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December 3, 2017

France: Provins


Provins’ formidable ramparts

Entry 873 on the UNESCO World Heritage list is titled, “Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs.” UNESCO’s listing honors Provins role as the location of one of the Champagne fairs, an annual cycle of trading fairs held in towns in the Champagne and Brie regions of Northern France in the Middle Ages. These fairs were crucial to the medieval European economy and were integral to the early development of international trade and the wool industry. At their height, in the late 12th and the 13th century, the fairs linked the cloth-producing cities of the Low Countries with the Italian dyeing and exporting centers. (more…)

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November 26, 2017

France: MuséoParc Alésia

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 2:23 pm

A mock-up at MuséoParc Alésia shows the preparations for the battle of Alésia.

Not far from Montbard France is Alise-Sainte-Reine, the location of the last major engagement between Gauls and Romans in 52 BC, the Battle of Alésia. Recently an interpretive center, the MuséoParc Alésia, was constructed to explain the history of the battle. The French have a knack for morphing their historical sites into popular attractions. (more…)

France: Ancy-le-Franc


Château d’Ancy-le-Franc’s courtyard

Deep in the Burgundian countryside is the commune of Ancy-le-Franc. Ancy, once in the domain of the Dukes of Burgundy, is anchored by an attractive chateau. Motorists whizzing by on the nearby Autoroute du Soleil might spot a brown tourist sign encouraging passersby to explore the town’s chateau. (more…)

November 25, 2017

France: Tanlay

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 4:30 pm

Château de Tanlay

Situated on the northwestern border of France’s Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region is the village of Tanlay. Though this commune is home to around a thousand residents one residence stands out, the Château de Tanlay. Separated from the rest of the community by a water-filled moat and a ring of gardens, the manor house is the central attraction in the town. (more…)

November 21, 2017

France: Châteauneuf-en-Auxois


The “new” château at Châteauneuf-en-Auxois

is one of at least 33 communes in France with “Châteauneuf” in the name. The Côte-d’Or version features a turreted castle that overlooks the Autoroute du Soleil or A6. We’ve whizzed through the area many times on the freeway and have seen the château with its ferry tale turrets on the hilltop. On the side of the autoroute a brown tourist sign tells passing motorists that the Château de Châteauneuf is nearby. Through the windshield Châteauneuf, up on the hill in the distance, looked interesting. But passing by at 130 kph it never was convenient to visit. It wasn’t until we traveled through the area by canal that we actually had a chance to explore the town. (more…)

November 14, 2017

France: Tonnerre

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 11:59 am

Fosse Dionne

A couple of hundred kilometers to the southeast of Paris along the Canal de Bourgogne is the town of Tonnerre. The French word “tonnerre” translates as “thunder” in English, though rumblings from the sky do not appear to be the inspiration for the commune’s name. In truth the name alone might well have prompted us to visit. We have a low bar for such things. But there is more to recommend Tonnerre than its name. The commune has two star attractions, Fosse Dionne and the Hotel-Dieu de Tonnerre. Curious name or not, it is a worthy stop for those traveling in the area by boat, car, train, or bike. (more…)

November 9, 2017

France: Guédelon Castle


The castle appears mostly complete.

Have you ever visited an old European castle and wondered how it was constructed hundreds of years ago? Without heavy equipment how could a society move the heavy stones and beams required to build such structures? Many of the answers can be found at Guédelon Castle, a historical theme park a little less than three hours south of Paris via the motorway. (more…)

April 29, 2017

Sardinia: Cagliari

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 3:15 pm

Looking towards the Mediterranean from Cagliari’s port.

The port city of Cagliari, Sardinia’s largest metropolitan area and capitol, is situated in the southern portion of the Italian island. Our loosely planned route from Provence France to the island nation of Malta would take us down through the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily. On this route Cagliari was an obligatory destination. There is only one ferry from Sardinia to Sicily; it runs just once a week from Cagliari to Palermo. On an otherwise minimally planned trip, we were sure to make reservations for this key overnight transportation link. (more…)

Sardinia: Su Nuraxi di Barumini


Looking up one of towers at Su Nuraxi di Barumini

On the way from Oristano to the southern Sardinia port city of Cagliari we paused to see Su Nuraxi di Barumini. (more…)

Sardinia: Bosa

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Italy, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:19 am

Bosa

It is true. Sometimes we stop at a place just because we want to take our own version of a picture that we’ve seen. So it was that we paused for a lunch and photo break in Bosa on our way from Alghero to Oristano. Lunch wasn’t very successful; every restaurant we tried was closed. On the other hand, we did find good places to take pictures. The pictures we had saw did not lie: Bosa is photogenic. (more…)

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