Vaux-le-Vicomte – Dome with a View

Located at the back of the Chateau is an impressive dome that towers above you at an height of 25 metres. Climbing to its top provides a 360° view around the expansive estate.

In order to climb the tower, I had to pay an additional 3€ at it’s entrance. The woman collecting money looked down at my walking cast and seemed concerned that I wouldn’t make it up the stairs. Feeling quite confident, I assured her that I had been traipsing around Paris and would be fine.

Of course, as soon as I saw the stairs themselves I questioned my bravado.

What the hell had I got myself into?

I took my time, stopping along the way and forcing myself to not look down. Aside from my injured foot, I’m actually quite scared of heights.

When I had finally reached the top I turned around to look back where I came from. Truth be told, I was dreading heading back down the rickety stairs.

But the view of the gardens more than made up for my white knuckles experience. The tiered gardens stretch outwards for near 3 km and are self watered by canals.

The swirly design on the grass in the foreground is an art installation called, Ephemeral Ribbons, by Patrick Hourcade. They take the place of the previous boxwood hedges that were destroyed by disease.

If memory serves correct, I believe that the owners of Vaux-le-Vicomte live in the building in the distance.

One last look up towards the sky before I headed for the stairs

With trepidation, and an hand firmly grasping the railing, I made my way safely back down

Check back tomorrow to start the tour of the Château’s jaw dropping interior.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Jardin de Marqueyssac

Yesterday I shared photos from the Château de Marqueyssac, which I loved. Today we’ll take a look at the gardens. Admittedly, the crowds, heat and being hangry meant that we didn’t venture far. After a quick decision to return in future to do it justice under better conditions, we took a brief walk before heading indoors.

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Château de Marqueyssac

Google Château de Marqueyssac and you’ll find countless photos of swirly box hedges and topiaries set high above the Dordogne River. The gardens and their setting are stunning. Upon discovering them online, I immediately knew that I had to see them in real life.

I imagined our visit to be everything it was not. I had this romanticized idea that we’d be the only visitors, giving us the place to ourselves to leisurely wander. It would be early in the day, before the sun rose too high in the sky and baked everything to within an inch of its life and created harsh shadows. There would be a light breeze and (most importantly, just ask James) I wouldn’t be hangry.

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What is a Weekend?

Are you familiar with the scene in Downton Abbey where Dame Maggie Smith’s character asks, “What is a weekend?”? Her delivery is perfection.

While the scene touches on the ‘modern’ invention of leisure time (for the period), not to mention the obvious class distinction between floors, I can’t help but ask myself that very question this morning.

What is a weekend?

As many of you will know, I’m currently working from home. Our apartment is tiny, not unlike most in Downtown Vancouver. My makeshift desk is set up 2 metres from our bed. It’s also 2 metres from our couch. I’ve only just realised the irony in the spacing.

Because we’re in voluntary lockdown, practicing social distancing when we pop out for necessities, I’m basically stuck in the same space 7 days a week. One day blends into the next. Weekdays turn into weekends without any noticeable change.

My question to those working from home as well, what are you doing to mark your weekend? What helps you to feel like you’re not stuck on an hamster wheel 24/7? If you have any suggestions, please comment below.

I thought I’d share some photos of flowers I snapped during a lunchtime stroll earlier this week. I forced myself to get out for some fresh air and sunshine. If you’re permitted to do the same where you are, I highly recommend it.

Spring has finally sprung!

Bonne journée!

Marls

The Meditation

Times are scary. Unpredictable and stifling with a dose of terror. Many people are turning to different types of self care to offset the negativity.

Like meditation, for example.

Personally, meditation hasn’t ever worked for me. My brain hasn’t figured out how to shut up.

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The Trees Are Alive With Music

I’ve got a couple of really exciting trips planned for the coming year. They’ll inevitably be cancelled though, because of the impending apocalypse COVID-19.

In my attempt to avoid people (surprisingly easy for a non-peopley person such as myself) I’ve been spending time going through my Google albums. I found this short clip of a musical tree at Les Jardins d’Etretat, which you may remember me posting about last week, and thought I’d share it with you.

Cute, non? It was a nice treat to find in an already magical garden.

Bonne journée!

Marla

E is for .. Les Jardin d’Etretat

While based in Bayeux, we decided to take a day trip along the coast in our rental car. One of the stops we made was in Etretat to check out the beautifully manicured Jardin d’Etretat and its quirky face installations that I’d seen online.

An added bonus was the view of the famous ‘Needle’ rock cliff, made famous (to me, anyway) by Claude Monet.

Speaking of Mr. Monet, I learned that a woman who once owned the house of the garden was good friends with him and he used to visit her regularly.

I very much enjoyed this recreation of the famous painter doing what he did best.

Say fromage!

Bonne journée!

Marla

Monet at Giverny

I won’t pretend to be knowledgeable about art. I mean, I can tell the difference between impressionism, cubism and surrealism. But if you were to start discussing post-impressionism in great detail or ask for my opinion on baroque, I’d probably look for a polite excuse to escape before my eyes dried up and fell at your feet.

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The Oregon Garden

We visited the Oregon Garden earlier this week for a wander through the enormous grounds (80 acres!).

I’ve split my photos into 2 groups, and today we’ll start with the first.. it’s more muted than tomorrow’s group, but the plants and flowers are nowhere less beautiful.

I’m not sure what the above pod is, but the next photo shows what it looks like when they open up. They remind me of dandelions.

The Dogwood is the floral emblem of our province, British Columbia. I love its clean simplicity.

Anyone know what this is? I thought perhaps that it was a walnut, but I think the “pod” of walnuts are more shiny and less velvety?

Have you ever visited the Oregon Garden? If so, what did you think?

Bonne journée!

Marla

Roses and The Petite Cannon

Walking further into the grounds of the Palais Royale, you’ll find yourself surrounded by gorgeous roses. Or you will if you’re lucky like I was, and unintentionally time your visit with their bloom season.

And if you look closely, you’ll notice a small cannon installed on one of the lawns between the rows of rose bushes.

According to French Centre of National Monuments, “The meridian cannon of the Palais-Royal was designed by Sieur Rousseau, a watchmaker at the 95 of the Beaujolais Gallery in 1786.

The bronze cannon installed on the meridian line of Paris thundered at noon , thanks to a magnifying glass that caused the firing of the wick on sunny days.

Regarded as the best in Paris, the little gun attracted a large audience who came to adjust his watch.”

The gun was stolen in 1998, so what you see in the image above is actually a replica that was installed in the original’s place in 2002.

I love stumbling across random bits of history like this!

Bonne journée!

Marla