Sunday, September 27, 2009

If I were in Angers today.....

~I would have arrived early yesterday afternoon, a 90 min ride on the TGV from Charles de Gaulle. Then, walked about ten blocks to our favorite hotel, and across the courtyard with the crunchy gravel under my shoes, approaching the front door. Upon entering, a soft chime would sound, and the hotel clerk would have greeted me in her sing-song voice 'Bonjour Madame DeJarlais'. It's been a long wait, and I am finally here again!

~I would start my day with the view of the hotel courtyard below (except, being September, there'd leaves on the trees, and flowers in the courtyard).
~I'd go down to the breakfast room, passing the sitting room on the second floor landing, admiring (each time) the mirrored armoire and iridescent taffeta curtains. The breakfast room would be bathed in light from the tall, old, wavy-glass windows. The room would be quiet except for the hushed conversation of other guests and the busy tinkling of silverware and dishes. Cafe' ou the', Madame? Cafe' s'il vous plait. Fresh delicious cafe' with steamed milk, freshly baked croissants and baguette with French butter and confiture (jam). A second cup of cafe au lait, planning the day ahead, and then maybe sampling a brioche!

~Leaving the hotel, turning right onto the narrow street, my day outside the courtyard begins.

~Take a right, about 40 feet down, at the green/blue doors.
~Angers (in the Loire) is known for its slate (d'ardoise) quarries, and the buildings have blue slate tile roofs, and is known for their all-shades-of-blue doors.
This is the old part of the city, and the architecture, everywhere, is stunning.

~About a half-block down, the narrow cobblestone street opens onto streets of shops. We love everything 'French', and Hemisphere Sud is kind of like an upbeat French Pottery Barn. Lots of oohs, ahs, ideas for furniture finishes, and buying small, fun finds. But, more time for that tomorrow, today I'm re-introducing myself to the little city.

~Winding my way to the castle, I spend a couple hours browsing the old prints at Candide. Maybe I found a page or two of large monogram print pages from old books, or an old map.~Flower shops are everywhere. Stop, admire, enjoy the feeling that you could do this everyday.

~Angers has one, also. The small tins with rose nosegays were around 9E.

~The castle. I've toured the inside and the grounds several times, today I'm happy to gaze at the moat and breathe the air.~I don't remember the year, but my daughter has told me the castle history, and there was a king who wanted the turrets removed. They were. ~The sky is always this shade of blue in Angers.

~At the Cathedrale Saint Maurice, you enter a tiny door (bend over), cut inside the large doors.
About two blocks from the hotel, and it's only another two blocks to the flea market, where I'll go on Saturday morning.

~Good shopping, always, in Angers - for new and old, clothes and shoes, too. Don't think about how to pack it all until the night before leaving for Paris.
Bonjour Angers!

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