Thursday, December 31, 2015

la Saint-Sylvestre 2016

Happy New Year to all!

Since there are no fireworks in Amboise on this day, I had to borrow this shot from this year's 14 juillet (National holiday on the anniversary of the storming of the bastille).  Frankly, the weather today feels more like July 14th than December 31st.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

a year-end view of the Loire

A view from the château d'Amboise over the Loire, the Ile d'Or, and the bridge Général Leclerc.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

a peaceful afternoon

After all the holiday bustle, lights, and festivities, it was nice to take a quiet walk around the Ile d'Or the other day.  There have been several swans lingering around the island for awhile and I hope they are taking up permanent residence there.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

a Christmas to crow about

The rooster is a symbol of French national pride.  And there is much to be proud about this year.  The holiday feasts of friends and family are legendary.  We were truly honored to be invited to our neighbor's home yesterday to share one such traditional Christmas dinner.  After an appertif we started on the first course of foie gras.  For the next course we savored shrimp, smoked salmon, and oysters (on the half-shell).  The "main" course was venison in a red wine sauce, potato timbale, and Waldorf salad (how did that get in there?!  I wonder who brought that?). Next an array of cheeses was presented before the desserts. Afterwards, we lingered over coffee.  Did I mention a different wine was served with each course?  This all rolled out leisurely over four hours so I never felt like I had overeaten. It was a remarkable day of fine dining, conversation, and new and renewed connections.  And nationally, it was a day to be proud of a reining peace through the dedicated work of all the organizations here that defend against internal and external threats.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas to all !

The gallery at château Chenonceau this year is stunning.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

rose bonbon

This luscious treat is one of the many fabulous creations on display in château Chenonceau this year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

the winter solstice

The solstice arrived in France early this morning.  I wanted to capture the location of the sun at sunrise (8:42 am) so I stuck my camera out of a skylight on our top level.  Much to my great surprise, the clouds cooperated perfectly on this occasion to provide a wonderful start to the shortest daylight hours of the year.  (Here, that is of course.  My Australian friends will have their longest day.)

Monday, December 21, 2015

the Christmas bazaar

In the cave (tunnel) beneath the château d'Amboise, there is a wonderful display of local hand-made crafts just in time for Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

a royal Christmas

Every year château Chenonceau decorates in a grand and royal style. Even the Sun King (Louis XIV) seems to be looking on in approval.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

sailors' delight

This sunset on the Loire is the bookend to Thursday's post and the rhyme "Red sky at night, sailors delight, red sky at morning, sailors take warning".  Today, I am indeed delighted to be in good health.  Bon weekend à tout le monde.

Friday, December 18, 2015

the countdown begins

One week to go and the anticipation builds.  Here's a snap from château Chenonceau to help get you in the mood.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

sailors take warning

This sunrise view from our our home's top level reminds me of the old saying "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning...".  It's appropriate today because I want to issue a little warning to all my friends of a certain age.  Last week I had a routine stress test (running on a treadmill while connected to an EKG machine) in order to be certified for a foot race.  A "little anomaly" was detected and I went immediately to my cardiologist.  To make a very long story short, after a echo-cardiogram, a CT scan, two angioplasties, and two stents, I'm as good as new in just a week.  I was lucky that the two 50% blocked arteries were found so early before real damage was done.  So even if you have no symptoms, as I didn't, I say have a conversation with your doctor or cardiologist about any symptoms, your family's heart history, and your cholesterol.  Clear sailing everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

digging deep

OK so it's not really all that deep... and it's not really a recent photo but from several years ago after an unusual Amboise snowfall.  But I hope it does help you get in the mood for the holidays.  And it does reflect my having to dig deep into my archives for today's photo as I have not been able to capture fresh ones recently.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

stars in the skies, stars on the sidewalk

Every year Amboise has holiday icons spray-painted on the sidewalks.  The "paint" is very thick and contains lots of reflective glitter-like particles so they really sparkle under the evening night lights.

Monday, December 14, 2015

on the road again

I'm on the road again, by railroad that is.  But at least I'm on the right track.  This snap at the Amboise station is a good example of the weather here lately.  But fortunately it's pretty much back to normal for this time of year.

I've been away from Amboise for most of the last week and so again I must apologize to all my City Daily Photo bloggers for being such a poor commentator.  But I'll be home soon.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

waiting for Christmas

This magnificent specimen at the Amboise train station looks like he is all ready for the decorations.  Alas, as far as I know, that's not likely to happen.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

les bougies

These candles are projected onto one of the towers of the château d'Amboise facing the Place Debré.  I'm pretty sure they did this in honor of my wife's birthday anniversary today.

Friday, December 11, 2015

the land ship

These round, porthole-like windows remind me of a cruise ship at sea. I have seen many individual windows like these in a home, but not five in the same house.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


This spillway on the river Cher is downstream for château Chenonceau. This river flows into the larger Loire river west of Amboise.  This shot was taken about a month ago when there were still some leaves on the trees.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

reaching for the sky

We still have some beautiful skies in spite of the drop in temperatures.

Monday, December 7, 2015

look out!

Now here's a warning you don't see every day.  I snapped this shot on a recent bike ride on the pavement of a back road through the forest of Amboise.  The triangular shape (as well as the exclamation point!) is a warning of a dangerous situation upcoming. I'm wondering if there are also little warnings on the side of the road for the frogs that have a car in the triangle.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

let the games begin

The holiday decorations are up in Amboise and here is a taste of what's to come.  The lampposts now have colored glass and sparkling lights are everywhere.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

a fiery December sunset

I'm running a bit late today, but the good news is that I just caught this very brief, yet intense sunset.  Don't touch the screen, these pixels haven't yet dried.

Friday, December 4, 2015

awash in peace

I don't know how it could be any more peaceful than this...  a classic cottage amidst rolling fields like ocean swells.  Have a peaceful weekend everyone.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

the towering factory

I've published several shots recently of this old factory.  I love the steel work in it.  And for good reason.  It was designed by Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition of 1900 and installed in the Bois de Vincennes (one of the two great wooded parks) in Paris.  Its vast open space served as a hanger for dirigibles on display.  After the exposition, it was dismantled and taken by train to Amboise to be used in a metal fabrication business.  In 1940, it was converted to auto manufacturing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

it was a foggy morning

It was indeed a foggy morning during last Friday's market.  On my way home, I snapped this fellow walking along the levee towards the market.  He looks rather cold... and maybe even lonely in this misty scene.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

CDP Theme Day for December - "shop window"

The first of every month is Theme day for the worldwide bloggers of City Daily Photo, and today's theme is "shop window".  My contribution to this cause is the window of the landmark chocolate shop and tea salon Bigot on the town's main square, Place Debré.  To see how the other bloggers interpreted the theme, click here.