Limousin, France – Day 9


Day 9 turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag. One of our happy band of travellers wanted to send an email a family member based in the US. The email had been written but, due to the fact that the gite was pretty much a dead zone for wifi and mobile technology, we decided to take a trip to MacDonalds.  Normally you couldn’t get me to within a mile of one of their establishments. Leastways not without a lot of wailing, gnashing of teeth and not an insignificant amount of kicking and screaming.It’s not that i don’t like burgers, it’s more that I don’t like the way they are served to you. Wrapped or boxed and slowly going soggy in their own steam. Best commercial burger I ever had was from Fuddruckers in Austin, Texas. fuddAnyway, I digress.

So we trundled off to our nearest McDonalds as they have free WiFi and so that we didn’t feel guilty we actually sat inside and purchased coffee. However, the coffee was as awful as I remember and so was the WiFi coverage. The laptop containing the email could not even see the McDonalds WiFi and would not connect. My Blackberry could see the “see” McDonalds WiFi but also would not connect.  My wife had her iPad with her and that could “see” and connect to McDonalds WiFi. Isn’t technology wonderful. Three devices but no way to get the data onto the device that could talk to the outside world. In the end, after nearly an hour, it was decided that when we returned to the gite, the email would be transcribed to the iPad and then we would make another foray to McDonalds.RONALD MCDONALD

So our slightly subdued band of travellers headed off for their second visit to Limoges. There are lots of things to see in Limoges. One of the things I like about France in general is that they don’t just leave blank walls on buildings. They don’t leave them to crumble or fall foul to the vandal graffiti artist.  I don’t have anything against graffiti in general, just the mindless desecration perpetrated by those who just leave their name or a pretty poor caricature of a penis. In fact I see some graffiti as a perfectly valid and useful art form. In France they turn blank walls into  huge canvasses to provide street scenes, country views or truly humorous cartoons.

Église Saint Michel Des Lions, Limoges, Limousin, France

Église Saint Michel Des Lions, Limoges, Limousin, France

Here in Limoges, with the Église Saint Michel Des Lions as a back drop, the end of  a building has been painted not only to extend the street view but also to provide one with a voyeuristic insight on what may be going on behind closed, or in this case open, shutters.

The Voyeurs View - Limoges, France

The Voyeurs View – Limoges, France

Everywhere you walk in Limoges there are reminders of the past.

Limoges, France

Limoges, France

With differing architectural styles jostling for attention.

Limoges, France

Limoges, France

It is with that in mind that we have chosen to explore one of the most famous areas of Limoges, the Quartier de la Boucherie, the Butchers Quarter. In the 14th century this district was inhabited by families belonging to the brotherhood of the butchers and many of the original half-timbered buildings remain. Although few, if any, have the same purpose as you can see in the next picture….

Hot Rocks Boutique - Limoges, France

Hot Rocks Boutique – Limoges, France

The old doorways give evidence to our ancestors diminutive height and at times the old buildings seem to resemble a jumbled stack of packing cases …

Quartier de la Boucherie - Limoges, France

Quartier de la Boucherie – Limoges, France

Every now and then as we explored we would stumble across a real gem.

CHAPELLE SAINT-AURÉLIEN

Chapelle Saint-Aurelien – Limoges, France

 

Chapelle Saint-Aurelien - Limoges, France

Chapelle Saint-Aurelien – Limoges, France

On almost every street there is something to draw your attention…

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Limoges, France

Be it old, ancient ……

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Just Chillin’, Rue du Canal – Limoges, France

….. or modern …

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Mask – Limoges, France

Walking the lanes of  the “Quartier de la Boucherie” made us a tad peckish so we took lunch on a terrace overlooking the Central Market building.

Central Market - Limoges, France

Central Market – Limoges, France

The market, built-in the 19th century, was designed using a mix of materials, including iron, glass and ceramics. The result is this beautiful building with Eiffel-inspired architecture (or so I read somewhere). Just round the corner from here is Place Saint Michel, a pleasant square adjacent to the church.

Église Saint Michel Des Lions - Limoges, France

Église Saint Michel Des Lions – Limoges, France

Place Saint Michel as well as providing access to the church has a number of shops and cafe’s. Of immediate interest was the Belgian chocolate shop.

Place Saint Michel - Limoges, France

Place Saint Michel – Limoges, France

However, we all agreed that we could each of spent several hundreds of Euros in “Comptoir Famille”. This establishment sells some very stylish items for the home. It is a good job that our vehicle was stuffed to the gunnels on our journey into France and wasn’t getting any lighter during our stay and i was rather taken with a rustic wooden storage / display unit.

