Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015 - le réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre - au revoir Paris Daily Photo

I had to borrow these fireworks from the July 14 celebration in Amboise!   Je ai dû emprunter ces feux d'artifice de la fête nationale du 14 Juillet à Amboise !

And for all you followers of City Daily Photo, as well as all of you who should be, I have to acknowledge the end of an era.  Today, my fellow blogger and friend Eric Tenin is retiring the granddaddy of all of the CDP blogs, Paris Daily Photo.  He started his blog almost ten years ago and as a result hundreds of other bloggers from around the world have created their own local city blogs.  When we moved to Amboise, it was his inspiration that got me to start ADP.  Our blogging community will not be the same without him.  So if you follow PDP or any of the other worldwide blogs, I hope you will take time to add your thanks to Eric on the last day of Paris Daily photo here.  Eric, these fireworks are for you !  Just add bubbly.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

winter grass

This little puddle provided just the right reflection for this patch of tall grasses.  That's the château in Amboise in the background.

Monday, December 29, 2014

la borne d'angle Michelin

As we approach another milestone of a new year, I thought it appropriate to post this road marker near one of my favorite bike paths.  Starting in 1910 and continuing until 1971, the tire manufacturer Michelin installed a variety of road signs throughout France.  Corner markers (see the title for the French translation) like this one started in 1918.  These markers made of concrete reinforced with steel will be around for a long time I suspect.

I confess to a bit of tinkering with this shot to make it a bit more interesting.  I used an infrared filter (on the computer) to change much of the rather dull green foliage in the photo to white.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

une promenade d'hiver

Here's the bike path in Amboise in winter.  Still a great place to take a ride or walk on a sunny winter's day.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

flat bottom boat sunset

I don't know what I'll do if the owner of this wonderful flat bottom boat ever moves his business elsewhere.  This boat had provided just the perfect embellishment to so many of my photos of the Loire near our home.  Bon weekend à tous.

Friday, December 26, 2014

the workhorse

After the prolonged holiday season, I'm guessing everyone is feeling a bit like a tired workhorse.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dreaming of a white Christmas

But it's only in my dreams as it didn't snow in Amboise this year.  Merry Christmas to all et joyeux Noël à tous !

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

projections in Place Debré

Every year, it seems there are more and more projections being used to celebrated the holidays.  This one slowly changes through a range of colors.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Eglise St Denis from the levee

Here is the old church as seen from the levee.  Those are plane trees providing the framing.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

icing on the cake

This famous chocolate store on Place Debré always looks inviting but these decorations (from last year) really draw you in.  Now I'm longing to have a big cup of their wonderful hot chocolate.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Place Debré ready for Christmas

Every year the main square in Amboise, Place Debré, is decked out in Christmas trees, lights, and projections.  Stand by for more.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

the countdown continues

If you can remember all the way back to Tuesday, this is how that same street looked a year later (last year).  Alas, no snow but I think the town did a nice job with the lights.  Only one week to go.  Are you ready?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

let the countdown begin

No it didn't snow in Amboise last night, but it did two years ago when I took this picture of the main pedestrian shopping street at the bell tower.  I thought this might be a good way to kick off the holiday season.

Monday, December 15, 2014

bullish on Monday ?

I suppose most will find that to be a challenge after last week's market results.  At least this guy doesn't look too worried.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

likin' this fence

I love the many fences here that are made out of concrete.  They last a very long time of course and they often are hosts to many colorful lichens.  Have a safe and relaxing Sunday everyone.  Bon dimanche !

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

up on the rooftops

OK it's a little early to see Santa, but this just demonstrates what a challenge he is going to face in Amboise.  It makes me wonder if he will even try to go down the chimney on the right with those Darth Vader impersonators.  I'm guessing he will find a way.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


The ivy on the side of this building has been stripped of all its leaves by the almost winter weather.  The bare white stems make for a somewhat abstract look but the light fixture is still recognizable.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

this is no rant

In spite of what appears to be a subtitle in this shot, this was supposed to be a peaceful view of the château reflected in this window on Place Debré (over a restauRANT, of course).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

A long good bye

Even though I bade farewell to autumn in Saturday's post, I decided I couldn't pass up this scene from early November.  It includes so many of my favorites.... the château, the bridge, the Loire, the levee, the bike path, and the trees.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

église Notre Dame and the Loire

Here is the little church as seen from the Ile d'Or, the island in the Loire at Amboise.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

farewell to fall

Here's one last look at the fall colors.  This time behind my neighbor's gates.

Friday, December 5, 2014

the island path

This wonderful winding path follows the perimeter of the Ile d'Or (island of Gold).  This is the island in the Loire across from Amboise.  It is part of my regular running path and it makes running so much more enjoyable as it is a nice gentle surface and completely flat.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

la dernière rose de l'année

The last rose of the year in our terrace garden made it to December.  And it looked pretty happy leaning up against this iron railing.

This rose makes me remember my dad who was an avid flower gardener in retirement and was  born 100 years ago today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

double spirals

This building is part of the complex where I took an exam last Friday.  It was a test of my knowledge of the "rules of the road" of driving in France.  Passing this test allows one to continue on to the next step which is the actual driving phase of  the application for a French driver's licence.  For me, the significant challenge is doing all of this in French.  Plus I've heard the success rate of passing the first test on the first try is around 40%.   But in any case, yesterday I learned that I passed the knowledge test !  On to phase two.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

le marché - la dernière journée de novembre

It was a foggy and dark Sunday morning for the marché the last weekend.  That didn't dampen the spirits of the venders or the shoppers.  Still a far cry from Black Friday.

Monday, December 1, 2014

CDP theme day - "people in their workplace"

The first of every month is Theme Day for the bloggers of City Daily Photo, and today's theme is "people in their workplace".  Sébastien and his wife Alice run a fabulous boulangerie on the main pedestrian street, rue Nationale, in Amboise.  But believe me, these croissants are not pedestrian.  They are the best!

He was very generous to allow me to enter his workplace which is a beehive of activity.  I tried to stay out of the way.  On another day, I will show you more of the kitchen activities and the others who work in this magical place.  Merci bien, Sébastien !

Click here to see how the other bloggers interpreted the theme.

Le premier de chaque mois est la Journée de thème pour les blogueurs de City Daily Photo et le thème d'aujourd'hui est «les gens dans leur milieu de travail». Sébastien et sa femme Alice gèrent une boulangerie fabuleuse sur la principale rue piétonne, rue Nationale, à Amboise. Croyez-moi, ces croissants sont les meilleurs!

Il était très généreux pour me permettre d'entrer dans son milieu de travail qui est une ruche d'activité. Je ai essayé de rester en dehors de la voie. Un autre jour, je vais vous montrer plusieurs des activités de cuisine et les autres personnes qui travaillent dans ce lieu magique. Merci bien, Sébastien!

Cliquez ici pour voir comment les autres blogueurs ont interprété le thème.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

le château symétrique

This little château is almost completely symmetric as seen from the street in front.  This reminds me of those little games in the Sunday paper when I was growing up... "find all the things that are not symmetric in this castle".

Saturday, November 29, 2014

morning view of the château

Yesterday, there was a beautiful early morning light on the château in Amboise as well as on this tree that seems reluctant to give up its leaves this autumn.  Fortunately for me.

Friday, November 28, 2014

le champ d'or

I snapped this field of gold on the outskirts of Amboise a few weeks ago.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

a Thanksgiving toast

Some wag left a little offering to this statuary at the entrance to the château Chenonceau.  And I'm offering this as a distant toast to all my American friends and family celebrating Thanksgiving today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

the insect hotel

This brand new insect habitat has been installed along one of bike paths near here.  Doesn't look like too many have checked into this little hotel yet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Billy ?

The title suggests a very old play on words in the States. The word "kid" can mean either a young goat or a young person.  And the most famous outlaw of the old American West was known as "Billy the kid".  In any case, this Billy does not appear too threatening.

Le titre suggère un jeu très ancien sur les mots dans les États. Le mot «kid» peut signifier soit une jeune chèvre ou une jeune personne. Et le plus célèbre bandit du Far West américain était connu comme "Billy the Kid".  Savoir plus sur ce bandit ici,  En tout cas, ce Billy ne semble pas trop menaçant.

Monday, November 24, 2014

les feuilles ginkgo d'or

As usual the golden ginkgo leaves were wonderful this autumn.  Here's a last look.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

ce banc est overt le dimanche

I think this old bench still has some working Sundays remaining.  May you have a relaxing Sunday.

(The title is a little play on French words for bench, un banc, and bank, une banque.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

lever de soleil

For a little change of pace, this Saturday I am posting a sunrise.  This is in fact a long skinny cloud and not smoke coming out of my neighbor's chimney, although I did try to make it look that way.

Friday, November 21, 2014

quasiment rouge

This is as close to a tree with red leaves as I have seen around here.  Bon weekend !

Thursday, November 20, 2014

high flying over the levee

It's amazing what can be done on a bicycle like this.  I caught this fellow in mid air jumping straight up onto the top of the levee wall (about a meter / three feet) !  The top of the wall is somewhat narrow so this is not easy needless to say.  I'm glad he was wearing his helmet.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

la nouvelle piste cyclable

I found this new section of a hiking/cycling trail just last week.  It meanders along wooded areas and open fields alike.  I had it all to myself on this sunny autumn afternoon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

il est presque terminée

Even after giving up its grapes for this year's wine harvest, this vineyard continues to please with its bright autumn colors.  But it's almost over.

Monday, November 17, 2014

le pylône électrique

Sometimes it's OK to shoot directly into the sun.  I decided this was one of those times with this tower of power.  I like that rhyming phrase.  Besides, it is also the name of a famous R&B band in the States.

