
106 Ruins of the Temple of Mercury
107 Chateau de Volvic
108 Chateau in Vienne
109 Temple d’Auguste et de Livie
110 Theatre Romain de Vienne
111 Centre Ancien de Romain
112 Grand Theatre Romaine de Lyon
113 Odeon Theatre Romain de Lyon

16-t Outside Macon
114 Theatre Romain de Autun
115 Porte d’Arroux
116 Temple de Janus
117 Porte Saint-Andre
118 Les Telots
119 Chateau de Couches

17-w Ribeauville
120 Ruini of the 3 Chateau
121 Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg
122 Chateau de Montmedy
123 Chateau-Fort de Sedan

18-r Riems
124 Notre Dame de Reims
125 Porte Mars
126 Institut de France
127 Hotel National des Invalides
128 Napoleon’s Tomb
129 Eglise du Dome

19-f Paris
130 Sacre Cour
131 Arc de Triomphe de Carrousec
132 Saint Michel Fountain

20-s Paris
133 CDG Airport

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

France 2004 – Day 18-19 : The Last Few Days

It is amazing how much faster the trip went without all the equipment. I did get to see Notre Dame de Reims and the ruined Porte Mars. It was a challenge almost in the middle of a busy intersection on a median strip.

I drove into Paris and found a public parking place near Notre Dame. From previous trips I knew that this was generally the area I wanted to stay in.

I went from hotel to hotel trying to find something reasonable and did manage to find a nice and AIR CONDITIONED room for about 90e a night.

I have been to Paris previously and there are not many things that I had on my list to photography. However, I went on my way to the Hotel National des Invalides I passed the very lovely Institut de France.

The golden Eglise du Dome and Napoleon’s Tombs are really quite amazing to see. And my far are views of them on previous trips really didn’t do them justice.

I got lucky in front of the Hotel de Ville as it flash rained and people scattered from view. For about 1 minute there was no one to be seen and I was able to take a great picture of it.

I had a great night’s sleep (thank you air conditioning) and the next day I went to Sacre Cour (which I had seen before) but decided to climb it (which I had not done before).

Later in the day as I was walking by the Seine I saw a girl crying. When I talked to her she told me it was her last day in Paris from her year abroad and was heading back to Ohio. When I mentioned how I was only gone 3 weeks and missed the states and being able to go the movies she laughed and explained how I could go to see Harry Potter in VO (Version Original) i.e. English verses VF (Version Francia) and I thanked her and ran off to the movies.

I also stopped by the Louvre gift shop and saw the Arc de Triomphe de Carrousel (I wasn’t happy with my previous photo of it) and on the way back to my hotel the Fountain in Saint Michel.

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

France 2004 – Day 16-17 : Damn

I had this whole thing typed and my time ran out – it’s the damn euro keyboard.

Anyways – when I left the last Internet Cafe to get my film they where closed for lunch – so I stopped at the crepery next store and got a lovely crepe – creme de marron and chantilly – sweet chestnut paste and whipped cream – anyways – the lady doesn’t speak English and asks where I am from – she then pulls out a map an English tour guide booklet and shows me all the sights in town – the roman theatre – The Port d’Arroux, The ruins of the temple of Janus, The Porte Saint Andre and these twin hills Les Telots – by the time I was done visiting everything my film was ready.

This was the roll of 1600 speed film I shot in the underground gorge and river and several of my 4 second exposures did come out – like 3 – so that was good news.

On the way north I saw the Chateau de Couches and after a hearty dinner and q very long drive I slept in the car in Ribeuville – in the town square with all the Caravans – don’t worry it’s the last night I sleep in the car.

Ribeauville is in France but I think it used to be Germany and it certainly felt like that part of Epcot. On the hill by the city is 3 ruined castles and while I got lost in the forest on a dirt road for several hours – I never got very close.

My next stop was the Chateau de Haut Koenigsbourg – rebuild by Willhelm II which was funny because in the pamphlet next to it they put “The Kaiser”. It was very nice and very rebuilt worth the long drive.

The next long drive was to Sedan and along the way I saw the Chateau de Montmedy.

The Chateau-Fort de Sedan is the largest fortified castles in all of Europe – so it boasts – The inner courtyard was a construction site – I snuck in – and the outside was nice – it rained for 5 minutes and I headed off to Reins.

I found a hotel with a huge deep bathtub for 30e and I’m thrilled.

So here is the thing. Tomorrow morning I see the Cathedral and the roman ruins. That is my entire list.

SO far 6268km – 94 Castles – 16 church like things – 15 interesting things

So…. I’m going to sneak into Paris tomorrow find myself a cheap room for 2 nights and relax – I am on vacation y’know??

I so need to watch TV other than the BBC and listen to people talk English other than the BBC – I want to see Harry Potter!!!

OK I’m done – I might write from Paris…

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

France 2004 – Day 15-16 : Last for a bit….

I got up and went to the Volcano Puy de Dome which has a steep but well paved road to the top. What was insane where the SWARMS of bugs that impaled the car all the way up and persisted to impale everyone as we walked around – it was alike a wall of insects. I survived and saw all the volcanoes in the region as well as the Ruins of the Roman Temple of Mercury.

