Thursday Doors :Josselin Brittany.Thoughts From France


Cottages by  the  lock  at Josselin  just down from the  Chateau


A door opening out  on  a  quiet  street, we passed it on

our  way  up to  the chateau


A happy  blue  door  opposite  the road  bridge.


I can’t remember  exactly  where  this  door is  but  it is  my  favourite !


We visited  Josselin  on Saturday  1oth of  September  the  first Saturday   of  our  French holiday. We had  our  friend  with us  she had  joined us  for  five days. She  was having  a  bad  time  and  had  few  days holiday in  hand  so  she joined us  on  the  Wednesday  through  to the Sunday.

I digress … we spent  the day  in Josselin  we arrived  late  morning  armed  with a picnic  and  blankets  to  sit on, we are English! well  she is  Scottish  but  who is  knitpicking? not me.

We saw  the  top  doors on a line  of  cottages  by  the lock, the end one being  the lock keepers cottage. We were very lucky  with the  weather. img_20160910_143307599_hdr

View  of  Josselin Chateau  from  the lock.

The  second  photo  is  of  a door  we passed on our  walk up  to  the chateau  after  our picnic.

The  third  photo is  a beautiful blue door frames  by flowers, it  was opposite  a  busy  road  bridge also framed  with flowers.


The bridge  opposite  the blue  door.

The  last  door  was my favourite , I cannot  remember  exactly  where it  was  but  it had directions  to  the  the sculptor’s  at  the corner of  the road!


This is part of  Norm 2.0 Thursday  Doors.

Rules and Pingback here 

Thoughts from France. Guedelon, Burgandy

The weather had been fabulous for  the last  three days but  as the  Gods would  decide  the day we picked  to  visit  Guedelon  it was wet and  gloomy. We  set off on the drive  with  the Sat Nav  barking out instructions.

Eventually  we  saw  the  sign  for  Guedelon Castle, so we left the  main road ( well it was  wide enough  for  two cars to pass) we then followed a wooded  road until  the Sat Nav announced  we had  reached  the end of  the driveable route.

Our first view of Guedelon. Suddenly  we were not  fussed about  the rain and  chill temperature . We had been  magically  moved  back in time to the 13th century! Can  you see Vlad  sitting in  the Pilory.

We were a tad disappointed  because  we had been told, and  the  leaflets  indicated  that we could  have a guided  tour  with an English speaking guide but  when we asked at  the  entrance  we were told in no uncertain terms, “No there  are only  french speaking guides!”

So we went into  the information hall and  watched  the film about conception of  an idea  and  the building  of  the castle. It was  also in french  but  at least  it had English  subtitles. Now I can get by with my  version of  French , as long  as people  speak slowly. In truth  I can understand the language  much better  than I can speak it! ….. We enjoyed  the  film and  the  fire!  The  castle  was  started in 1996 …..finished?  not yet by  a long way.


After the  film, where  to start , at  the beginning!

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We walked around  the  outside of  the building  site  first  and  found  many  out  buildings, like a forge, a basket weaving house, and  many other  buildings plus the place  where  they  were keeping  their  slate  and  stone. There was a tavern, and also some huts,plus a place for sheep, pigs, a donkey ,a huge shire horse who was working despite the rain and some large geese running riot or should I  say loose.

Everything  used on site was made in the  way it was when a castle like would of  been  built! The clothes, the pottery, the tools, the baskets,jewellery,food,everything! The only concession to  the  21st  century was  that  the  workers  had  to wear  safety  hats  and boots  while  working on  site.

Not  all the  workers  wore  their  hats      but  they  all had  their  boots on   but  this  young lady  wore  both  her hard  hat hidden  under some sacking  to look like a hood, and her  boots under  her flowing  robes. I was  glad  to see her  safety  gear  as  she  was sending  huge blocks  of  stone  up  to  the masons working on the  round tower.


above  you can see her  well hidden safety  gear  and  below  you can see  why  she needed  it!

Look at the  size of  those  stones  and  the height of  the tower.   All the scaffolding and  wheels  are made of  wood it is  just  so amazingly  interesting .

We had  been there  about  half  an hour  when they all stopped  for  their  two hour  lunch . Well this  is France  and  everything  stops ( except  the  restaurants and bars of course) between 12noon  and  2/2.30pm! Whether or not this happened in 13th century  France I cannot  say  but it  certainly  does  today!


workers off  to lunch!


This  was  the cook house  complete  with  the cauldron outside  and  two  workers  waiting  for  medieval food!  Have a look at all  the wooden  utensils  hanging on outside of  the building!

So we continued  our  look around  the castle while it was  quieter, as it was still raining  we went inside  .

What beauty  and  surprises  we were met  with.

As you can see the inside is  beginning  to look magnificent, from  the cellers up  through  the  main  hall ! The  huge kitchen,  fireplaces  and  deeply  thick  walls with  arrow  slant  windows . Not to  mention  circular winding  stone steps  between  floors  and up  the towers!

