Category Archives: France

A to Z of Postcards – P is for Puglia in Italy

“Evidently, the God of the Jews didn’t know Puglia, otherwise he wouldn’t have given his people Palestine as the Promised Land.”                                            Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Puglia (1194 to 1250 AD).

We had travelled to Italy before, to Pisa and Tuscany, Naples and Sorrento, the islands of Sardinia and SicilyRome of course, to Venice and the Veneto and the EPCOT World Showcase, but we had never before visited the far south east, the heel of the boot.

Not a postcard but a Tea Towel that I spotted in a tourist shop…

Despite almost being put off by the guide books we liked the city of Bari with its mazy old town and eclectic night life and one thing I would say to anyone thinking of going to Puglia then do not miss out the capital city of the region and don’t be scared off by the reviews.

The food was wonderful and although we didn’t have time to try all of the two hundred varieties of pasta I am certain that they would all be just as delicious as those that we managed to sample – the sea food pastas were especially good.  We also liked the pizzas and I have to confess that my favourite meal was the horse meat stew in Lecce but please do not tell my granddaughters.

A postcard souvenir of our travels in Puglia…

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A to Z of Postcards – N is Northern France

Guidebooks say that Abbeville was once an attractive place but it was destroyed in the German blitzkrieg of 1940 when the town was reduced to rubble as the German Panzer divisions advanced towards the English Channel but I have to say that I found the rebuilt modern town to be very attractive itself, so attractive as it happens that I can only begin to imagine just how picturesque the original town might once have been.

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A to Z of Postcards – M is for Montreuil Sur Mer in France

Montreuil was once an important strategic town on the English Channel but by the nineteenth century after the sea had withdrawn over ten miles away which meant getting a boat in the water was becoming increasingly difficult it had become a sleepy medieval town of no real importance except for passengers on the coaching road from Calais to Paris.

The weather was accommodating and we enjoyed good views across the surrounding countryside.  Our stroll returned us to the centre of the classic French market town and we walked through its attractive streets with its lively fountains and vibrant floral displays, its  shops, restaurants and cafés  and we finished back in the town square right next to a convenient bar where we had a drink before moving on.

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A to Z of Postcards – I is for Île de Ré in France

As a couple of highly amateurish and very part time cyclists, who wouldn’t know Lance Armstrong if he hurtled straight into us we were going to go for a bike ride.

We chose Île de Ré because we don’t do hills, we are used to the subtle undulations of the Lincolnshire landscape. So for us the prospect of Île de Ré, with its network of dedicated cycle paths and flat topography seemed practically perfect,

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Sunday Sunsets – Mont St Michel

According to legend (and the travel writer Rick Steves), the Archangel Michael told the local bishop to “build here and build high.” and added “If you build it…they will come.”

I always thought that quote came from the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams but it seems the scriptwriters must have borrowed it because it wasn’t only Archangel Michael who said it but also President Theodore Roosevelt who used it to encourage the financial backers of the Panama Canal project.

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A to Z of Windows – R is for Rocamadour in France

It was quiet today because this was October and outside the main tourist season but the summer months bring thousands of visitors to this place daily.  Years later I visited Carcassonne and Mont St Michel and found them rather similar in a touristy sort of way.

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Town Twinning, The Town Hall and The Saracen’s Head

In a previous post I recalled my memories of going every week to the Saturday morning pictures at the Granada Cinema in North Street in Rugby, the town where I lived.

As I  thought more about the location of this once important part of the town I began to remember other buildings and places all around it in this part of the town and what they meant to me.

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A to Z of Windows – D is for Dinan in France

 

We visited the charming town of Dinan in 2015.  I liked this window and flower display.  The red, white and blue capture the colours of the French Tricolor.

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Reflections

Based on the success of my previous ‘odd one out’ posts here is another.

Which one is it?

A to Z of Statues – N is for Napoleon Bonaparte

La Colonne de la Grande Armée is a monument constructed in the 1840s and is a fifty-three metre-high column topped with a statue of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

It marks the location of the base camp where Napoleon  assembled an army of eighty thousand men all reeking of garlic, singing  ‘La Marseillaise’ and impatient to invade England.  It was initially intended to commemorate a successful campaign, but this proved to be rather premature and as he didn’t quite manage that it now remembers instead the first distribution of the Imperial Légion d’honneur.