Tuesday, September 25, 2007

on the way home

Ang, Ella and I had a great time on the boat with Barry and Margaret, from Paris to Remis, and got something like 9 fine days out of 11, which is not bad going, but I wont claim that it was mid summer hot! just fine and dry and mostly tee shirt and shorts weather, some of the evenings got a little cold. Anyway the scenery was good what ever the weather, and we happened to be there at the very start of harvest for the Champagne region, so that was interesting and everyone seemed busy and happy to be getting the grapes picked. Not going to be a reserve year by all accounts, the weather earlier this year has meant that the grapes will just be fine for blending to make the normal bubbles, but not one of those years that gets put away for special bottling.
here are a few pics from our few weeks while we joined Barry and Margaret.

We started our trip in Paris, with the unmistakable back drop of the Eiffel tower

Ella slotted straight into her bed for the holiday with new soft toy friends she was as happy as a bug in a rug...

Negoiating locks was no problem.

some of the Expansive wine cellars, in the Champagne region around Epernay

Ella sporting the life vest, (which was worn for the first few days, but then as she got the idea that she was not allowed outside without an adult she didn't wear it so much)

ever wondered what the inside of a 2.2km long tunnel with a river flowing through it looked like?

Ella spending time with Grandma while Mum and Dad went on a scenic bike ride...

Cezanne racing along at about 6km/hr...

Parked up for lunch...


Dinner... and what trip to France would be complete without a feed of snails...

Ella helping out with the driving...

Barry and Margaret will be back at Lagarde now where Cezanne will be 'wintering over' and no doubt packing their bags, as they are just under a week away from being back in New Zealand.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

maybe no updates for a few weeks

might not be any updates for a few weeks now.
web master Ross, along with Ang and Ella are off to catch up with Barry and Margaret in person. and join them floating in france. Can't wait!!!
So may not have time to update the website that often, sure i will be too busy drinking wine and soaking up the sunshine...
Look forward to loads of photos and stories when we get back in a few weeks time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

in Paris now

made it to Paris, so now parked up in bassin de l'arsenal. see below. to do the sights and sounds of Paris for a week and then move on.

Bassin de l’Arsenal

This is bassin de l’Arsenal, or, more formally, the Port de Plaisance de Paris Arsenal, a man-made lake between the Seine River and the Canal Saint Martin. It is a very pleasant port for pleasure boating that is virtually unknown to tourists, just south of the place de la Bastille.

You‘re looking north in this photograph, which was taken from a pedestrian bridge that crosses the lake roughly at its midpoint. Off in the distance is the northern shore of the lake. You can see the square, dark opening of a tunnel leading north from the lake; that‘s the Canal Saint Martin, which runs underground for a kilometre or so before returning to the open air and continuing on to another lake south of La Villette. Just above the opening into the tunnel is a row of windows forming part of the Bastille station of Métro line 1; from within the station, you can look out over the lake to the south. Above that is the vehicular roundabout of the place de la Bastille, and you can see the centerpiece of that roundabout, the greenish July Column, at its center. On the right and next to the roundabout is the Opéra Bastille, the newest and largest opera house in Paris.

In the seventeenth century, this lake was just a ditch through which a small stream drained into the Seine, and the city limit of Paris ran along the left side of the ditch (from the viewpoint seen in this photo). The fortress of the Bastille itself was about even with the northern end of this lake, on the right, behind those trees; nothing remains of it above ground at the original site, but you can see chunks of it elsewhere here in my gallery.

Behind the camera in this photo is the remainder of the lake and the set of locks that moves boats between the lake and the Seine just beyond. Most of the boats in the lake are quite nice, as you can see. The park that runs along the east side of the lake (to the right in this photo) is quite pleasant (note all the people relaxing there on this warm summer day).

Click directly on the photo to see a larger version (twice this size). Photographed on July 21, 2000.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Château de Fontainebleau

last two weeks have been drifting slowly towards Paris. From St florentin, to the Chateau de Fontainebleau (see below)

Barry and Margaret are now cruising down the Seine and have just pulled in at the port de fontainebleau just a leisurely 3km bike ride from the boat. Shame its closed today, but they will have a look around the gardens and grounds anyway.

