Sunday, March 18, 2018

Windows and signs

As promised, here is a typical street view. The shutters are closed. It may be a vacation house, or an unoccupied house. Hard to tell. Or maybe the people who live there just like their privacy.

The sign on the door says "beware of dog." Tasha paid no attention.

The blue sign says that the street is one way. I learned that when I got my French driver's license way back when. That would be 2005, by the way. Thirteen years ago. Wow.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

What a load of...

Well, I won't say it. It was nice of the town to designate a spot for Spot. Tahsa didn't need it this time.

Please poop outside the castle walls. Merci.

We did carry plastic bags around with us just in case. Especially at the gîte, since she did her business on the owners' grass. I had to be a good guest and pick up after her.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Everywhere a sign

This sign made me chuckle. There's nothing inherently funny about it, it's just that the front door is somewhere else while the mail goes through the slot in this door. Un presbytère is the parish or clergy house for a nearby church. This one is close to the church I've been posting about, so I assume it's part of that.

Put the mail in here, enter over there.

The door here is in a little street that winds around the castle wall in Lapalisse. At one point, the street gets very narrow. All along the way we saw interesting architectural details, signs, windows, doors, mailboxes, and downspouts. I'll bore you with several of them in the coming days.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

La Palice à Lapalisse

The château de La Palice is located in the town of Lapalisse. Two spellings, same pronunciation, probably because of historically competing regional dialects. The castle was constructed between the 12th and 14th centuries by the La Palice family, who owned it through the 16th century. Then the ownerships get a little muddled, as the male heirs to the property were killed in battles, leaving it to the heiresses, who then married and re-married and had children who married and had children, etcetera, etcetera.

Part of the castle's ramparts and round tower as glimpsed from a nearby street.

The lineage is recounted in all its begotten detail in the Wikipedia entry about the castle, but I lost interest at some point between the 16th and 18th centuries. The castle remains privately owned, and guided tours are given in the summer months. It was, of course, closed when we visited, but again, we wouldn't have gone inside because of the dog.

I posted a photo of the castle above the town last week here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


As promised, here are some shots of the inside of Saint Jean Baptiste in the town of Lapalisse. The church is very clean and new looking inside, compared with the many much older churches and cathedrals that I've seen in France. But they were once new, too, and maybe they looked a little like this.

The altar. I think Ken has a better shot of those modern stained glass windows. They were cool.

The nave. Those aren't chandeliers, they're heaters. Stone churches get cold inside.

The gothic-style ceiling. The basic architectural style is neo-roman, but some gothic elements got in.

And although this is a "new" church, it's still over one-hundred years old.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Saint Jean Baptiste

This is the exterior of the church from yesterday's post. I got the name wrong; Ken found it on the internet. It's across the street from the château in Lapalisse. I didn't find anything about the building on the internet or in the guide books, but Ken found something that says it's of modern construction, not yet historically significant. Sometimes a church is just a church.

There's the Renault 4 parked next to a more modern car.

The church was obviously built in the Romanesque style, but it doesn't look old enough to be from the middle ages. Indeed, it was built in the 19th century. I snapped a few photos of the exterior, but was going quickly because I had Tasha attached to my belt. Ken was getting ahead of us and Tasha was pulling on me to keep up. She doesn't like the "pack" to get separated. We were also walking in a street and there were a couple of cars to avoid.

The front entrance to the church. We were parked up under those trees in the back.

After our brief walk, we came back to the church because our car was parked behind it. Ken and I took turns going inside since the door was open and we could. It wasn't spectacular, but it was pretty enough. I'll show some interiors tomorrow.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Le gîte

Either I was too sick to think, or I was too occupied with Tasha, but I didn't take any photos of the outside of our vacation rental, called un gîte rural in French. I did remember to snap a few inside. This is the fourth time we've stayed in a gîte since moving to France. We started staying in rental properties, both country houses and apartments in Paris, on our annual trips to France back in 1993!

The living and dining area. The front door is on the right, between the brick wall and the mirror.

This is the living/dining area. There's a small sofa behind the louvered screen on the left that folds out into a bed, but we didn't need that. The regular sleeping area is behind where I'm standing. They had a nice flat-screen television, but it was small and it was hard to see anything. Still, we weren't there to watch a lot of TV, just the news and weather. The place had wifi, too, so we got to do our blogs, read internet news sites, and check the weather on line. Ken even watched television news via the internet on his tablet in the kitchen.

The eat-in kitchen was well-equipped. The little fridge is just under the oven. Behind where I'm standing (see my reflection above the sink?) is a big glass door that opens onto a private patio.

And, speaking of the kitchen, here it is. It was equipped with nearly everything you'd need for cooking and eating. The little wall oven worked well, as did the two-burner electric stove, but we didn't use the dishwasher at all. We washed dishes the old-fashioned way. Good thing we brought our own dish soap.

When Europeans rent gîtes, it's understood that they will bring with them their own bath and kitchen towels and bed linens. The owner can provide them, but at an extra cost. When we traveled from the States, we couldn't bring our own linens, so we had to pay for them. But now we can just load sheets and towels into the car with ease.

The place was very comfortable, over all. The bathroom (which I didn't photograph) was modern and clean, but the shower was a little cramped and the water pressure was weak. We ate all our meals here (mostly food we brought from home), except when we took picnic lunches out on the road. I like renting gîtes. It's a little like camping, but much more comfortable, and better than a hotel room.