On the road in Volvic I saw a Chateau which I am calling the Chateau de Volvic until I learn otherwise.

Vienne was a great town – a Chateau on the way In I am told my have been the Archbishops Chateau but I will learn more when I get home. The Temple d’August et de Livie was very amazing – these 2000 year old building that just stand there are kind of neat.

They also had a Theatre Romaine and I walked around there at my leisure. They also had a Centre Ancien a sort of park and gateway in the middle of the city.

After Vienne I went to Lyon and finally found what I was looking for – a parking space. That and the 2 Roman Theatres the small Odean and the large Grand Theatre. Starting the next day they would have events but for now it was open to the public – but not for close inspection because they were ‘setting up’.

Well their security isn’t very good because I managed to photograph the smaller one from above and I walked around the large one and even got on the stage.

Slept in the car at a rest stop in Macon and then visited another very ruined but lovely Roman Theatre in Autun where I am right now waiting for my film.

I then drive to Strasbourg and the French Alps.

See ya soon.

Total so far 5414km- 85 castles – 15 temples/religious things – 15 places of interests.

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

France 2004 – Day 11-14 : More…

After my night in the car I went and saw the Maison Carree in Nimes – truly amazing the building is over 2000 years old and has been in continuous use – THE ENTIRE TIME.

Talk about an ROI.

Nimes was a great town. I saw the Roman Arena – Les Arnes in French I also was able to get to a Bank, a Post Office and get lead lined film bags!! My film is safe.

I took a deviation from my plan my skipping Arles (for now) and going to Marseilles which was gorgeous the water of the Mediterranean is SOOO blue. I took a boat trip to the Fort de Iles du Frioul which was really just an excuse to photograph the Chateau d’If which we were not able to stop at due to the rough weather. This was a rough boat trip and we all got wet. Yes this is where the Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned and they have a special cell I am told inside which is funny since it is s a work of fiction.

I headed north and spent the night in Carpentras – the next day I went to find the 14th century Synagogue there. Not easy since there was a huge open air market. I had a great talk with an Olive vendor who insisted that I not buy Greek olives but the olive de Provence that he made himself. They were good – I told him I wanted something salty and he gave me some garlic olives. I also met a meat vendor selling dry sausages – huge dry beef sticks- he insisted that try every type he had – I even tasted the Donkey one. he wanted 3.5 for 1, 7.50 for 3 or 15.50 for 7 – well I bought 7 (he gave me 8) and I figured I would eat one and send the rest home – till the guy reminded me as I was in line at the post office you can’t mail meat through customs – oops 🙂 well they have provided quite the feast here 🙂 and I am on my last one.

The Synagogue was amazing – they buzzed me in at this fairly plain wood door – this lady handed me a yarmulke and let me walk around – I was the only one there – it was lovely.

On the way out of town I saw La Port D’Orange the old city gates. I love the old city gates.

I headed sounds to Avignon and saw the famous half bridge La Pont Saint Benezet and also Le Palais des Papes – It was a really nice they give everyone these audio guide things and it really helps – people were spending hours pressing buttons and viewing things and I even found myself listening to more of it than expected – its a great place and it was really well put together – they even managed to keep me on the bridge longer than expected with its history and legends and such.

I stopped at Glanum and was going to see the Roman ruins but it was a 45 min to take a 45 min tour in French – instead O saw the Stone Quarry, La Mausolee, and L’Arc Municipal and left.

The Chateau des Baux turned out to be almost nothing – but the multimedia tour and the extreme wind turned it into a long stop – plus they have a great village there where I was able to pick up a fleece cardigan and a knife, spoon, fork thing like the one I had stolen.

I did finally stop in Arles where I saw the Roman Theatre and les Arnes (the big Arena) I was invited to share Spanish Topas with an Australian Couple I met and had a really nice time – then I went off to see the Pont du Gard – which needs to be open to see and visit so I stayed the night in Uzes.

The Pont du Gard is a funny place – they try to sell you this whole ticket package for movies and activities and everything but if you just want to see this amazing architectural wonder – it’s free.

Afterwards I went to the real Roquefort expecting to just buy some cheese and leave but no… it’s a whole experience. You see in the 1800s all of the cheese manufacturers merged into one and there is only 1 Roquefort (with 3 varieties) and they have a whole tour of the caves. Well clearly these people have too much money because they have animated models, and a movie (in multiple languages via headsets) and a slide show and light and sounds and caves filled with cheeses and in the end a gift shop where you buy…cheese.

Well the funny part of this is the English couple in front of me – the guy sound just like Wallace from Wallace and Gromit and kept talking about Stilton and Wensdlydale. Then when I saw he had the English guide he said – well I don’t speak Frog now do I? OY – well during the huge light show that showed how the caves were formed this voice cried out – ‘and the lord said – let there be cheese’ it was my voice and only the English heard me and they laugh and told me that Stilton was the true king of cheeses. A very fun time. He told me about an underground river cruise that I should try and go on.