Just 2 days boating away from Paris now, so have that to look forward to.

See below for info on Chateau, looks pretty impressive from the pictures...
to see more info on the chateau click here

Château de Fontainebleau

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Palace and Park of Fontainebleau*
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The central range of Fontainebleau: patterned parterres have been replaced with lawn.
State Party Flag of France France
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, vi
Reference 160
Region Europe and North America
Inscription History
Inscription 1981 (5th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
Region as classified by UNESCO.

The Royal Château of Fontainebleau (in the Seine-et-Marne département) is one of the largest French royal châteaux. The château as it is today is the work of many French monarchs, building on a structure of Francis I. The building is ranged round a series of courts. The city of Fontainebleau has grown up around the remainder of the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former royal hunting park.

Left Part of the Cour d'Honneur
Left Part of the Cour d'Honneur

The chateau introduced to France the Italian Mannerist style in interior decoration and in gardens, and transformed them in the translation. The French Mannerist style of interior decoration of the 16th century is known as the "Fontainebleau style": it combined sculpture, metalwork, painting, stucco and woodwork, and outdoors introduced the patterned garden parterre. The Fontainebleau style combined allegorical paintings in moulded plasterwork where the framing was treated as if it were leather or paper, slashed and rolled into scrolls and combined with arabesques and grotesques. Fontainbleau ideals of female beauty are Mannerist: a small neat head on a long neck, exaggeratedly long torso and limbs, small high breasts—almost a return to Late Gothic beauties. The new works at Fontainebleau were recorded in refined and detailed engravings that circulated among connoisseurs and artists. Through the engravings by the "School of Fontainebleau" this new style was transmitted to other northern European centres, Antwerp especially, and Germany, and eventually London.

[edit] History

Boudoir of Queen Marie Antoinette
Boudoir of Queen Marie Antoinette

The older château on this site was already used in the latter part of the 12th century by King Louis VII, for whom Thomas Becket consecrated the chapel. Fontainebleau was a favourite residence of Philip Augustus and Louis IX. The creator of the present edifice was Francis I, under whom the architect Gilles le Breton erected most of the buildings of the Cour Ovale, including the Porte Dorée, its southern entrance. The king also invited the architect Sebastiano Serlio to France, and Leonardo da Vinci. The Gallery of Francis I, with its frescoes framed in stucco by Rosso Fiorentino, carried out between 1522 and 1540, was the first great decorated gallery built in France. Broadly speaking, at Fontainebleau the Renaissance was introduced to France. The Salle des Fêtes, in the reign of Henri II, was decorated by the Italian Mannerist painters, Francesco Primaticcio and Niccolò dell'Abbate. Benvenuto Cellini's "Nymph of Fontainebleau", commissioned for the château, is at the Louvre.

Fontainebleau from the lake
Fontainebleau from the lake

Another campaign of extensive construction was undertaken by King Henri II and Catherine de Medici, who commissioned architects Philibert Delorme and Jean Bullant. To the Fontainebleau of François I and Henri II, King Henri IV added the court that carries his name, the Cour des Princes, with the adjoining Galerie de Diane de Poitiers and the Galerie des Cerfs, used as a library. A "second school of Fontainebleau" decorators, less ambitious and original than the first, evolved from these additional projects. Henri IV pierced the wooded park with a 1200m canal (which can be fished today) and ordered the planting of pines, elms and fruit trees. His gardener Claude Mollet, trained at Château d'Anet, laid out patterned parterres. Three hundred years later the château had fallen into disrepair; during the French Revolution many of the original furnishings were sold, in the long Revolutionary sales of the contents of all the royal châteaux, intended as a way of raising money for the nation and ensuring that the Bourbons could not return to their comforts. Nevertheless, within a decade Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, began to transform the Château de Fontainebleau into a symbol of his grandeur, as an alternative to empty Versailles, with its Bourbon connotations. At Fontainebleau Napoleon bade farewell to his Old Guard and went into exile in 1814. With modifications of the château's structure, including the cobblestone entrance wide enough for his carriage, Napoleon helped make the château the place that visitors see today. Fontainebleau was the setting of the Second Empire court of his nephew Napoleon III.