I wanted to title this "the tower of power" translated to French, but everything I could come up with left the idea lost in translation.  For example, just translating each word individually results in tour de force (just try it with Google translate).  But as is often the case, you just can't translate an English phrase to French by substituting individual words.  Believe me, I've learned that the hard way.  So, while tour is the French word for tower, this type of steel tower is called a pylône.  And the English word power can be translated to force but not when it relates to electrical power.  Interestingly, that phrase tour de force actually means something totally different to Anglophones.  Now I suppose you're going to ask my why that big thing in Paris is not le Pylône Eiffel !?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

l'eglise de Pocé-sur-Cisse

The bright, late afternoon sunshine really lit up the facade of the church on this beautiful autumn day.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

coucher de soleil de novembre

I almost missed this one... I had to run to the bridge Leclerc.  It was over about two minutes later.

Friday, November 14, 2014

le château de Pocé en automne

This little known château has a wonderful collection of trees on its secluded grounds.  And now they are really showing some of the brightest fall colors that I have seen in the area.  And because of that, today I will offer a bonus photo of these same trees taken from another angle.

Many thanks for all the kind comments to yesterday's post.  Bon weekend à tous !

Thursday, November 13, 2014

automne à la place du marché

I like to return to the market place from time to time to capture it in different seasons and different weather.

Today, I was honored to be the subject of a little story in the newspaper about my adventures in Amboise with this blog.  You may read the online version of it here from the web site of La Nouvelle République.  Un grand merci à l'auteur Magalie Basset !

Si vous êtes un visiteur première fois à ce blog, vous pouvez afficher ensemble toutes les vieilles photos (sans les descriptions) sans afficher chaque "post" de blog (qui a le description)  ici.

Update on 16 November 2014 to the original post :

The following is my translation of the Nouvelle République story.  I only made minor changes from the literal translation to make it more readable in English.  I embedded a few notes in brackets.

 “The Loire is magnificent.  In the US, the rivers aren’t like this.  In general, the river banks are private and one can’t have access.”
Everyday Stuart Byrom posts a new image of the town on his blog “Amboise Daily Photo”.  Meeting with an American who has been charmed by the Loire.
The Virginia Creeper that climbs the facade of the Inn of the Priory at Clos Lucé has suddenly taken the colors of the season.  They were blazing with color and turned completely red to the great delight of Stuart Byrom who photographed them and posted them on his blog “Amboise Daily Photo”.  The commentary that he has typed under the image highlights his nostalgia for the North American maples and the incandescent autumns!
When you walk around town, you perhaps may encounter this smiling stroller, always equipped with his camera.  We met briefly on the pedestrian mall where Stuart was witnessing the return of bronze sculptures to the fountain designed by Max Ernst.  Mixing among the crowd, he rapidly photographed the restored works of art. I took him for an art critic who had descended from Paris, but he corrected: “I am an American; I have lived in Amboise 5 years [sic: actually it has been 3 years]; and I have a photo blog.”
The blog is on the City Daily Photo platform where Amboise stands alongside hundreds of cities on all continents (see the sidebar).  Stuart Byrom launched the blog in February 2013.  Starting this hobby in retirement, he is committed to publishing every day of the year a new photo, accompanied by a brief text.  A series of sunsets on the Loire, a series on bridges, Amboise in the snow… This amateur photographer is interested in everything, even little flowers!  That is to say whatever that delights his taste for nature if not to say for contemplation.  This comes after the strain of working many long hours and being too often stressed out when he was an engineer for IBM.
That lasted 33 years, but retirement did arrive and he decided to change his life and to leave North Carolina to head to France.  “I followed my wife who is a lifelong Francophile.”  Elizabeth, who studied at the Sorbonne [in Paris] and was a teacher of French, was the inspiration for this new adventure [a loose translation from the original].  The little apartment that the couple bought in the beginning soon became too confining, so Stuart and Elizabeth went in search of “the region in France best for us”.
Amboise was love at first sight
Amboise emerged to them as a no-brainer.  “It was love at first sight!  It is a tourist destination and a small, comfortable town where I can run and cycle.  And then there is the Loire river.”  It is “lounique” [sic: spelled as understood in French for the English word “unique” as it was horribly mispronounced] he declared with his delicious accent [an ironic way of saying it’s like fingernails on a blackboard].
[the sidebar :]
Milestones   This blog is a little cousin of Paris Daily Photo, launched by a friend of Stuart’s, Eric Tenin, in 2005.  The success of this formula is due to the publishing of a photo every day from the city where you live.  All of these many blogs necessitated the creation of a consolidated web site City Daily Photo.
Here, Amboise stands alongside Stavenger (Norway), Cape Town (South Africa), Chennai (India), and Blois, the only other city represented on City Daily Photo in this region of France.

Magalie Basset