nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for June 2013

side roads 6-9

with 2 comments

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vines on a wall near La Prises (image from Street View)

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day 6-9 1 Logbook

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day 6-9 1 Map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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Any time we go for a drive in the countryside, I always wonder where the side roads lead.  It is the same on my virtual bike trip in France.  One of the limitations of virtual travel is that I cannot just get off my bike and walk down an interesting side road.

Sometimes Street View gives a very good idea of what I would find if I walked down one of those roads.  Perhaps a mansion and beautifully kept grounds …

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beautiful grounds (image from Street View)

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Sometimes the way is mysterious and I can only imagine what must lie beyond the view …

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two side roads, side by side (image from Street View)

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Sometimes there is just a glimpse of a yard or a house …

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I wonder what lies beyond the white gate (image from Street View)

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Sometimes I know that beyond my view is a broad beach of white sand and the sound of the ocean …

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access to the sea near La Passe (image from Street View)

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Best View: side road behind a white gate …

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'road beyond the gate'

June 13, 2013 ‘road beyond the gate’ Jane Tims

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

June 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

ruins by the road 6-8

with 4 comments

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6-7 n

a ruin near Saint-Martin – this wall was put to use as a community event poster – first to announce a circus and then to tell about a sale of second hand items (image from Street View)

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Day 6-8 1 Logbook~

Day 6-8 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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The Ile de Ré has a long history.  It is not surprising to see ruins along the way.  Some, like the abbeys I have seen, have been restored.  Others, probably on private land, are left to the sun and the rain …

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a ruin of a building and wall (image from Street View)

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Sometimes, the ruin is part of an old property wall …

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part of an old wall (image from Street View)

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It is hard to believe that some of these walls, hundreds of years from now, may only exist as ruins …

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6-8 s

a wall covered with vines (image from Street View)

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Best View:  a deserted stone building beside the highway …

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'overgrown'

‘overgrown’ June 6, 2013 Jane Tims

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

June 26, 2013 at 7:05 am

donkeys and a walled town 6-7

with 6 comments

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6-7 a

walls of Saint-Martin (image from Street View)

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Day 6-7 1 Logbook

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Day 6-7 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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My virtual bike trip on June 3 began with a surprise.  Along the busiest part of the road, not far from the gates to the walled town of Saint-Martin, cars were stopping along the road to see a herd of donkeys! …

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donkeys near Saint-Martin (image from Street View)

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A herd of donkeys were also huddled near the moat around Saint-Martin …

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6-7 d

a herd of donkeys near the entrance to Saint-Martin (image from Street View)

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Although I didn’t travel into the town (no Street View), a bit of looking at some of the images on Google Maps showed a town of narrow cobblestone streets and a beautiful harbour area …

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6-7 f

entrance to walled town of Saint Martin (image from Street View)

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The map below shows an aerial view of the town, and the citadel to the right …

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map of Saint-Martin

map of Saint-Martin (map from Google Earth)

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In the country-side to the west, there are acres of vineyard …

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6-7 m

vineyard near Saint-Martin – the poster on the ruin across the road announces an antique sale! (image from Street View)

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and more acres of vineyard …  the Internet tells me that this is part of the Pays Charentais, producing mostly white table wines

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6-7 ww

future bottles of wine (image from Street View)

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Best View: a building along the road to Saint-Martin-de-Ré …  more watercolour work …

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'on the road to Saint-Martin-de-Ré'

June 3, 2013 ‘on the road to Saint-Martin-de-Ré’ Jane Tims

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

June 24, 2013 at 7:01 am

a citadel and a walled town 6-6

with 6 comments

6-6 a

bright whites and blue-greens near Saint-Martin (image from Street View)

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Day 6-6 1 Logbook

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Day 6-6 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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Another day on the flat, flat island of Ré.  I saw more poppies …

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poppies in a field near Saint-Martin (image from Street View)

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huge vineyards …

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a large vineyard (image from Street View)

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and more vineyards …

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a vineyard near Saint-Martin (image from Street View)

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Although Street View doesn’t allow too close a look, I reached the fortified town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré.  The major feature was the wall, around the citadel …

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6-6 s

white wall around citadel at Saint-Martin (image from Street View)

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and enclosing the town of Saint-Martin …

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walled town of Saint-Martin (image from Street View)

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 Ile de Ré has been of strategic importance throughout history and is extensively fortified.  This includes the citadel at Saint-Martin-de-Ré which was built around 1620 during the Wars of Religion to protect Catholic Saint-Martin from the Protestant population of La Rochelle.  The Citadel was also used as a prison in the 18th and 19th centuries …

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6-6 map of the citadel

map of citadel (map from Google Earth)

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On my next bike trip, I’m looking forward to a closer look at the walled town and its population of donkeys!

