Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Geneve, Switzerland

 Changed our mind and headed to Geneve, an hours drive from Annecy.
Came around a bend and on the side was an old bridge with turrets.
Built in 1839.
 Lake Geneve with it's famous water Jet.
Built in 1850's to regulate the water system in the city.
It attracted tourists, so was kept, the water jet is now supplied by 2 high pressure pumps.
 We were advised to take our passports, just in case, there is no border control,
the little hut looked as if it hadn't been occupied in years.

150th Anniversary of the Red Cross.
 Switzerland is well known for cuckoo clocks,
either side of the tower....
 ...chocolate...
 ....fast cars....
(1st blue Ferrari I have ever seen)
...clocks....
...and watches.
We promise, Lucy, Lennon and Nando, we will not do this to you.
The chickens in an expensive gourmet shop had their head and some feathers still on them!!!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Annecy

 We left Orange at 9.30am this morning to drive to Annecy towards the Swiss Alps.
After heading around in circles again, we put the toll back on the navigator and drove the 3 hours up north. By driving the tollways, 25 Euros later, it saved us over an hour in time.
At one stage John hit the speed at 131 kmph, and cars were still flying past us.
He said we need to get the door handle fixed as I was holding on so tight!!!
 One of the many toll way gates. They work really well, but we wonder why they don't have an etag system like we do. Would save a lot of time putting coins etc. in the slot to pay, especially when I give him 10, 20 and 50s to use up the change!!!
 Emma, this is for you, her name is Gerda, a real sweetie, ugly but sweet.
 Annecy is a lovely village as well as a commercial town, built on 2 canals.

 Palais de L'ile on one of the canals.
 We took an hours cruise on Lac d' Annecy.
It was surprising to see how much Swiss influence is in the villages on the foreshores of the lake.
 At the end of the lake was this Chateau, what a wonderful view to wake up to each morning.
The lake was full of pleasure craft, we got the impression that in Summer time, it would be packed with holiday makers.
After the cruise went for a walk though the village town.
Sat down, had a drink and then some dinner, early night tonight.
We were thinking of driving to Gene've, Switzerland tomorrow for the day, 48 km away, but will pick another town on the map for France.
 


Monday, October 28, 2013

Marseille

 We drove to Marseille on the edge of the Mediterranean for the afternoon.
The boats are moored in rows, 4 deep, there are hundreds of them in the harbour.
If your boat was in the first row, we wondered how they would get it out. You wouldn't want to be in a hurry to go sailing.
 Notre-Dame overlooking the harbour.
It was 30 degrees, hot and sticky.
 Outside the railway station is a plaza with this mirror ceiling.
Fascinating, especially trying to see yourself mirror image up side down.
 Deceptive archway at the museum,
it took me a few minutes to realise it was a painting behind the merry-go-round.
 Marseille is the one of the playgrounds for the well off.
Despite that, we couldn't get over how dirty and smelly the city is. It is 2nd largest after Paris. Perhaps  they were counting the hundreds of yachts docked as well as people.
 The Sunday Craft Market was on the foreshore.
Bought some lovely Spanish biscuits to eat as we walked.
After Marseille, we put Saint Tropez in the navigator, but after 30 minutes of going around in circles gave up and drove the 130 km an hour tollway back to Orange.
I can now say black Ferraris go faster than red ones!!!
The hotel next to us in Orange has this gold and brass bell on it's roof.
It rings every 15 minutes!!!! No comment!!!
We also forgot that daylight saving happened last night. Clocks went back an hour.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Orange and beyond...

We are having 4 nights down south in Orange, approx. 30 minutes north of Avignon.
The small town is known for it's Roman Amphitheatre. Several times during the year there are Operas performed as well as Rock Concerts.
As usual we chose a town on the map and headed to there for the day.
Saint Didias is well known for it's nougat made by the Silvain Brothers.
The recipe is from their Grandmother.
Best I have tasted.
What would bike riding be without a few baguettes in the basket.
The French buy them twice a day.
Saint Didias is a very narrow street town about 34 kms east of Orange.
Also on the road map was the Notre-Dame Senanque Abbey.
This Abbey is a community of Cistercian monks, 9 in total, living at the Abbey.
Lavender is the main source of work and income. The monks have limited speech, do not talk in conversation. But not a vow of silence.
There are well known pictures of it with the lavender in full bloom, unfortunately it isn't the season for it at the moment.

The centre courtyard of the Abbey is for them to read and meditate in silence.
Driving around a bend in the road we came upon this hillside village of Gordes.

Palace of the Popes in Avignon.

The TV news has been about Peugeot and Citron closing their manufacturing works
This blue Citron will one day be an historical item.
 
The famous Saint - Benezet Bridge at Avignon over the Rhone River.
Built in the 12th Century and was damaged by floods. 
The bridge was rebuilt up until the 17th Century.
Avignon is enclosed by walls.
The Pont du Gard, the tallest aqueduct in the Roman world, took 5 years to build.
 It was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
360m long, 50m high, on 3 levels.
Avignon Indoor Market.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Silk in Lyon

I visited the Musee' des Tissus
(The Fabric Museum).
Unfortunately I was not allowed to take photos.
The museum was exhibiting fabric from the Medieval times up until the 1800's. Stunning fabrics, brocades and silk.
Also on exhibit was a collection of silk panels called
"Fleurs et papillons de tissues"
(Flowers and Butterflies on Fabric Silk)
 The court yard of the Musee' des Beaux-Arts de Lyon
(The Museum of Art of Lyon)
While John was on a walking tour for 2 hours I did a couple of Museums.
At the Arts Museum was an amazing collection of Lalique Glass Wear and French Plates and China Dinner Ware ranging from 1200 - 1800's.
The archways were decorated with beautiful hand painted art.
Mosaics adorned the tops of the arches.
 One of the many wrought iron gates found around the city.
 I also called into L'Ateleir de Soierie.
This workshop screen prints on silk and velvet.
 They also use wood print blocks for the foundation of some patterns on the fabric.
 The small tour was only in French, but I managed to get the gist of what they were talking about and the process.
 John's walking tour included the Basilica, and he managed to get me a photo of the mosaic panels on the side walls.