The  beautiful  art on  the walls is  authentic  too in design  and  the  way  the  paint  is  made!

We  found it  really fascinating  how  the  stone masons  all worked  together  each  busy in  their own task , they were oblivious  to us! We  were  still very  miffed  that  we  could  not have  an English  speaking  guide, I did  my  best  to  listen  and  translate  to hubby   but  it  was  not  the  same  as having  a guide. I  assume  they only  have guides  speaking other languages  on  site in  their high season ….a fact  that  the  guidebooks  omit!

Shame  as it  was  that we could  not  ask  the  stone mason  many  questions it  was  still very interesting.

Next we wondered  across  to  some of  the out  buildings we found  where  the  tiles  were  made  and how  they  decorated  some of  them  by  pressing  leaves  and  lichen  on to them  with  great  effect. Vlad insisted  that we took his  photo  with  the tiles …I think  he was  trying  to  claim that  they  were his creation.


We met a really  nice  lady  from Australia  who  was touring  Europe, she  was as fascinated by  it  all as  we were.  She told us  she had  see many  places but this was up  there  with  the best!

We  were very impress  at  the  pottery  too, third  photo  at  the top of  the above. Then  there  was  the wood yard  and  some  men discussing  a roof, and  a woman who  was  filing  something, I could  not  see  what… it looked  very painstaking. She  was standing  there  just  filing slowly  power, no  treadle  just  metal against  stone!

As we were making  our way  along  the outside  of  the settlement  we  met  the  working  horse  and  the geese! I have  to admit  I was  a little  unsure of  both geese  and  horse. Luckily the geese  were following  the  horse  for  food  and  the horse  was very  gentle.

We had taken a picnic  lunch  but  again we  were disappointed as  no  picnic were  allowed,  there  were a couple  of  “restaurants and  bars ” but a  plethora of signs  saying  no  picnics, these unlike  the guides,  were  also in  English!  There was to be fair   two picnic areas outside of  the  site  but unfortunately   they  were packed  to  the rafters  with  school children , obviously  on  a  school trip from local  schools.

We had  had  a  great  trip  marred only  slightly  by there being  no  English  guides  to  explain in  depth  what was  going …. we  would of  been happy  to pay  extra  for  that. Also  the fact  that  we could  not have our  picnic , we are English  and  we love a picnic even in  the rain!

So  we went back  to the gite  and had  a picnic  there.


On  the  whole  we  would  definitely  recommend  visiting  Guedelon  but  make  sure  you know  whether or not  you can have a guide  who  speaks  your language. Picnics can be tricky  if  there  are  several  school trips going on! You  don’t need  a guide  as  we thoroughly  enjoyed our visit  but  it  would of  been  the icing on  the cake.

In all a lovely  day  and a step back in  time! I have  just  read  this post before  posting and  noticed  that I have mentioned  the fact  that  there  no  non french  guides…. sorry if I went on  about  that.     Do click  on  any  of  the photos  for a  better view.

One Liner  Wednesday: Thoughts From France.

This is part of LindaGHill’s One Liner Wednesday. 

Rules and Pingback here


Wordless Wednesday: Thoughts of France! 

Thoughts From France. Mende

Mende a beautiful town in Lozere France. There is so much to see. We got a circular, information leaflet that took us on an historic tour of the old town! Boy it was old! There is evidence that there have been people living in the town since 200BC. Read about it here it is very interesting. 

This is the narrowest street the ancient town of Mende.

 We followed the map and found it very interesting. We visited the Cathedral , It was Pope Urban V  who started work on  the cathedral (1368), for a completion in 1467.

As you can see the two towers are completely different, one was destroyed during the religious wars. I am totally miffed as to why they did not replicate the old one? 

Here they are restoring part of the old ramparts of the town. This time unlike their predecessors they are honouring what was there before.

This is the the oldest water pump in town apparently it is the best water in the Town!! 

This spectacular moment in time  is painted on the side of a house in the old town it looks as if the guy with the flag is about to step on to the street! The scene in the painting actually depicts a scene from Voltarra an Italian town that Mende is twinned with . We have visited Voltarra too. 

Well that is all the photos the internet here will allow me to upload right now . 

Bonsoir, this should of been posted yesterday but I am sorry I just did not have time to write it all or the patience to fight the internet! 😊😇

Stream Of Consciousness Saturday: Thoughts From France : est. 

This is part of LindGHill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday.this week the prompt is :Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “-est.” Base your post on any word you can add the suffix “est” to. Enjoy.

Rules and Pingback here

The Church at St Leon Sur Vezere

The prettiest little church I have seen on this visit to France is the one above. The church shares it’s name with the village.

