As I travel around this beautiful and ancient country of France, I cant help thinking about the many peoples of the past who contributed 6o creating its rich civilisation. That illustrious Roman General, Julius Caesar, attempted to define and distinguish Gaul thus: All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit,… Read More Celt, Roman or Gaul?
The name of the fifth largest city in France aptly expresses its relationship to the landscape. Its a place which has been occupied for millenia given its position on the Garonne river and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The Romans called it Burdigala and were responsible for introducing that other important flowing liquid, wine, to… Read More Bordeaux: City of Water and Wine
Blois is a city of exquisite beauty with a rich royal history which is palpable even today in the Chateau Royal. I’ve visited a couple of Chateau in the Loire valley but this one really touched me. From the first moment you enter the Chateau you know you are entering into a special part of… Read More Beautiful Blois:Royal City with a Magical Twist
Vierzon is a town composed of different “quartiers” or sections, as different from each other as the city is to the country. I’m staying in the medieval quartier, and when I walk through “Le Beffroi” the belfrey of the twelfth century church of Notre Dame, I can feel a residue of the sorcery that the… Read More Vierzon: Medieval Town and Modern City
Last week I visited an ancient monument in France. No, it wasnt the Eiffel Tower or Arch de Triomphe but a more ancient sttucture, the Dolmen de Bajoulière. Constructed four thousand years BCE, this powerful neolithic monument was later used in Celtic and Roman eras. I went with a group who were not your everyday… Read More The Sacred Earth of Ancient France
Fontevrault Abbey is a fabled place of spiritual, political and cultural power. Established in the 12th century as an abbey, it was the home of King Henry the second and his wife Eleanor of Acquitainr, Queen of both France and England and mother of Richard the Lionheart It’s curious that such a grand city for… Read More Fabulous Fontevrault
There is so much beauty in the land of the Loire: its full of Fairy Tale castles and magical places. At this time of the year when spring has suddenly turned into summer, the roses are in full bloom bringing even more delight. My friend invited me to La Rosarie-which I completely misinterpreted as attending… Read More In Celebration of Small Things: A Peacock Princess Among the Rose Paths
Mon pêché mineur’ I heard my french friend use this wonderful expression to explain her partiality to a particular wine. I know the feeling! I have fallen in love with the natural wines of France and in particular those dry whites of the pays de la Loire. Its not just their taste but also their… Read More In Celebration of Small Things: My Little Sin
By chance while exploring (getting lost) in Paris earlier this week, I was stopped from crossing the road by a passing military cavalcade. The golden helmets and silver swords of the soldiers on horseback shone as the weak sun broke through the clouds. How lucky was I to have this dazzling cavalcade of magnificent horses… Read More A Parisian Parade
On a recent visit to L’Orangerie, the building set in the Jardin des Tuilleries which houses Monet’s waterlilies in an oval display, I pondered this question. Art critics and ordinary people who love or loathe art all seem to if not fall in love, then certainly feel benign towards the artist’s obsession with these liquid… Read More Why is Monet So Popular ?