Friday, July 31, 2015

Marignan 2015 - supporting the troops

The battle of Marignan was fought over a two day period so hostilities ceased when it was too dark to see.  The troops on both sides rested and had supporters like these to help feed them and tend to the wounded.  Here they're watching the ongoing battle in front of them.

Again, I must say the costumes were magnificent.  After the performance, the cast stayed around "off stage" so the audience could see them up close, take photos, and ask questions.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Marignan 2015 - the battle

OK, so you've been wondering what about the battle, so here it starts.  The smoke is from the cannon fire and boy was it loud.  There were warriors representing both the French and Swiss troops of course.  The simulated battle was very well choreographed and did a wonderful job of showing what hand to hand combat was like back then.  Fortunately, the French won again this time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Marignan - the nobles

The 1518 version of the celebration was played for the benefit of the nobles and the royal court.  I thought this couple looked perfect in those roles.  Of course, there were many more but I decided it was better to limit the view to see more detail.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Marignan 2015 - the costumes

Today, and for the rest of the week, I'll be showing you more images of the big show Sunday night (see yesterday's post).  To me the most fascinating aspect of it was the variety and quality of the costumes.  In my view, they were impeccable.  Here are only a few samples.  But in addition there were also musicians, guards, dancers, nobility, and lots of warriors.,, over 400 in all.

The 1518 celebration was designed by Leonardo de Vinci and the architect of château Chambord.  So in this modern version, actors played the roles of Leonardo (bottom, right) and King François I (bottom, left).  The other fellow played the host for the evening and explained all of the events that were to follow.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Marignan 2015 - the joust

Last night at Clos Lucé, there was another event celebrating the 500th anniversary of the ascension of King François I to the throne of France in 1515.  The evening was actually a re-creation of an event in 1518 to celebrate the victory in battle between the French and the Swiss near the town of Marignan (French spelling) in Italy.  This was only one of many battles fought during the Italian Wars from 1494 to 1559.  With this victory, France regained control over the Lombardy region of Italy (at least for awhile).  The 21 year old King himself led the French forces into battle and was hailed as a hero.

One element of both the 1518 and the 2015 celebrations was a jousting event.  I found it amazing to see these horsemen demonstrate their riding skills while in armor.

Here is a wider view of the performance on the grounds of Clos Lucé (Leonardo's home at the time of the 1518 spectacle).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

explosion of color

Have a good Sunday everyone.  We're actually looking forward to maybe getting some rain today.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

on top of the world

Well, at least this undeveloped lot is on top of Amboise and it has a nice view over the countryside.

Friday, July 24, 2015

the garden squash

This just demonstrates what a difference water makes.  Yesterday I showed the desert-like conditions that rule the area this summer, but in this regularly watered garden, the vegetables are thriving.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

the sand bridge

Here's a wider view of what I was describing yesterday.  One can now walk from the Ile d'Or on the right to this smaller island on the left across this bridge of sand.  Normally, it would be under the Loire.  Surprisingly, these little yellow flowers don't seem to mind the heat and dryness.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Did I mention that it's dry?

I took a little hike around the expanded Ile d'Or yesterday.  I say "expanded" because the level of the Loire has dropped to a point that smaller islands have been connected by dry river bed.  Fortunately, the receding water left this nice fish-shaped design for me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

thistle make your day

There seem to be lots of bees around Amboise now... thank goodness.

Monday, July 20, 2015

miles and miles of tiles

It pays to explore different cycling routes in this area.  I have gone near this place many times but had never ventured down this little road to the west of Amboise. Now I'm scouring my map for other passages I've missed.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

drying in the sun

We're having quite the drought around here this summer (not to mention the accompanying heat wave).  This desert-like shot looks the way it feels to me.

For those of you who've gotta know, the background is a somewhat rusty corrugated piece of sheet metal.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

fields of gold, fields of green

This ocean of wheat surrounds a little vineyard island on the outskirts of Amboise.

Friday, July 17, 2015

the two of hearts

I think these Amboise shutters have a simple elegance in design, color, and texture.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

le mimosa

I've seen a number of mimosa trees around town this year and they are spectacular.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ivy envy

This photo could be in the dictionary under the word "overwhelming".

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

quatorze juillet 2015

It's the 226th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in Paris, one of the significant events leading to the fall of the royalty in France and the establishment of a democratic government.  Today on this national holiday, all around the country there will be celebrations, parades, and of course fireworks.  So tonight I'll be snapping my ADP photo for 14 July 2016.

