Today is the perfect day for blogging.
So, with the perfect spread of breakfast in front of me, I plan to do just that.
Curious as to what I'm eating? Toast, apple crisp (apple sauce with crispy stuff on top), a small assortment of cheeses, plain yogurt with homemade apricot jam. And tea.
Buy your ticket to France, here.
No but really, it so nice to have a little time to myself on Sundays. Beside the fact that I very rarely need to sleep in extremely late due to my being a failure at "going out" on Friday and Saturday nights (or any nights, for that matter) Sunday is a long, quiet, peaceful day in France. Virtually no stores are open to the public on Sundays which inevitably forces the French to scamper about their town with their beyond adorable children. The streets, parks, flea markets, gardens and sidewalk cafes bubble with families and couples enjoying one another's company. In the meantime, on any given Sunday one can expect me to be sitting, standing or walking alone while taking in the simplicity and beauty of the French lifestyle.
If you hadn't been persuaded until now, here's the link again:
Buy your ticket to France, here.
Yesterday my program shuttled us over to the quaint town of Langeais where we visited the Cheateau of Langeais:
view from the street:
view from a side garden on the inside of the courtyard:
view from the fortress:
Inside the Chateau de Langeais:
My favorite painting in the Cheateau de Langeais:
But tapestries were a bigger deal than paintings:
A chest with facial profiles carved into the wood. Very cool.
Also notice the floors, the tiling in this chateau was so interesting.
The common look for the floors of Chateau de Langeais:
All that you have seen so far ^^ was built toward the end of the 15th century.
Now, picture yourself with your back facing the chateau,
looking across the gardens and up a slight hill.
There you will see the fortress.
The fortress was was built around year 1000 by Foulques Nerra (don't ask about the pronunciation, I haven't a clue.) What remains is a wall of his castle... the oldest manmade structure in France.
When we walked through the entrance way of the castle and into the courtyard where we saw this wall standing, I oddly enough was not thinking of France, at all. As I stood before the oldest structure in France, my heart sank for the people who have lost the physical evidence of their civilization in times of conflict, war and terrorism.
I also thought about groups of peoples who have no physical belonging to a country or territory or even structure. I know I'm on a major tantrum... but am I the only one that is bothered by the mere thought of not having a physical place to call home? They say "home is where the heart is" but I think that is for individuals and families... but what about an entire population of people?
I am thinking of the Roma now, specifically, as they are literally being shuttled out of France because they "do not belong." Where do they belong? Their culture travels with them and in them but they have no structure or landmark to mark their culture or civilization.
Maybe I'm just being random but this Roma ordeal has really gotten under my skin and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about it. Interested? Check out this book (which I'm currently reading): Bury Me Standing.
After our tour of the Chateau de Langeais, Alyssa and I ordered coffees and had our picnic lunches right outside of the chateau. Inside of the coffee shop was a darling little patisserie.
I just couldn't help but photograph these magnificent little treats!!!
We left Langeais right after lunch and headed straight to Abbaye de Frontevraud. If I ever consider becoming a nun (riiiiiiiiiiight), I'll be shopping for an abbaye like this one:
(I couldn't have gotten an aerial shot any other way, people.)
The abbaye was founded by a reformed preacher, Robert d'Ambrissel, when he formed the Order of Fontevraud. The first structures of the abbaye were constructed between 1110 and 1119. The abbaye has been used for multiple purposes throughout its long history including prison and burial site for royalty. During the French Revolution the abbaye was dissolved and the last abbesse died in poverty in Paris in 1792.
(don't make fun of my "solo" shots, everyone in the program has tons...)
The founder of the Order proclaimed that although the abbaye was home to both monks and nuns, the abbaye should always be run by women.
Because I've made the images a smaller, lesser quality for uploading purposes, one might not be able to see the detail in the photos. This following photo shows a figure holding something that says "Ave Marie" and below another a figure head it says "1543"
The ancient paintings in the abbaye were unbelievable, sorry if the quality of my photo does not portray them as such.
My incredible Jewish friend, Sasha
(ahh, these pictures are so grainy...)
As for today, le dimanche, I'm going to peruse through some Tours flea markets with friends, grab some pastries and enjoy the end of my last weekend in TOURS, France! We leave for PARIS on Friday afternoon and we are all soooooo excited!
I will find out my host family situation on Thursday evening. Please pray that I will be with a good family. I have requested to live with a family that has children.