50 kilometers Southeast of Paris is the matrix of every classic European castle: Vaux-le-Vicomte. Continue reading “VAUX-LE-VICOMTE”
The island of Ré is full of treasures: the beach and farniente, the architecture, the history, an ancestral and yet diversified local life. The whole place is still rather wild and authentic thanks to the action of the local political actors (and to a 16€ toll on the road that gives one access to the island during high season). Continue reading “RE ISLAND”
I’ll quickly paraphrase Balzac because I find his formulation very accurate: Azay-le-Rideau is a “multi-cut/faceted diamond crimped by the Indre river”.
Azay is a true Renaissance gem, its finesse makes it look like a little ornament floating on the water. Continue reading “AZAY-LE-RIDEAU”
This may seem strange but the castle of Chenonceau left me with mixed feelings of amazement and sadness. The place is utterly gorgeous but something (other than the hoards of tourists) creates an atmosphere of utter melancholy, which might have something to do with its history. Continue reading “CHENONCEAU”
Deauville is first and foremost the crazy story of a financial coup.
In only four years, thanks to the funds of powerful Second Empire businessmen, who had seen the juicy potential of the project, Deauville sea resort emerged from the swamps and from 1864 to this day, the rich Parisian society enjoys spending time in the « town of pleasures ». Continue reading “DEAUVILLE”
I have a certain tenderness for La Rochelle.
There, I find the remanents of the beautiful protestant citadel it once was, besieged and isolated. Bled dry because it was protestant but also resiliant, dignified, noble, commercial and flourishing because it was protestant. Nowadays remains a magnificent historical center, simply majestic and quite impenetrable. Continue reading “LA ROCHELLE”