The village itself is one of the quaintest around here too and believe all the villages are very quaint ! We arrived mid afternoon on the one of rainiest days of our holiday yet! 

This is possibly the quietest this village has ever looked! It seemed as if everyone had run off because they heard we were coming! Even the locales were not in evidence.

We had a look around the church , something I always enjoy because I have a real love of stain glass windows.

Unfortunately the light was not good enough  for me to capture the colours of the glass.

When we came out of the church we found some steps leading down to the river Vezere . The river winds itself around the village in the laziest of ways.

Well I think that is the fullest  SoCs account I can give you of our visit to St Leon Sur Vezere without cheating. So there you go. xxx

Thursday Doors. Thoughts from France

This is my entry for Norm 0.2 ‘s Thursday Doors.

Rules and Pingback here
So today the doors will be French because I am in France. 

The first two are from yesterday in Sarlat, one is a beautiful metal studded door 

and the second is the biggest door I have ever seen!! So big I didn’t manage to get it all in the photo!

The third one we saw today in Brantome, I would say one of the most lovely places we have visited this far. Set by a river with an historic Abbey and park land. Though there were plenty of tourists there it was not busy busy.

The fourth  is to either a shop or workshop, I was not sure which. It was like all the others in that street built into the rock face . I particularly liked the stain glass window above the door, also the way I caught the shadow pattern. I have to be honest I caught the shadow by accident not design. Also in Bramtome.
Another lovely day! 

Thoughts from France.A Day Trip.

Yesterday, Wednesday, the heavens opened and the temperature dropped dramatically! Though it was not in any way cold it was wet. 

Vlad peering through the rain

So after a leisurely breakfast we set off on our travels. We visited Salat,Domme, La Roque-Gageau and Beynac

Ducks in the street and a man on the wall in Salat.Salat was a lovely town full of alleys and shops and interesting buildings and statues.
Next we walked the alleys of the old town and investigated the church.

Inside the church we found all the usual, stain glass windows,vaulted ceilings,statues, huge organs and pulpits. The unusual thing we did find was a large piece of wood with a hammer attached. People could pay ,€1, €2 or €3 to hammer in a golden nail for favours. The money was put towards the upkeep of the church.

The wooden post with nails. 

 After Salat we made our way to Domme which was lovely though the roads in the wet were a little scary!


Then after a tour around Domme we set off for La Roque-Gageau . A beautiful place to visit.

Every year I get so sad when I see the sunflowers, past their best, brown and bent looking. There they stand looking dejected as if they know the machines are coming to cull them for their seeds Every year I repeat the first lines of a poem I wrote the first time I saw them.

“I think  that I  have  never  seen a sadder  scene   than  golden  sunflowers, die  and  turned  to green.”

I have to dash now as Hubby is itching to go out! 

Thoughts from France: South and Land of the Telepass

Monday we said goodbye to the most beautiful Gite we have ever visited and set off toward the Dordogne!

.our home for the last week in Brittany.

It was a long drive so we aimed to leave early, 9am ( well we are on our holiday ) as usual we didn’t quite reach that goal and we finally were on the road by about 9.30 am. 

Now I am a great believer in fate and we had not been going long when we hit a massive traffic jam. There had been a crash ahead, it must have been a big one as at least five Emergency vehicles went through. In Brittany there are not three lane motorways they have only two lanes and we were stationary. When the Emergency vehicles came through it was amazing how all the cars managed to part like the Red Sea.

Eventually we were all filtered off the Motorway and after an hour’s delay we were off! I believe we were lucky that we had left late as we could of been involved. 

 As we drove south the temperature rose and rose and by early afternoon we were in the 30s. The scenery changed too.

Land of the Telepass

We also entered the land of the Telepass. Last year I found I was not tall enough to reach the booths to put our card in to pay the toll it was not fun! So this year hubby invested in a Telepass. We got ours just before we left for holiday,activated it and attached it to our windscreen. 
We approached our first booth with trepidation! We edged up to the barrier very slowly. “It’s not working” hubby ever the pessimist. “Be brave”I said “go faster” he did . A ping sounded in the car and hooray it worked!

We were in the South and our Telepass was working! 

Our hosts home

Our home

We found our second destination without too much stress and had a warm welcome from our hosts, a parrot,ducks and chickens and two Dobermans ! 

Today we are resting  by the pool as tomorrow rain is forecast. So, ‘For tomorrow may rain so today we will soak up the sun!’ (Very nearly a Beatles quote) 

Thoughts from France: Lake Guerledan

Silence broken by lapping water

Prehistoric memories linger here

Wooden poles, you keep your secrets

We stand and wonder what you know.

How many people have you seen

As you have watched this lake

And hills covered in forrest green.

We stand here and our guesses make.

 The silence, broken voices from the lake

Canoes serenely gluiding by

Lac Du Guerledan, beauty true not fake

We stand  betwixt your waters and sky .

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