A Date With a Chihuly Glass Exhibit at Kew Gardens

I admit it-I have an obsession with all things made by master glass artist Dale Chihuly. I love the vibrant colors, the movement, and yes, the engineering and science that it takes to make his towering art installations. Throughout my travels, I go out of my way to see his work if it is on display nearby. So, when I was in London this summer, I made it a point to have a date with the Chihuly glass exhibit at Kew Gardens.

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Quiet Luxury in the French Countryside – A Burgundy Canal Cruise Review

To have unique experiences is at the heart of why I travel. This summer I was privileged to have one of the most extraordinary luxury travel experiences that I have ever had. I was invited on a canal barge cruise on the La Belle Epoque with European Waterways. For six days I had the ultimate slow travel cruising experience that included gourmet meals, amazing wines, impeccably attentive service and uniquely curated excursions. While traveling, I posted my daily experiences on my Facebook page. I am sharing those daily diary posts plus lots of extra information in this detailed European Waterways La Belle Epoque Burgundy Canal cruise review to inspire your next unique getaway.

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Kaleidoscope Quilt Design

This kaleidoscope quilt was the beginning of my quilting passion. It was the very first quilt I ever made about twenty years ago. (NO-I don’t believe in starting easy). Continue reading “Kaleidoscope Quilt Design”

PhotoPOSTcard: Bike and Cruise

One of my favorite activities during the European Waterways Burgundy Canal cruise was the being able to bike on the towpath alongside the canal.  The barge cruises very slowly, so keeping up was never an issue. The path was quite level and since the canal passes through woods and farmland, the bike ride was quiet and very peaceful. It was a relaxing way to burn of some calories before the next five star meal that our chef prepared for us.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: …..and Ivory

Another wonderful excursion on my European Waterways canal cruise was to the Chateau d’Ancy-le-Franc, one of the best preserved French Renaissance buildings. Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: …..and Ivory”

PhotoPOSTcard: A Taste of the Bubbly

I’ve tasted sparkling wines, but never true champagne from France. One of the special excursions on my European Waterways barge cruise on the Burgundy canal was a private and fascinating behind the scenes tour for our group of the Alexandre Bonnet champagne production process. Afterwards, we were treated to a tasting of four of their vintages which provided a delectable introduction to this bubbly version of Bacchus’ elixir, a taste I could definitely get used to.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Tapestries in the Chateau de Commarin

One of the most unique aspects of our tour of the Chateau de Commarin were the original heraldic tapestries made for the castle in the early 1500’s. The tapestries depict family armorial designs alternating with alchemical symbols. As a precursor to chemistry, I was particularly fascinated by the alchemy references. Sadly (for us), some of the tapestries were trimmed down to fit the existing space, so some of the panels were no longer complete. However, despite the centuries, the colors were still vivid and all the detail quite impressive. The tour of the Chateau de Commarin was the first excursion on my European Waterways barge cruise on the Burgundy canal.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

 

PhotoPOSTcard: The Great Eagle Owl

My first day’s excursion on the La Belle Epoque Burgundy Canal cruise was to the Chateau de Commarin where our group had a private falconry demonstration. The climax of the demonstration was this beautiful eagle- owl, who with its 6 foot wingspan is one of the largest owls in the world.

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Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: At the Abbey de Fontenay

One of the excursions on my European Waterways Burgundy Canal cruise was to the UNESCO listed Abbey de Fontenay. The abbey was founded in 1118 by a group of Cistercian monks.  On our tour, I leaned that the Cistercian order was established in response to the excesses displayed by the Benedictine monks. The Cistercian’s believed in hard work in a simple, austere environment and they built this large abbey to insure that they would be self-sufficient. Much of the original abbey architecture remains to this day, including the cloisters seen in this photo.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Slow Cruising on the La Belle Epoque

The canals of France were built in the late 1700’s to provide a means of transporting goods. Barges were loaded with timber, limestone, wine and other desirable products and they were pulled along the canals through the many locks that controlled the flow of water. Today, the canals still support boat traffic, but these historic barges have now been converted into luxury floating cruise experiences that offer a unique means of exploring the French countryside. For the next six days, I will be enjoying a one of a kind cruise on the La Belle Epoque along the Burgundy Canal, one of the many barge cruising options offered by European Waterways.

Thanks for visiting

Rose