Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Normandy, the chateau, life, etc.

Normandy is everything I wanted France to be: quiet, simple, beautiful, and full of medieval history. The chateau that brought me there, however, turned out to be not the best situation. See adage, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. But it was an adventure and one that in the end had me trekking and in an emergency hitch-hiking (!) through country roads with my rolling suitcase feeling entirely satisfied with my efforts in France. I also feel entirely done with this country. Everyday was beautiful and hard. I am a weary traveler, but also a satisfied one. Before coming here, I was very intent on not making solid plans; I wanted an adventure, and I wanted to be malleable to whatever came of my travels. Well that has all culminated here, my Paris hotel room, where I will soon check out and let AirFrance carry me home where another adventure undoubtedly awaits.

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time"

T.S. Elliot

DC I can't wait to see you.

Post D-Day Worship

I loved this photo of services held following D-day, and what a great church. There remains parts of the building were erected in the 10th century, but most of what is now here is an expansion upon what was done in 11th-13thc. So cool.

Utah Beach, Normandy

Remembering D-Day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pinch me.

People, things are happening here in France. I shouldn't speak to soon, but I think all of my dreams for France are coming true. I have an opportunity to live in the north (Henry Adams territory) in a chateau. I'll be working for an English couple doing errands and odds and ends. But, he says, I am afraid there won't be much going on, but we have a piano and an excellent research library and of course will arrange a car for you. Does this sound alright, he asks. Yes, I think I'll manage alright.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Relatives, I Think

Photographed in the Old City, Nice

History is not just Tulips and Roses.

My travel buddy Noelle and I went off to inland Provence (sillans la cascade, aups, and cotignac) to find me a village where I would stay for the duration of my time here. Sillans requires a car. But we had so many unpleasant experiences here, I wouldn't stay in any case. I fell hard for cotignac but there were essentially no rooms/apts available for short term rent. I saw one apartment that from the outside looked ideal and from the inside it looked like a cleaned up meth lab. Noelle nearly had a panic attack during our viewing. The only heating mechanism was a space heater that was suspended from the ceiling. Should I repeat that? The rent was cheap, as it should be. Needless to say, Cotignac will not be home either. I've been to village after village, and nothing has quite worked out. So people I am taking this show on the road! I am going to keep traveling and instead of nestling into southern France, I am off to hunt famous dead politicians in Corsica, 11 Century cathedrals in the north, cook food in Burgundy, and since I have time everything inbetween. That should give me a lot of train time for blogging and French lessons.