In this photo from last year, you can see the château in the background on the other side of the Loire.  For a small town, Amboise has a very impressive show of firworks.  There will also be concerts and after the fireworks, a dance à la place du marché.   "Allons enfants de la Patrie. Le jour de gloire est arrivé."

Monday, July 13, 2015

bee's delight

I guess it's because it's summer, this photo makes me remember a huge 3-dimensional advertising figure on the outside of an ice cream shop.  It was a little boy clinging to the side of an ice cream cone that was five times his size.  Likewise, I think this bee is also getting his fill today.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Catherine's garden

There are several fabulous and different gardens at château Chenonceau.  This one is named in honor of Catherine de Medici who moved into the château around 1560.  This was after her husband and King Henri II died and then after kicking out the mistress of her deceased husband.  On the other hand, the mistress, Diane de Poitiers, got château Chaumont as a consolation prize. Another garden at Chenonceau is named for her.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

lead the way

Saturday.  Sunset.  You know the drill by now.  But where are we going?

Bon weekend tout le monde.

Friday, July 10, 2015

a classic home in Amboise

Here's a beautiful home in downtown Amboise not far from ours that exhibits the classic style of the region.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

coming around the bend

Here's a better view of the riders in the recent race in downtown Amboise.  They've slowed down to make the U-turn on this "out and back" circuit.  Meanwhile the Tour de France continues with stage 6 today in northern France.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

la fleur de la courge - the squash blossom

My wife and I are tending a garden for our neighbor who is off on vacation for a few weeks.  One of the rewards is finding little jewels like this.  Of course, he is growing this for the squash that he will harvest latter, but I found this squash-blossom to be a real treat in itself.  Plus it doesn't hurt that I also find the term squash-blossom just delicious.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

rooftop patchwork

I liked the abstract look of these rooftops as seen from château Chinon.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Le prix de la ville d'Amboise

As I am every July, I am glued to the TV to watch the 21 stages (3360 km / 2087 miles) of the Tour de France.  It turns out that Amboise has it own bicycle race and it was today.  While not to be compared with the professional Tour de France, this is an exciting 74 km circuit race in downtown Amboise for local cycling clubs.  These are the kinds of events conducted all over France that inspire and produce the future professional riders of tomorrow.

In any case, while the Tour de France has it's helicopter coverage, I did note the happy coincidence of this hot air balloon (montgolfière in French) flying overhead as if it were covering the event for the local TV stations.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

late afternoon at église St Florentin

As the sun starts to set, the balloons are often to be seen launching from across the river and then flying over downtown Amboise.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

the bachelorette party

I have seen lots of wedding parties strolling around Place Debré on Saturdays, but this was the first time (today) I encountered what I'm calling a bachelorette party.  The honoree (I'll let you guess which one) is to be married at the end of the month.  So maybe I'll see her again with the wedding party.

By the way, the T-shirt being autographed by well wishers translates to "I am burying my life as a girl".

And also today I wish all my American friends and family a fun and safe Independence Day celebration.  Won't someone email me some BBQ?!

Friday, July 3, 2015

gone fishin'

Today is the last day of the school year for French public school students.  So I imagine some of them will close their books and pull out their fishing gear.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

which way is the wind blowing today?

Well, I guess it's all my fault.  I recently made the mistake of crowing to friends that compared to the US South, it doesn't get so hot here in France.  So now France is experiencing a prolonged period of extreme weather known as la canicule.  Yesterday, there were places in France that had temperatures  of 40° C / 104° F  (that's around 15° C  / 27° F above the average).  So I hope the wind is blowing from somewhere cooler but that does not appear to be the outlook for the foreseeable future.  Note that the rooster on this wind vane is an emblem of France.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CDP Theme day for July - "upside down"

This fair ride from last spring, is designed to turn you upside down and inside out.  Four brave passengers are installed at either end of this huge beast.  The seats can freely rotate 360° so if the timing is right you can be travelling straight down upside down.  If I remember correctly, it's almost 50 meters / 150 feet tall and riders experience multiple G-forces.  I was happy to take a picture of it.

The first of every month is Theme Day for the bloggers of City Daily Photo.  To see how they interpreted this theme, take a look here.

And here another view of it in action.  By this time it started to rain so the lens got some raindrops, but you get the idea.