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Best View: a courtyard in La Flotte, and some practice with my watercolours …

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'walled courtyard in La Flotte'

May 28, 2013 ‘walled courtyard in La Flotte’ Jane Tims

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

June 21, 2013 at 7:00 am

a walk along the quay 6-5

with 11 comments

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quay at La Flotte (image from Street View)

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day 6-5 1 Logbook

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day 6-5 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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At last, vineyards!  My virtual bike trip along the coast of Ile de Ré on May 27 took me past some beautiful vineyards …
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6-g

to the right, the Abbaye des Chateliers (image from Street View)

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In the distance, I could see the ruin of the Abbaye des Châteliers.  Many of the images available for the abbey show fields of poppies  – as I ‘drove’ by, a tractor was preparing the soil for the next round of bloom! 

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preparing a field

preparing a field for next season’s poppies (image from Street View)

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The establishment of the abbey dates to 1150 although the exact date is unknown.  The abbey was demolished and rebuilt several times … today’s ruin is 16th century.  The facade of the church is almost intact, and shows the ornate enclosure of the huge windows.   It was fun to explore, although in reality I was at a computer rather than admiring the stone walls in person.  For more information on the Abbey, see http://www.patrimoine-histoire.fr/Patrimoine/IledeRe/Ile-de-Re-Abbaye-des-Chateliers.htm

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6-h

vineyard with church ruin in distance (image from Street View)

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The town of La Flotte was charming and very old.  There were so many green shutters, I think they must be legislated in the town ordinance …

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street in La Flotte with plantings and green shutters (image from Street View)

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Flowers were planted everywhere along the street …

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the edge of the wall along the street in La Flotte was planted with different types of flowers in bloom (image from Street View)

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I thought the quay in La Flotte was inviting and sunny, the quinessential opportunity to wander along the dockside buildings and have a drink at one of the tables overlooking the harbour …

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6-z

the quay in La Flotte (image from Street View)

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Best View: a blue gate outside La Flotte … and my first effort at line and wash watercolor …

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'blue gate near La Flotte'

May 27, 2013 ‘blue gate near La Flotte’ Jane Tims

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

June 19, 2013 at 7:21 am

looking out to sea 6-4

with 10 comments

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view from Ile de Ré with the bridge in the distance (image from Street View)

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Day 6-4 1 Logbook

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6-4 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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I am enjoying my glimpse into the way of life on Ile de Ré.  The houses include the now-familiar two-story dwellings on narrow streets.  Most of the houses have painted shutters …

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6-4 j

narrow street in Rivedoux-Plage (image from Street View)

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I also see more modern houses tucked away behind fences and walls …

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6-4 y

street on Ile de Ré (image from Street View)

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Where the route runs along the ocean, there are pleasant walkways and marinas for boaters …

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houses along Rivedoux-Plage (image from Street View)

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There are lots of places to sit and watch the ocean.  Some views overlook extensive oyster farms in the zone of the low tide …

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A closer look at my route map shows the rectangular oyster-growing areas just off-shore …

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6-4 1 MAP_crop

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Best View: view across the Bay of Biscay toward the Ile de Ré Bridge – a place to sit and watch the ocean …

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

June 17, 2013 at 7:19 am

beaches and dunes 6-3

with 6 comments

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view of Ile de Ré from Bridge

view of Ile de Ré from Bridge (image from Street View)

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Day 3 1 Logbook

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Day 6-3 1 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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At last, I have arrived on Ile de Ré!  I love the name Sablanceau, the first community I reached on the island … it seems to be a name made from the words ‘sand’ (le sable), ‘white’ (blanc) and ‘water’ (l’eau) …

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beach to east of bridge

beach to east of bridge (image from Street View)

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 It looks like the beaches of the island are accessible to vehicle traffic, making them vulnerable to erosion.  I was glad to see boardwalks have been to constructed to reduce the impacts of foot traffic across the dunes  …

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walk way across the dune

walk way across the dune (image from Street View)

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The island is flat and there are bike routes everywhere …

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bike route

bike route along the beach (image from Street View)

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It must be nice to live directly across the road from such a beautiful beach, but the traffic must be annoying …

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houses along the Sablanceau beach

houses along the Sablanceau beach (image from Street View)

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Best View: dunes of Sablanceau …

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'dunes near Sablanceau'

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

June 14, 2013 at 7:49 am

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