So we dragged ourselves away from the delights of Place Saint Michel and headed over to Limoges Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges), an impressive gothic building started in 1273 and only finished in 1888 when the nave was connected to the bell tower.

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Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges – Limoge, France

Makes you wonder why the bell tower was not built as an integral part of the main building. There is much to see inside the cathedral. The following photo shows an ornate gallery. Sadly all of the statues have been damaged, their heads are missing.

Detail inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges - Limoges, France

Detail inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges – Limoges, France

Detail inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges – Limoges, France

Detail inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges – Limoges, France

Detail inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges - Limoges, France

Detail inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges – Limoges, France

Detail inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges - Limoges, France

Musée municipal de l’Evêché & Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Limoges – Limoges, France

There are some beautiful gardens in the cathedral grounds….

Cathedral Gardens - Limoges, France

Cathedral Gardens – Limoges, France

Cathedral Gardens - Limoges, France

Cathedral Gardens – Limoges, France

Limoges is also home to the Musee de la Resistance which is just a short walk from the cathedral. As with Oradour, I found walking through this museum quite moving.  The exhibits set the part played by the people of Limoges into the proper war-time context.  Great focus is always given to the capital cities such as Paris .This museum puts the records straight. And again, as with Oradour, I found myself leaving the museum with an underlying feeling of anger towards the politicians who took all of europe and most of the world to war.

By the time we left the museum it was time to look for a place to eat. Our day was completed by a really nice meal provided by Restaurant “La Maison des Saveurs”

 

Limousin, France – Day 8


Eighth day of our vacation based at the La Porcherie gite. I think we are getting into the swing of this holiday lark.

Yet another nice day, weatherwise so we decided to go explore Landes Pierre du Mas.

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Once again the pond impressed with its quiet beauty.

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

It’s refreshing to be able to visit such places and to have them to yourself.

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Not just the tranquility of the pond and the paths around its perimeter but also the beauty of the heather illuminating the mound.

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Just a few feet of elevation makes all the difference and changes your perspectives.

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

There were many brightly coloured lizards here, but they were much to fast for me to photograph, so you will just have to take my word for it.

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Even the lichens and moss, covering the rocks, has an inherent beauty. Providing a subdued contrast to the vibrant floral display of the heather.

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Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

 

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Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

We had taken some stale bread to the pond, hoping to entice the fish to put in an appearance. We were out of luck, the suitably softened crusts floated across the pond, driven by the gentle afternoon breeze. Apparently of no interest to the fish. However, it did prove to be attractive to a large crow who performed some impressive aerobatics and a fair emulation of a fish eagle plucking soggy bread from the surface of the pond.

Crafty crow plucking bread from the surface of the pond - Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

Crafty crow plucking bread from the surface of the pond – Pierres du Mas, Limousin, France

The fresh air and exercise set us up nicely for the BBQ planned for our evening meal. The only fly in that particular ointment was the bottle of wine that we opened to wash it down. It was so decidedly bad that I tipped it away, the only bad wine of the whole holiday.

 

View From The Conservatory


I was relaxing, reading, in the conservatory, immersed in the latest  Tarzan adventure, when I felt that I was being watched. I looked around to discover that my neighbours cat had taken up position, outside looking in. Perhaps it too was enjoying Edgar Rice Burroughs description of the latest exploits of  Jad-bal-ja,  the golden lion, trained by Tarzan.

Spy Cat

Spy Cat

The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters


Here we are, October, and it’s that time of the year. Every morning as we step out of the front door we have to wave to the world. Similar to the Melbourne wave in the summer, only this time it isn’t because of the flies. Our deeply recessed front door seems to be the ideal place for spiders to construct their webs. Sadly, we have to break the fruits of their nightly labours. Quite often we can’t actually see the webs, or the single strands that are the anchor points for the more elaborate works of art, so we end up pulling the debris from our hair and clothes. Don’t you just love cobwebs across your face and eyes.

However, a few mornings ago we were treated to a quite beautiful display. Here are a few pictures that I took. They really don’t do justice to the real thing, but I hope you enjoy them.

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The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters

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Work In Progress – The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters

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The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters

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The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters

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Combination – The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters

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The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters

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Highrise – The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters

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Illumination – Orb Spider (Araneus diadematus), The Wonders Of The Waterlooville Web Masters