Almost every French village has a church in the center of it, from the days when religion was at the center of life, especially when life was hard and, in this region, it was.  Even in poor towns, the church was often ornate and large, at what cost we don’t always know.  To me, these churches feel as if God is there, even if today’s people seem to have abandoned Him.  They are awesome, in the true sense of the word, before everything was awesome.  Entering these churches, many times just the two of us, the quiet and sense of peace is overwhelming.

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© janet m. webb 2016 Read the rest of this entry »

I’m a dog person rather than a cat person, as those of you who’ve read my stories of our rescue pit bull foster care know and, when growing up, I was quite allergic to cats.  But our younger daughter recently took in a cat and when I visited, that cat won my heart.  Of course it helped that she obviously appreciated me and would come sit on my lap at every opportunity, showing herself to have discriminating taste!   (Cough, cough. Is that a catty remark?) Fortunately, I seem to have outgrown my allergy, although I took precautions and used nasal spray.

Here’s a photo of the fascinating feline in all her intense beauty.

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Yes, I shamelessly stole my post title from the Dodie Smith book of the same name.  So sue me.  On second thought, don’t.  And I only capture the castle by photo, but after all, that, like the hokey pokey, is what it’s all about, right?

We were told to visit the town of Villersexel and its castle, something that sounded like a great idea. Nothing like a good castle, especially for those of us from countries where castles are few and far between (Hurst Castle and ?)  After the usual tussles with lack of/deceptive signage and one way streets, we ended at a parking area, disembarked, and began our search for the castle, which was not exactly standing in plain sight, however hard you find that to believe once you see the photos.

When we got to the entrance, however, we were greeted by this sign:

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The red sign, mostly edited out, says in French, “Private property.”  Hmmm.  I’m sure that doesn’t apply to us.  Onward, but carefully.  We can always play the American-tourist-who-doesn’t-read-French card if absolutely necessary.   No one was in sight, so we slipped in.  Although I’m a distressingly lawful person, this harmless bit of law-breaking was well worth it.  A family still lives in the castle, but as you can see from the sign, they are also a hotel.  Click on the link and you can sigh over the rooms and grounds or book if you like.  You’ll be glad you did.

Needless to say, my shots are all from the outside.  We managed a good number of minutes and amazing views before spotting a woman making her way purposefully toward us.  We nonchalantly but quickly walked out without her either catching us or yelling at us.  She seemed happy to have seen off the invaders and we all went happily on our separate ways..

Just an outbuilding

Just an outbuilding

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The left and middle

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Middle and left

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Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like (someone else’s) home.

 

 

Walking to the post office recently, I spotted someone in the back of a car in the parking lot behind the recently opened auto parts store.  Unfortunately, it was one of the few times I’d gone out without my phone (camera).  I contemplated going back for it, but I was determined to prove I could exist without it.  Drat!  That’s when an oddball photo op always comes by.

(Un)fortunately, this poor woman was imprisoned once more yesterday and I had my phone.  I guess I should have called the police, but…

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One day in France, my s-i-l came in, told me to bring my phone and come with her.  She wouldn’t tell me what the surprise was.  A short distance after we entered the forest, she pointed and I saw immediately what she’d seen, a mushroom looking like a gigantic spider!

Having searched for some time before posting this, I believe this is a stinky squid mushroom.  They look to me like charred red peppers, although you wouldn’t want to eat one.  My s-i-l said they’re rare and, yes, stinky, although flies love them. Evidently something else loved them, as the next day it was gone.  We did, however, find a few others, rather startling in a world of mostly browns, greens, and whites.  This one was a good hand span in width.

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Colmar, France has been Colmar, France, Germany, France again, Germany once more, and now, finally, France yet again. It was even held for two years by the Swedish army during the Thirty Years War.  I’d seen Colmar on lists of places to see in Europe and on my last full day, we drove east, almost to Germany to see whether the lists were right.

It didn’t look promising at first, the navi guiding us through suburbs into what began to look like an industrial area.  Deciding to ignore Ms. Navi, we followed signs toward the downtown.  When we began to see tourists (other than ourselves), we parked on a quiet residential street a few blocks away.  All around us were large, beautiful Art Deco-style homes. After we finished gawking and exclaiming, we walked to the colorful half-timbered houses and businesses that make up  Colmar’s historic district, bisected by canals of the River Lauch, forming “Little Venice” and plied by long, narrow boats filled with sightseers.

Where there are historic, beautiful buildings, there mus,t of course, be doors.  Here are three of the many I stopped and stopped and stopped to photograph.

© janet m. webb 2016 Read the rest of this entry »

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Image  —  Posted: August 17, 2016 in Wordless Wednesday
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