I did shoot the mountains that form the caves and they are lovely.

As I drove to my next location I saw this enormous bridge that look a mile or so long that bridge a mountain – its the new highway that isn’t opened yet but it was intense looking.

I saw the Chateau de Severac-le-Chateau and the Chateau de Calmont d’Olt which was closed and not in the city I though it was in. They actually fire their catapults and such and daily demonstrations. But alas another trip… I slept the night in Limogne-en-Querco.

I saw the lovely Pont Valentre the bridge that they say is the most photographed thing in France – which is crazy since I have been to the Eiffel tower. It was nice though.

I have to thank my friend Tom for telling me to see Rocamadour – it was this great mountain village with Ramparts and a Nortre Dame Cathedral. It also had an elevator going through the mountain (one up down and one diagonally) so I didn’t have to walk too much.

The underground river and gorge the Gouffre de Padirac was breathtaking. Gets a little scary to take 3 elevators down into a little boat and then walk around this underground gorge and river. I used my 1600 speed film (though no photography was allowed) and I am developing it as I write this.

The Chateau de Castenau-Bretenoux was nice from the outside so I had lunch there and went on to Turenne where I saw the Tour de Cesar a very nice tower that they let me climb to the top of and the Tour d’Holorge which I do believe is currently being lived in.

My Last stop for the day was the Chateadu de Val which was closed. As luck would have it a guy drove up to the gate – opened it – pulled his car through and then came back about 5 minutes later to lock up. You can imagine what I was going during those 5 minutes.

I then spent the night in Ochines.

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

France 2004 – Day 8-10 : A week without the Internet – OY

Well this will be long 🙂 I have been without the Internet for 1 week and it has been driving me Crazy.

When last I wrote I was in La Rochelle heading next to eat cheese to Rochefort. This would have been true had I 1) Spelled it correctly and 2) Had the correct one. More on that later.

I went south from La Rochelle to see a Chateau that didn’t exist instead there was a park commemorating where the castle was and where the put a nice little very non castle building. I did however see the very old Porte dr Blave de Bourge-sur-Gironge.

I did get to see the Chateau du Boulin and then in the middle of a rotary (traffic circle to the Americans) there was a giant wood Chair. HUGE.

I then photographed the bridge in Orthez and the Chateau Moncade on my way into the Pyrenees – and yes I survived driving the Pyrenees in a Twingo – it’s a type of car – look it up.

At the start of the Pyrenees I stayed in Suveterre de Bearn (in the car) where I saw the Chateau de Nays. I saw a really neat town called Navarrenx that had some great Ramparts and La Bastion des Contre-Mines that were very fun to explore.

I then went to Pau which was a crazy city and saw the Chateau de Pau from MANY angles but it was an Australian who gave me a great spot to shoot from.

The Pyrenees are big and the driving was very rough – up in the mountains I saw the Chateau de Foix and I should have stayed in that tourist town for the night but it was early and I went on.

I saw a sign for a hotel and went up this VERY steep mountain side on a road smaller than the car – when I got to the top I saw the outline of what I think is the ruins of the Chateau de Roquefixade I was in Laychert so it might have been – thankfully there was a much nicer road going down.

I did find a hotel in Lavelanet – though I’m told that room 4 is haunted – I was in 14 but still. Had some fun with some English guys – it was funny instead of ragging on me for being American they ended up harassing the inn-keeper for the French NOT getting in the war. I didn’t stick around.

I did get to the Chateau de Montesgur which was on top of a mountain and though it looked fun I was told it was at least an hours hike to the top – and I was tired. So I headed through the mountains till I found the Fountaine de Fontestorbes – a large spring coming out of the mountain leading to an underground river.

At the snack bar – everything has a snack bar- I picked up a butter and cheese sandwich and a postcard showing the roads and castles of the Cathar Pass region of the mountains. It was the Cathars – an offshoot of the Catholicism that had been chased into the mountains (by the Catholics) and there are a lot of their castles here.

I saw the Chatease de Puivert which wasn’t to hard to get to and was very nice – the wind in your face made you realize just how strong the winds get when you get that high up.

I later found out after I drove around this tiny little road with an edge straight down and the other solid mountain that I drove around the Gorges de Galamus (and that most people don’t take that road). Lovely though.

At the Chateau de Peryepertuse de Duilhac I twisted my knee – and I blame the church for it – kidding. I did twist my knee bad and I only saw half the castle which is really on the TIP of a mountain. The wind is what stopped me though not my knee – it really would have been unsafe to climb much higher and I really didn’t want to fall off.

At the Chateau de Queribus a Cucugnan I didn’t even try to go up – the winds were stronger and I was told it was even more perilous – don’t get me wrong I have great photos I just didn’t go inside.

Back on my list I stopped at the Fortresse de Sales de Chateau and I feel horribly guilty – see I found this access road that took me all around the fortress – and from this dirt road I saw the whole thing – yes I shot the entire fortress and never left the car 🙂

A little down the road I saw the Chateau de Fitou and slept in the car outside Beziers.

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

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]