Philip the Fair, Henry III and Louis XIII were all born in the palace, and the first of these kings died there. Christina of Sweden lived there for years, following her abdication in 1654. In 1685 Fontainebleau saw the signing of the Edict of Fontainebleau, which revoked the Edict of Nantes (1598). Royal guests of the Bourbon kings were housed at Fontainebleau: Peter the Great of Russia and Christian VII of Denmark, and so, under Napoleon was Pope Pius VII — in 1804 when he came to consecrate the emperor Napoleon, and in 1812–1814, when he was Napoleon's prisoner.

Today part of the château is home to the Écoles d'Art Américaines, a school of art, architecture, and music for students from the United States. Preserved on the grounds is Henry IV's jeu de paume (real tennis court). It is the largest such court in the world, and one of the few publicly owned.[1]

Jazz pianist and composer Tadd Dameron wrote the composition "Fontainebleau" upon visiting the palace.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Cercle du jeu de paume de Fontainebleau. Histoire de la salle de jeu de paume de Fontainebleau. Retrieved on March 19, 2007.

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 48°24′08″N, 2°42′02″E

Sunday, August 5, 2007

end of July, in Saint Florentin

31/07/07currently in st Florentin, where the painter Cezanne lived for 20 years. (namesake of the boat)
Getting fit on the bikes, and doing 50km rides some days touring around looking at different villages.

Friday, July 20, 2007

news from Barry and Margaret

We arrived in Montbard, which has lovely gardens alongside the canal as we entered the ville, on Wed. 18th July. There are many locks on the Bourgogne. They are hand operated, therefore we are accompanied by a lock keeper whom we help to open & close the gates. Barry has been lock counting & tells me that yesterday we went through our 300th lock, on this holiday. They are all now downhill to Paris, where we are planning to arrive on the 20th August.
July14th was Bastille Day___a public holiday, for lock keepers also. We joined the hundereds of locals at Pouilly - en - Auxois at 11p.m. to watch a fireworks display. It was very orderly with bands etc, but by 12 p.m. everyone had gone home & it was very quiet.
On the 12th July, the weather started to improve & we have had lovely sunny days. The farmers are very busy harvesting wheat, which would normally have been harvested earlier. There was a big grain depot opposite the Marina at Pouilly. Trailor loads of wheat were arriving from dawn to dusk. The stalks are also being bailed. There is also farming in this area- charolet cattle plus a few sheep.
There are extensive iron ore deposits in the Montbard area. A large industrial site (foundary) making steel tubing, run by hydro power,is across the marina from where we have our boat moored.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

all down hill to Paris from here

Barry and Margaret have moved on now from Dijon, and have made it to the highest point on the canal of Burgundy (French: Canal de Bourgogne), on their way to Paris, Pouilly-en-Auxois, (featuring a tunnel that passes under the town,)

The Canal of Burgundy (French: Canal de Bourgogne) is a canal in Burgundy in central eastern France. There are two river entrances; to the north the Yonne River allows access in the town of Migennes, and in the south the Saône allows access in the town Saint-Jean-de-Losne. The construction began in 1727 and was completed in 1832. The canal connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea via the Yonne and Seine to the Saône and Rhône. Barges transport goods along the river.

The canal is 242 km long, with 209 canal locks. It passes through the departments of Burgundy, Yonne, and Côte-d'Or. The highest point of the canal is the "partition" at Pouilly-en-Auxois, which is 378 m above sea level. The lowest point is at the junction with the Yonne at 79 m above sea level.

(the tunnel)

and it is all down hill from there.
The town..

Being the 13th and 14th of July, they got to enjoy the fireworks, and celebrations that take place on Bastille day, see link for more info: Bastille day in france, and almost saw some of the tour de france or Official web site but just missed them as they happened to be inside the tunnel that passes under the town at the time the cyclists rode past!
The weather has been a lot better, sunny was the last report...