STORIES BEHIND THE CHÂTEAUS OF LOIRE.. THE SLEEPY PROVENCE AND CÔTE D'AZUR, 2017
|Madame De Poitiers|
|Catherine de Medici|
|The ballroom on the bridge|
Its dark rooms were inviting with organza sofas, dim reading lights and the intent gazes of the kings and queens from the walls. Through frosty windows one could see the river around the castle dipped with hanging trees in tones of autumn.
By the Vienne River, in the town of Chinon is the Château de Chinon, gazing down to the gray roofs of the Medieval town below.
A flea market selling antique china, books, fur coats and statues was lining the riverside. I purchased a small fabric print of two 16th century women from a lady from out of Chinon with a bargain price of €5.
Wherever I go, I am drawn to flea markets selling pieces with memories of previous lifes. I found this a story from the book "Flea Markets in Europe" published by Chartwell Books about the origins of the flea markets.
"In the time of Emperor Napoleon III, the imperial architect Haussmann made plans for the broad, straight boulevards with rows of square houses in the center of Paris, along which army divisions could march with much pompous noise. The plans forced many dealers in second-hand goods to flee their old dwellings; the alleys and slums were demolished. These dislodged merchants were, however, allowed to continue selling their wares undisturbed right in the north of Paris, just outside of the former fort, in front of the gate Porte de Clignancourt. The first stalls were erected in about 1860. The gathering together of all these exiles from the slums of Paris was soon given the name "Marche aux Puces", meaning "flee market"."
|Group in gestures for peace in Avignon|
|In front of the Papal Palais|
The temporary exhibition, "Les Éclaireurs" - the Enlighteners has transformed the previously extravagant rooms that are now empty into an ethereal place. The sculptures and the textile installations were themselves transformations of ordinary every-day objects. I would love to display my own installations in the medieval setting of this stone palace some day.
|El Anatsui (Ghana), Confluences|
|Installation by Mamady Seydi|
Next day we went to Gordes, which proudly sits on a hill gazing at the brown vineyards below.
Amiable cats wander around the narrow cobblestone roads parting its creamed-honey colored buildings.
The Sénanque Abbey, lays down quietly next to the town since 1148. The lavenders grown by the monks, are poised in colors of brown, waiting for the summer to bloom.
Along the route to Côte d’Azur were vineyards with dark sweet grapes left on the dry brown vines for a reason I could not gather. We arrived in St Tropez later in the day. My daughter and I collected sea glass on the beach under the pale lights of the city. The hotel we stayed in, Hôtel Le Roquebrune in Roquebrune-Cap Martin was a quaint hotel with a dramatic view of the bay from the restaurant’s terrace.
|With my daughter at Roquebrune-Cap Martin|
|Me dancing with the lights in the castle of the Roquebrune-Cap Martin|
|St Paul de Vence|
|Brussels Town Hall|
|My husband with his Belgian beer|