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.

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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.

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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.

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Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Still Standing Strong

After 1000 years of history, Our Lady of Notre Dame de Paris still stands strong. She is a little rougher around the edges, but her soul still shines through. The spire and the roof are gone but the site looks remarkably clean. For the time being, you can only admire her from afar. Unlike my previous visits, there was no revelry as people stood to watch and take photos. There was a quiet worshipful reverence as tourists continued to admire this historic Paris icon.

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Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: The Red Vespa

There are over 1000 years of history in this photo. The round church in the background is the Rotonda di San Lorenzo in the city of Mantua, Italy. This is the oldest church in this UNESCO designated city, built in the late 11th century, and still has some of the original frescoes visible inside. The red Vespa in the foreground is another classic Italian legacy, but only since the 1940’s.

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Rose

 

“Remembering Venice” – Original Quilt Design

Quilt Inspiration – I made this quilt to commemorate our 30th wedding anniversary trip to Venice.  Blue and red seem to be the traditional colors of Venice-gondaliers wear blue-and-white or red-and-white striped shirts. The traditional carnival masks tend to use a red or blue diamond patterns, so I knew those would be the predominant colors in the quilt.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Venice From a Gondola’s Perspective

The gondola is a form of transportation that is totally unique to Venice. For many, a trip to this city is not complete without a gondola ride through its canals. Most people though take a gondola near St. Mark’s square and as a result, their gondola experience is nose to tail with other tourists. For a less touristy alternative, I picked a gondolier on one of the quiet back canals in the Dorsoduro district of Venice. This district is an easy vaporetto boat ride across the Grand Canal from St. Marks square, yet not many tourists seem to go there. As a result, I had peaceful and relaxing gondola ride that gave me a different perspective of this city built on top of the water.

Thanks for visiting

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: St. Mark’s Square at Night

When I first saw the puddles in St. Mark’s square in Venice, I thought it had rained while I was having dinner. But when the puddles kept getting bigger, I realized that the high tide was seeping in from underneath the paving stones in the plaza. I could not resist the opportunity for another reflection photo.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose