Category: Loving Music

French Light Show

Techno-Fabulous French Light Show: Carrières de Lumières

If you haven’t seen a techno-fabulous French light show, you’re in for a treat. The French take lights and action to new dimensions: music, drama and imagination.

French Light Show: Carrières de Lumières

A recent visit to Carrières de Lumières was my third experience with the digital, immersive events that are staged in a former bauxite mine outside the village Les Baux de Provence. This year’s exhibition is Picasso and the Spanish Masters” along with a pop culture show, “Flower Power”. Believe me, the photos don’t do justice to the real events.

First, let me set the stage. When you enter the Carrières de Luminères you think you are walking into a movie theatre. Except that it’s built into the side of a mountain. You can go directly into the theatre area or you can walk around the inside of the cavernous halls of the mine. I would suggest you do the latter sometime during your visit. Walls of bauxite surround you, almost as wide and high as you can see.

Once you enter the theatre area, be prepared to gasp. It’s ginormous! Every surface, except the floor, is a projection area. Art images are stretched across huge canvases of stone in front of you, behind you and around every corner. The experience is totally surreal.

French Light Show

Added to the impact, the colossal space is cool and mostly dark. Except for the light that reflects from the art, there is no lighting in the room. When the scenery changes, you stumble around in near-darkness until the next images appear. If fact, if you’re not sure of your footing, you might want to take a seat on the stone steps that are around in various places

Take along a sweater or wrap. It’s really cold inside. If you forget one, you can buy a fleece blanket at the admission office for €5. No kidding!

Before Carrières de Lumières

In 1821 French geologists discovered bauxite near the village of Les Baux. During the 19th century there was a large demand for construction-worthy white stone. The mine in Les Baux prospered. Later with the advent of more modern building materials, the demand for stone fell and in 1935 the quarry closed.

The abandoned quarry was repurposed in the 1960s as a movie set by French filmmaker, Jean Cocteau. His movie, Le Testament d’Orphée (The Testament of Orpheus), featured an appearance by Picasso, of all people! as well as Spanish matador Luis Miguel Dominguín. 

Carrières de Luminères took on its current form and purpose in 2012 with the digital audiovisual production Gauguin, Van Gogh, the Painters of Color.

Carrières de Lumières 2018: Picasso and the Spanish Masters

“Picasso and the Spanish Masters”  is divided into two parts: one, to explore Picasso’s Spanish origins; and two, to show how Picasso, inspired by the masters, shattered traditional figurative art. Portraits and scenes of daily Spanish life painted by Goya, Rusiñol, Zuloaga, and Sorolla appear in the first part of the presentation. Picasso’s work dominates the second part of the show with a near-chronology of his life and art forms. Never before, and perhaps never again, will the public be shown such an emotion-filled demonstration of the life and works of Picasso. Through the images displayed on the massive walls, emphasized by a dramatic, musical sound track, we pass through history and the tumultuous life of one of the world’s greatest modern artists.

Carrières de Lumières 2018: Pop Culture: Flower Power

Remember the psychedelic visuals, colors and music of the 60’s? The “Flower Power” exhibition that follows immediately after Picasso takes you back to the hippy generation. The bright and lively show is not only fun to watch, the tunes of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Beach Boys had me dancing in the dark.

French Light Show: Carrières de Lumières

Important! The best time to visit Carrières de Lumières is in the morning. Drive towards the entrance to the historic town of Les Baux. Just follow the signs. If you arrive early, you’ll easily find a parking spot. If you’re late, it’ll be a nightmare.

The production is repeated throughout the day and lasts less than an hour. You can stay to watch as long as you’d like.

Practical Information: Open every day. 
January, March, November and December: 10h-18h 
April, May, June, September and October: 9h30-19h 
July and August: 9h30-19h30 
Last entry 1 hour before closing

Here are some images from this year’s show.

 

Scenes below are from Carrières de Lumières 2016 – Dreams of a Summer Night – Chagall 

Photos courtesy of mon fils, Pete Bine.

 

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes D’Uzes

There’s a party going on every Tuesday night, right under my window. Les Mardis Nocturnes d’Uzes. I’m not complaining. It’s vendors with jewelry, leather goods, wine and, of course, there are musicians.

Nothing compares with the Saturday or Wednesday markets  in Uzes. Yet these Tuesday events, clearly for tourists, have the added attraction of a nighttime ambiance in the Place des Duche.

Tuesday market at the Place de Duche, Uzes

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d’Uzes

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Zumba in Uzes

The event runs from 6-11pm and starts off with Zumba.The Zumba sessions are led by a local class and visitors are welcome to join in.

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Soon the marketplace is busy with people.  By night it’s loud and filled with music and happy sounds.

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

 

Later, musicians take center stage at the Mairie (town hall).

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

 

There is truly something for everyone to enjoy.

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Candy and nougat

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Jewelry vendors with handmade necklaces, bracelets and more

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Crepes made on the spot

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Crepe making with either Nutella or the buttery sugar variety are favorites.

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Silver jewelers add initials to bracelets and necklaces

 

 

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Balloons are for kids here in France, too.

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Dogs are well-behaved

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes Handmade head dresses are modeled by beautiful young women.

Les Mardis Nocturnes d’Uzes

 

 

No matter how I try to stay in on Tuesday nights, I just can’t miss  Les Mardes Nocturnes D’Uzes. Who could blame me?

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Scarves on sale blow in the summer night’s breeze.

 

Les Mardis Nocturnes d'Uzes

Ruins of the city walls look over Les Mardis Nocturnes d’Uzes

 

For more about Uzès visit here

2014-07-27 22.11.10

French royals

Royalty in Uzes: Up Close and Personal

There’s not much that I love more than hobnobbing with royalty. Even if it’s from a distance.

Each year Uzes hosts a musical event during the summer that brings in famed artists from around the world. This year, the festival brought in French royalty — Prince Albert of Monaco. All in all, there were eight princes and eight princesses attending the festivities.

French royalsPrior to the Prince, his family and entourage arriving, the town was abuzz with where the royals were going to stay. Would they visit with the Duke at the Château de Duché? Or would they be hanging out at Maison d’Uzes — the fancy hotel in town? Oh … the suspense.  I learned it was, in fact, the Maison d’ Uzes, right around the corner from where I live. The royal guest were brought into Uzes by helicopter, according to Midi Libre,  and they were guarded during their stay by the gendarmerie d’Uzès.

French royals

Guards at the entrance to the Château de Duché

Before I continue the story about my “meeting” with the nobility, I’ll admit I’ve been trying to catch sight of the Duke of Uzes, Jacques de Crussol, since I’ve lived here.

After all, we are neighbors. As luck would have it, when my friend and author, Patricia Sands, was here visiting, we had a “Duke sighting.” We were walking to the market and passed by the garage door of the Duché. There a handsome man, who looked very “Duke-y,” was having an animated conversation with someone who could have been his driver.  Trying not to be noticed, I snapped a photo, supposedly of Patricia, who was standing between me and the “Duke.”  Here’s the shot — without Patricia.

French royals

French royalsMy next “Duke-sighting” was on a visit to the Duché during the European Heritage Days last September. On those days many cultural landmarks in France are opened to the public at free or reduced prices. While touring through the rooms of the château, I saw the quick movement of someone heading toward the back stairs. It was the Duke. Excuse the bad image but I was surprised to see him and I didn’t have my camera ready. Perhaps he was in a hurry because I accidentally blurted out “there’s the Duke!” when I saw him, loud enough for everyone to hear. So much for protocol.

Back to the story about Prince Albert

Prince Albert of Monaco and Jacques de Crussol are “cousins” of sorts. The two royal houses were linked by the marriage of Anne-Hippolyte de Grimaldi, Princess of Monaco, daughter of Louis I, to the 7th Duke of Uzes, Jean-Charles de Crussol. The royal bond was broken, tragically, when the princess died in 1700 giving birth to twins who did not survive.

On his first visit to Uzes, Prince Albert II was treated to a Nuits Musicals concert in the courtyard of the Duché which is where I was lucky enough to be at the same time. When I made plans to attend the event, I had no idea there would be such illustrious guests.

French royals

Here’s a slideshow of the evening, the music, the people and the regal atmosphere.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

French royals

The LES SIECLES ROMANTIQUES choir and orchestra playing the national anthem of Monaco for the royals.

 

Uzes, France July 14th

Uzes, France July 14th

Uzes, France July 14th

What’s  happening in Uzes, France on July 14th? I set out with my camera to see how the French celebrate in this small town. It’s all about family, food, dancing and fireworks. This year, it was also about brocante. A hundred or more brocante dealers showed off their best wares in the town’s parking lot — a beautiful spot overlooking the valley.

Uzes, France July 14th

Brocante in Uzes, France

Uzes, France July 14th

China, pottery, porcelain treasures galore.

Uzes, France July 14th

Colorful wares and colorful brocante dealers.

Uzes, France July 14th

El Toro for your man cave?

Uzes, France July 14th

Perfect gift or the man who has everything.

Uzes, France July 14th

Uzes, France July 14th

Every man’s junk is someone’s treasure.

Uzes, France July 14th cafes in town were packed with visitors, couples and families eating, drinking and enjoying their long weekend holiday.

Uzes, France July 14th

All waiting for the music and dancing …

Uzes, France July 14th

 And the fireworks.Uzes, France July 14th

Here are some interesting facts about the July 14th French holiday:

1-  French don’t call the holiday “Bastille Day”?

It’s called “July 14th”, just like “July 4th” in the States. The formal name is  La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration).

2- “Storming the Bastille” was not all about freeing political prisoners.

Rebels freed four crooks and two “lunatics” and, according to Wikipedia, one “deviant” aristocrat. The Bastille was chosen as the target of the rebellion because it was a symbol of the abusive monarchy — a place stocked with weapons and ammunition.

3- The French Revolution was not the beginning of an independent French republic.

The French Revolution of 1787 is considered by historians as a major step towards establishing the concept of “independent republics.” The world saw the uprising of the people of France as an example to create their own political change;

The French, however, were anything but “independent” afterwards. They enduring years of terror led by Roperpeare’s government; and later, a military empire led by Napolean.  It was the Third Republic in 1870 that gave way to national elections and political parties in France.

Charles de Gaulle founded the French Fifth Republic and served as its first president from 1959 to 1969.

 

France tours

France Tour? Uzes Market Bites and Sound Bytes

All the things I like best on a France tour can be found in the Uzes market: eating, shopping and music.

For those of you who like a little of it all, here are some of my favorite bits and bites.

 

Market sellers at work
Market vendors take great care of their wares and their customers.

Stops along the way

Morning shopping means taking a break for café au lait by mid day. Afterwards, I headed around the corner and down an alley for more shopping.  To my surprise…a southern ragtime band. South of France, that is.

Food for thought 
Exploring and shopping is hard work, so a stop for lunch was a must.

Most meals I’ve eaten at restaurants since I’ve been here have been at lunchtime, or Déjeuner. That’s because I can get a great fixe prix meal at a fraction of the cost of the same meal at dinner. It’s also a healthier alternative since I have time to work off the calories before I go to bed.

Saturday Déjeuner was at le Bistrot du Grezac. The entre (starter), vegetable flan; the plat (main course), beef; and dessert, strawberries with a meringue cookie.

Impromptu cabaret
One of the most thrilling moments of my weekend was being entertained by a most interesting family in the plaza. The father showed up at the cafe where I was having lunch on Sunday. Within moments a little girl playing an accordion and her mother joined him at his table. That’s when the fun started.

#France tour? I LOVE THIS PLACE

 

7 Reasons To Visit Sete This Year

Visit Sete This Year

Those of you who follow the Barefoot Blogger regularly know how much I love to visit Sete. It’s one of my favorite places to go for the beach, for the fabulous seafood and for the “always on” fun. If you’re traveling from Barcelona to the South of France, Sete is less than 3 hours away by train.

Here are 7 reasons you really must go:

#1 Visit Sete for Great food

Sete has been one of France’s major seaports for centuries. It is said that Louix XIV made Sete his personal sea gateway so that the treasures of the Orient and beyond could travel directly to Versailles. Italian fishermen helped establish the port as a prime supplier of tuna, sardines, anchovies — among other sea delicacies. Oysters abound around Sete — especially in nearby Bouziques — rounding out a perfect assortment of most delectable seafoods.

Visit Sete

Bluefin tuna from Sete

 

Visit Sete

#2

Visit Sete for History

Along with fishing and importing kingly goods, Sete grew to become a prosperous town with stately homes and thriving businesses along the canal waterfront. Evidence of that prosperity can be seen still today, even though new trade routes and bigger seaports have largely impacted Sete’s economy. Tourism is bringing it back.

 

Visit Sete

Sete’s canal front

 

Visit Sete

Opulent details throughout Sete’s waterfront architecture.

 

 

 

Beyond being a famous port, Sete is known for her favourite son, George Brassens — composer, singer and activist.  In fact, there’s a museum in Sete dedicated to Brassens. It tells of his life and work that captivated me as much as learning about American icons Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley. Click here to learn more about visiting the museum.

Visit Sete

George Brassens

 

#3 Visit Sete for Unique Natural Beauty

Canals that run throughout the town 

Visit Sete

Canals that run throughout the town

 

Visit Sete

 

Sky high, panaromic views of the Mediterrean Sea

Clear blue sea

Visit Sete

#4 Visit Sete White Sandy Beaches

Think the Cote d’Azur has the only beaches in the South of France? Try to beat this. Sete has beautiful beaches, blue skies and all-day beach clubs with seafood and much more!

Visit Sete

Beach buddies

#5 Visit Sete for Summer Sports

 

Where else can you sit in a covered arena, overlooking a sea canal, watching water jousting? Day and night?

 

Visit Sete

 

Visit Sete

#6 Visit Sete for Extravaganzas

Plan your holiday in Sete, especially around August during the St. Louis Festival, and you’ll be amazed the sights you’ll see.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visit Sete

Sete

#7 Visit Sete for Party hearty

Summertime in Sete there’s always a party going on!

Visit Sete

 

Visit Sete

 

Visit Sete

London’s Bad Girls’ Groove Band

 

Visit Sete

Partying at St. Clairs

 

Visit Sete

St. Louis Festival celebration

 

So what’s holding you back? Stop by Sete in the South of France. You might be surprised who you’ll run into!

 

Visit Sete

My “gang”: Hilda, Paula and Rich hanging out in Sete

 

Want to see it all in Sete? Contact Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France for guided tours — especially her famous “walking gourmet” tour.

Here’s where to find year-round activities in Sete. 

More about Sete:

Sete or Marseille? Which Has the Best Fish Soup?

A Day at the Beach in Sete: That’s Life!

Next Stop: Sete France

Barefooting in Sete, France

The Bad Girls in Sete

“The Golden Girls” Loving France: Day 7-8 Sete, Beziers and Bouziques

Sete: Abbeys and Vineyards

By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sete

Sete: Eat, Pray (to eat), Love (to eat)

Final Days in Sete: Parties, Artist Friends and Days at the Beach

For information on train schedules from Barcelona to Sete click here

 

 

Visit Sete

 

Seeing the South of France by train from Barcelona

How to Get To France Via Barcelona by Train

All Aboard for Carcassonne

Celebrating An American Holiday in the South of France

Thanksgiving with friends in France is getting to be a ritual now that I’ve been here for three celebrations. Remembering the first time we got together to enjoy the holiday — that’s not really French — puts tears in my eyes. 

This year’s dinner for twelve at my place welcomed some of the same friends as the first and many who are new to me and to our town — Brits, Americans, Swedes and French. My world is growing bigger and better every day.

Happy Day of Thanks to you all!

Remembering Thanksgiving 2013! 

Not Your Holiday? Celebrate Anyway!

 

This season I’m learning a lesson from my new friends in France. If it’s not your holiday, celebrate anyway!

Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place if, instead of fussing about what to call a holiday, we’d just celebrate it together? Spending Thanksgiving in Uzes this year showed me just how that might feel. As we stood around the kitchen in a circle, holding hands — just as my own family has done for years — we all had something in common. We were all thankful. No translations needed.

Prepping for the day

It’s not easy finding the ingredients for an American holiday meal in this part of France. Yes, we did have a turkey. It took a little doing, but we had one. And it was fresh… like in live.

The Turkey – Yep, one evening just before dark Geoffrey called and said “time to get the turkey.”  He picked me up in the blue van (which I’ve named the “Blue Devil”), and we took off down the road to pick out a live turkey.

Uzes

I wasn’t looking forward to the event. You see, Geoffrey told me that when we went to pick out a turkey, he would have to kill the turkey on the spot. It was a French law. The people at the fowl farm would then run the turkey through some kind of machine to take the feathers off. None of that sounded like anything I’d enjoy watching; however, I decided to go for the experience. Besides, Geoffrey says” “if you can’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it.”

I’m still thinking about that.

When we arrived at the poultry farm, it was much like a warehouse. All types of fowl were running around in very well maintained 2013-11-25 17.35.37cages and they had plenty of space, food and drink. I looked for the turkeys. None were to be seen. There were lots of chickens, geese and rabbits, but no turkeys.

I took a big sigh of relief, thinking we would stop by Carrefour for a nicely packaged chicken.

2013-11-25 17.34.02Just when we were getting ready to get back into the Blue Devil, a man came from behind us with a turkey in his hands. Ugh. He held her up for us to take a look, slammed her down on a scale big enough to weigh trucks, then threw her into a box. Geoffrey went off to “negotiate” the deal, then he put the box with the turkey in the back of the van and told me to “jump in”.

On the way back to Uzes Geoffrey explained to me why things didn’t go as I was told earlier. It seems there’s some “poultry edict” in France now that forbids live fowl from being killed at this type of facility. It has something to do with health requirements, I’m sure. So it was up to Geoffrey to kill the bird and de-feather it himself. I’ll just say, he wasn’t looking forward to it.

2013-11-26 20.35.16

The Oysters

Shopping for oysters was left up to me. Or, better, it was left up to me to pick them up exactly where I was told to go — to Nimes and to Geoffrey’s favorite oyster man at the downtown market. Geoffrey was going to spend the day “preparing” the turkey.

The market in Nimes is a colorful place. It’s on the ground floor of a multi-level shopping mall in a very fashionable part of town. The vendors are at the market until just after noon, six days a week. They sell mostly fresh food items, wine, olive oil and the like. You can buy oysters that are from Sete (the Mediterranean) and some from the Atlantic Ocean. The selection of seafood, meats, cheeses and prepared specialties — like tapenades and pastries — is huge.
2013-11-27 11.32.01

Sally and I started out early for the 40 minute drive. I brought along a little cart with wheels so that I could carry the oysters to the car. There was no time to do any other shopping so Sally and I returned soon to Uzes with two crates of oysters — eight dozen of the most beautiful, fat and juicy oysters you can imagine. And yes, I did sample a few from the nice oyster man.

2013-11-27 11.18.53

Cranberry sauce and pecans

2013-11-28 13.04.44The hardest items to find for the Thanksgiving menu were pecans and cranberry sauce. After searching through Carrefour for longer than you can imagine, I discovered them both. Guess where? You know the aisle in the grocery store where they keep all the “international” food. Should have looked there first, I guess.

Since they were “special” they were pricey. One package of pecans and one small jar of cranberry sauce cost more than US$12! (Perhaps you can tell how small the packages are from the set of keys nearby.)

The celebration

After all the planning, shopping and cooking –done almost completely by Geoffrey– it was time for Thanksgiving. Let me say no more. The pictures and video speak for themselves.

Recently Updated

Jammin’ with Angus

Click here to enjoy the “Thanksgiving in Uzes “sing-a-long”

The party goes on …. stay tuned

ff9b5ea987cea49c5a888346a2eb35b7

7 Great Ideas for An Awesome Autumn Weekend Around Uzes

 An autumn weekend around Uzes makes living in the south of France even more delightful for this expat. 

The tourists have left, or at least the crowds are gone. The weather is cool. The colors of nature and the man-made village walls, homes and regal buildings are all the shades of red and yellow against the autumn sky. Most noticeably, there’s a calm in the air that has been missing.

Being that this is the Barefoot Blogger’s third autumn in Uzes, I now know a few more people and a few more places to roam. My world is expanding. However, I’ve discovered you don’t have to go very far away to enjoy sights and experiences that are familiar. But as you’ll see from the photos here, it’s all somehow very different in France. Come with me to spend a weekend around Uzes.

Vernissage

October is when many artists show off their latest works to the locals. In the nearby village of Cavillargues, an art exhibit — or vernissage — was hosted by town officials in the Mairie (town hall.) Andy Newman — one of my favorites who lives part-time in the US, part-time in Cavillargues — was the center of attraction at this event. The village is less than an hour’s drive from Uzes, so it was a perfect start for weekend activities. (See the earlier post for more on Andy’s exhibit.)

2

Dinner in Uzes

After the vernissage with all its wine and apéros (snacks), a visit to the cozy Italian restaurant, La Voglia, in Uzes was a perfect choice for a late, casual dinner.

3

Vallée de l’Eure Festivities

In the valley park near Uzes there is almost always something going on. This weekend the main event was “Envolée Céleste” or “Heavenly Flight.” Twenty hot air balloons lifted off the valley floor to soar above the town and countryside. We watched the pre-flight setup from ground level, then we climbed up a rocky, narrow path — filled with prickly bushes — to reach the highest viewpoint.  The sights along the way and at the top were amazing, even though it was an overcast day. If you have 5 minutes and want to feel like you were actually there to see the huge balloons pop up behind the trees and hills around Uzes, watch the video.

4

Saturday Dinner and Jazz at Au Petit Jardin

To round out the balloon day events, friends gathered at the Au Petit Jardin for dinner and music.  To top it all off? Caraxés: A new taste from France — spirits made with rum and aquavit.

5

Autumn Weekend Around Uzes

Le Zanelli’s in Uzes

Sunday Lunch at Le Zanelli’s 

One of the best Italian restaurants in Uzes, in the opinion of many friends, is Le Zanelli’s. I confess this was my first visit, so I reserve my vote for a later time. A small salad was all I cared for after a large meal the night before. I will say, it’s one of the prettiest restaurants in town. Indoor and outdoor seating makes the location ideal for a Sunday, rain or shine.

6

A car ride into the Cevennes

As a child in the Carolinas, we’d often go for a “ride” on Sunday afternoons. We’d visit friends and relatives, or drive into a town nearby just to see what was going on. The habit is one I will pick up again now in France. So many interesting places are only a few hours away from Uzes.

A drive into the Cevennes sounded like a great idea, especially with the changing colors of foliage in the mountains. So off we went in good ‘ol Lucy —  me, Paula and Rich — and we picked up Geoffrey to add humor and guidance. After an hour or so on the winding road, we ran upon a market where the locals were selling apples and onions. It wasn’t long before we discovered there was a festival farther up the road. Too bad we hadn’t looked at an events calendar or we would have made an earlier start. Next time! There’s a famous book to read about the area, too —  Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Lewis Stevenson.

 

What an amazingly beautiful ride! Stops along the way to take pictures of the French countryside proved this was no ordinary “Sunday drive.”

Nosey me, I insisted we stop to peer into the yard and garden of a luxury château.

7

A Monday afternoon walk in the Garrigue 

Depending upon how much time you have to spend in and around Uzes, try to find an opportunity to take off to explore by foot. Recently I’ve joined a “newcomer’s” group — AVF — and one of their popular activities is hiking. This walk, however, was with a leader of the AVF hiking group who was doing a “test” walk on an unfamiliar course before offering it to AVF. By the end of the afternoon, we’d travelled 8-10 kilometers along rocky trails, up and down large and small hills, in the garrigue (scrubland) area outside Uzes. Even where there is little more than short trees and sparse vegetation, the scenery was enchanting.  (For a wonderful review of the garrigue, read this article at The Good Life France.)

Back to Uzes

After a very busy weekend, there’s no place like home. For me, this is the way…

Autumn Weekend Around Uzes

More on autumn in the Cevennes:

The Cevennes: Saint Jean du Gard

Halloween Train to the Cevennes

 

Autumn Weekend Around Uzes

Time for Fete Votive Uzes. Which Year Was Best? You Decide.

Fete Votive Uzes 2015 was spectacular. How will this year’s event compare?

By far, one of the most exciting events of the year in Uzes, in my opinion, is Fete Votive. Next week it’s live along the main street in Uzes with lights, action and extraordinary booming sounds. The imaginative “électros soirée” on August 5, 2016 will be the third I’ve experienced. Oh what a night that will be! 

Below are photos and a video from 2015 and there’s a link to highlights from Fete Votive 2014 for you to preview.  When I post the Fete Votive 2016 extravaganza, let me know which you think is the best of the best from the three years.

Fete Votive Parade Uzes 2015

Fete Votive Parade Uzes 2015

 

IMG_4714

 

IMG_4725

 

IMG_4722

 

 

 

IMG_4750

 

IMG_4754

 

A true fantasy!

Here’s just a sample of the sight and sounds…

Will they outdo themselves this year? All I can say is, “I can’t wait to see it!”

See Fete Votive Parade 2014 revisited here. 

Here’s the schedule for this year’s event — 

 

c4231adc999fc8b6362142a5ea8c68ea

 

 

 

 

The Feria’s in Nimes. Let the Party Begin!

Enough reminiscing. Fast forward to this weekend in Nimes. The ancient Roman city in the south of France is going to party like it’s 2016!


One of the most exciting events in the Languedoc region of France is coming up Pentecost weekend (May 12-16) in Nimes. The Pentecost Feria brings Bulls, toreros, herdsmen from the Camargue, and tens of thousands of jubilant spectators to the once-Roman town of Nimes and its Arena.

Nimes Feria

Celebrated since 1952, the Pentecost Feria has become a wildly popular festival for people of all ages. There’s dancing in the streets and all types of merry-making throughout the festival, including parades and abrivados (bulls running in the street).

Feria in Nimes

Ferias are by far one of my favorite things to do since moving to France. While fighting bulls might not be for everyone, there is much more to the nearly week-long event. If you like brass bands, horses, paella, Spanish dancing and all the fanfare, it’s all at the Feria.


Nimes Feria
If you want to experience a bullfight, join the crowd. This part of France is one of the few places in the world where the tradition of the Feria, with all its pomp and ceremony, still exists.


Feria NimesExhibitions are held in the various museums during the feria, including the Museum of Taurine Cultures. Art galleries are filled with images and sculptures of toros and toreadors.

Nimes Feria

Nimes Feria

Food vendors and bars line the streets with wine, beer and pastis — one of the south of France’s famed drinks.

NimesFeria

This is by far the most important of the two Nimes ferias that are celebrated each year. If you are anywhere in the vicinity, head that way. It promises to be a party for all!

  


 

 

 

7 Great Ideas for An Awesome Autumn Weekend Around Uzes

 Autumn is my favorite time of year in Uzes.

The tourists have left, or at least the crowds are gone. The weather is cool. The colors of nature and the man-made village walls, homes and regal buildings are all the shades of red and yellow against the autumn sky. Most noticeably, there’s a calm in the air that has been missing.

Being that this is the Barefoot Blogger’s third autumn in Uzes, I now know a few more people and a few more places to roam. My world is expanding. However, I’ve discovered you don’t have to go very far away to enjoy sights and experiences that are familiar. But as you’ll see from the photos here, it’s all somehow very different in France. Come with me to spend a weekend around Uzes.

Vernissage

October is when many artists show off their latest works to the locals. In the nearby village of Cavillargues, an art exhibit — or vernissage — was hosted by town officials in the Mairie (town hall.) Andy Newman — one of my favorites who lives part-time in the US, part-time in Cavillargues — was the center of attraction at this event. The village is less than an hour’s drive from Uzes, so it was a perfect start for weekend activities. (See the earlier post for more on Andy’s exhibit.)

2

Dinner in Uzes

After the vernissage with all its wine and apéros (snacks), a visit to the cozy Italian restaurant, La Voglia, in Uzes was a perfect choice for a late, casual dinner.

3

Vallée de l’Eure Festivities

In the valley park near Uzes there is almost always something going on. This weekend the main event was “Envolée Céleste” or “Heavenly Flight.” Twenty hot air balloons lifted off the valley floor to soar above the town and countryside. We watched the pre-flight setup from ground level, then we climbed up a rocky, narrow path — filled with prickly bushes — to reach the highest viewpoint.  The sights along the way and at the top were amazing, even though it was an overcast day. If you have 5 minutes and want to feel like you were actually there to see the huge balloons pop up behind the trees and hills around Uzes, watch the video.

4

Saturday Dinner and Jazz at Au Petit Jardin

To round out the balloon day events, friends gathered at the Au Petit Jardin for dinner and music.  To top it all off? Caraxés: A new taste from France — spirits made with rum and aquavit.

5

Le Zanelli's in Uzes

Le Zanelli’s in Uzes

Sunday Lunch at Le Zanelli’s 

One of the best Italian restaurants in Uzes, in the opinion of many friends, is Le Zanelli’s. I confess this was my first visit, so I reserve my vote for a later time. A small salad was all I cared for after a large meal the night before. I will say, it’s one of the prettiest restaurants in town. Indoor and outdoor seating makes the location ideal for a Sunday, rain or shine.

6

A car ride into the Cevennes

As a child in the Carolinas, we’d often go for a “ride” on Sunday afternoons. We’d visit friends and relatives, or drive into a town nearby just to see what was going on. The habit is one I will pick up again now in France. So many interesting places are only a few hours away from Uzes.

A drive into the Cevennes sounded like a great idea, especially with the changing colors of foliage in the mountains. So off we went in good ‘ol Lucy —  me, Paula and Rich — and we picked up Geoffrey to add humor and guidance. After an hour or so on the winding road, we ran upon a market where the locals were selling apples and onions. It wasn’t long before we discovered there was a festival farther up the road. Too bad we hadn’t looked at an events calendar or we would have made an earlier start. Next time! There’s a famous book to read about the area, too —  Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Lewis Stevenson.

 

What an amazingly beautiful ride! Stops along the way to take pictures of the French countryside proved this was no ordinary “Sunday drive.”

Nosey me, I insisted we stop to peer into the yard and garden of a luxury château.

7

A Monday afternoon walk in the Garrigue 

Depending upon how much time you have to spend in and around Uzes, try to find an opportunity to take off to explore by foot. Recently I’ve joined a “newcomer’s” group — AVF — and one of their popular activities is hiking. This walk, however, was with a leader of the AVF hiking group who was doing a “test” walk on an unfamiliar course before offering it to AVF. By the end of the afternoon, we’d travelled 8-10 kilometers along rocky trails, up and down large and small hills, in the garrigue (scrubland) area outside Uzes. Even where there is little more than short trees and sparse vegetation, the scenery was enchanting.  (For a wonderful review of the garrigue, read this article at The Good Life France.)

Back to Uzes

After a very busy weekend, there’s no place like home. For me, this is the way…

 

IMG_8105

My Life in France. Pinch Me.

You don’t know how many times the Barefoot Blogger has to pinch herself to believe she is really living in France. It’s more than a dream come true. It’s pure heaven.

It’s not fair to brag about what a good time I’m having, but … just saying. Take a look at this past week. There was the Feria in Nimes; a cooking class with a French chef; wine tasting; Blanche Nuit with music and art; and a town-wide brocante. Throw in dinners and shopping with friends and tell me what there’s not to love about France!

Feria Nimes

The September Feria in Nimes is a 3-day party with celebrations all around the town for young and old. The tradition of the feria showcases the Spanish influence in the south of France where corridas are an honored tradition. (See post on “The Bullfight”)

French Cooking Class

It was pure good luck that I was invited to attend at the new Cooking With Class Uzes.  Replicated from the company’s successful operation in Paris, the Uzes offshoot offers expert guidance on cooking that is strictly Provencal. The near-day-long experience deserves a post of it’s own, which will follow. Here are highlights  — “cooking with fish.”

To find out more, stay tuned …

Making dough. Stay tuned to find out more!

Making dough. Stay tuned to find out more!

Wine tasting 

How convenient!  A winery is just across the street from the Cooking With Class Uzes school. I just rolled from one to another … and took the class along with me.  How lucky, too, there was an art exhibition upstairs.

Blanche Nuit

Each Fall Uzes dazzles with white lights and the town celebrates ’til midnight for Blanche Nuit. Music, art galleries and shops are everywhere you look along the streets and alleyways.

This year the celebration started early with dinner at the newly re-opened Hotel Entraigues with Chef Axel and jazz performed by popular local musicians.

A sampling of the art …

Artists: Oliver Bevan, Anne-Marie Lanteri and Catherine Robin 

Artist: Jean-louis Dulaar

Artist: Laurent Dubè

Artist: Viva Blevis

Chapeaux et Accessoires: Petit Béguin 

Uzès Lavoir

For the first time in recent history, the Uzes lavoir was lighted and welcoming visitors on Blanche Nuit. The lavoir, built in 1854, was used as a communal house for washing clothes.

Vide-greniers UZES

A brocante sale covered the town all day Sunday with items ranging from devine to bizarre.

Dining and shopping

With friends from near and far ….

… and a beautiful full moon to cap it all off!

IMG_7227

IMG_7129

36 Hours of Wine and Roses in Provence

If the Barefoot Blogger didn’t live so close to Provence, I’d stress about where to go and what to see if I had only 36 hours to visit.

Cousin Judy from Arizona spent two weeks with me this summer giving me a chance to figure out some new road trips from Uzes. Touring Provence was high on our priority list. When I got down to planning, 36 hours — spending two nights on the road — would give us time to enjoy each stop. Digging deeper into the plan, the trip began to take on a theme: “36 Hours of Wine and Roses in Provence: “wine” in the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape region, and “roses” at La Bastide “Rose”, home and boutique hotel of Poppy Salinger, wife of former White House press secretary, Pierre Salinger.

Hope you enjoy following our trip!

Itinerary

Day One 

Morning tour of Avignon

Lunch and tour Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Overnight at Bastide Rose

Day Two 

Morning touring St. Paul de Mausolee and the “trail of Van Gogh”

Lunch and shopping Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Late afternoon Carrières de Lumières and wine tasting in Les Baux de Provence

Dinner and overnight at Bastide Rose

Day Three

 L’Isle sur la Sorgue Sunday Antique Market

Drive back to Uzes

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Day One 

Itinerary: Avignon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Thor

To get anywhere from Uzes, you almost always have to go through Avignon or Nimes. For this jaunt into Provence, Avignon was the direction to take. Plus, it is a city I wanted Judy to see, even if only briefly.

Our travel plan for the first day was to visit Avignon in the morning then to have a late lunch in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We would wander through Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the town famous for wines, stop for a few tastings (degustions) and end up at La Bastide Rose where we were staying for two nights.

Avignon – Morning 

IMG_4073An early morning wakeup in Uzes got us to Avignon in time for our second cup of coffee. Since I had taken the tour of the Pope’s Palace on an earlier visit, we opted to stroll around the main tourist area, then take a mini-train to view the rest of the historic landmarks. The timing was perfect for us to get to the second stop of the day, Chateauneuf-du-Pape. For a tour of the Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace) add another 1 1/2 to 2 hours to your morning in Avignon.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape –  Lunchtime 

Chateau Des Fines Roches

Chateau Des Fines Roches

Just over 30 minutes up the road from Avignon, the wine district of Chateauneuf-du-Pape was waiting for us. In English the name of the town and region means “Pope’s new chateau.” The once glorious chateau in the village, which was the summer home of Pope John XXII, the second of the popes who resided in Avignon, is now in ruins.

While part of our mission in Chateauneuf-du-Pape was to taste wine, we also wanted to see Chateau Des Fines Roches and have lunch on the terrace of the elegant hillside resort.  I wish I could say we enjoyed the meal as much as the scenery, but the food and service were disappointing. Perhaps it was a bad day for the chef and staff because I’d seen rather good reviews by others who have been there to stay and to dine. You should go there anyway… even if it’s for a cocktail. The view is amazing and the poolside dining spot is elegant, indeed.

IMG_4110

Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Afternoon Wine Tasting

Chateau Cabrieres

Chateau Cabrieres

After lunch it was on to wine tasting.  A little research reading online wine magazines definitely helped identify some of the world famous domaines to seek out.  If we could hit just one of the well-known places for “degustion” (a wine tasting), we would be happy.

The first place we stopped was Chateau Cabrieres.  The wines we tasted were very typical of the Côtes du Rhône region, filled with flavors of figs, cherries and berries. Quite nice.

IMG_4183Our second stop was at one of the domaines on our list — Paul Avil’s Clos des Pape. The centuries old domaine consistently ranked high in wine publications and, for example, they were Wine Spectator’s 2012 Top 100.  The tasting room was unassuming and the host was very friendly and helpful. Needless to say, the wine was superb!

Thor – La Bastide Rose  – Overnight

IMG_4424

Poppy Salinger, wife of former White House Press Secretary, Pierre Salinger

A friend told me about La Bastide Rose, a boutique hotel located centrally in the area of Provence we were planning to visit. The bastide is owned by Poppy Salinger-Le-Cesne, wife of the late Pierre Salinger, press secretary to President John Kennedy. My friend also told me there was a museum on the property, filled with memorabilia from Salinger’s days in the White House.  Since I was a huge fan of the Kennedys and a journalist myself, I could think of nothing better than to visit Salinger’s home to learn about his life and career. Perhaps I would learn some secrets about the days of “Camelot.” Cousin Judy agreed that a stay at La Bastide Rose would be the crown jewel in our tour of Provence.

Pierre Salinger lived at La Bastide Rose with his family the last four years of his life. The private property, which is less than an hour from Avignon, is hidden away among groves of apple trees and acres of vineyards. The seventeenth century home and adjoining structure, converted from a paper mill,  is along a section of the Sorgue River.  At one time the property was a production facility for Italian marble objects.

The comfortably elegant estate includes an outdoor garden with massive contemporary sculptures and art pieces. Beside the garden is the river and a park-like island that is part of the property. Hammocks, swings, benches and sun chairs are arranged throughout the island where visitors can relax and hide out. The peaceful ambiance is complete with a waterfall that sends rippling sounds throughout the place.

Our first night at the bastide we enjoyed a light meal of tapas, served to us as we sat on the terrace. Then it was early to bed. Day two was going to be very busy.

Day Two

Itinerary: Saint- Remy,  Le Baux de Provence, La Bastide Rose.

Even though I had been to Saint-Remy, I was anxious to see it again. My last trip was in the springtime and I knew the surroundings would look much different in the summer. Of course, who can resist shopping and lunch in the beautiful town of Saint-Remy? In Les Baux de Provence we were headed straight to see the famous light show (Carrières de Lumières). A wine tasting at Cave Vignoble Sainte Berthe was conveniently nearby. Next, dinner and overnight at La Bastide Rose.

 St. Paul de Mausolee in Saint-Remy -Morning tour

St. Paul de Mausolee is the hospital-asylum where Van Gogh self-committed himself just prior to his death. The well-maintained site is faithfully preserved to remind visitors of the time when Van Gogh was a patient there. From the bedroom where Van Gogh’s wheelchair and desk sat, to the courtyard below, everything was just as he would have left them. A new addition to St. Paul since my last visit is the kitchen, restored to perfection.  

 IMG_4224Saint-Rémy – Afternoon lunch and shopping

The morning market in Saint-Remy was coming to a close when we arrived, nevertheless, there were plenty of shops open and ready to serve up everything Provencal.  From olive oil to configures and calissons — a new sort of candy to me that’s famous in Provence. Cans of sardines, Camargue rice — both red and black — and flavored salts were my finds of the day.

Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux de Provence- Late afternoon

IMG_4302Not too far down the road from Saint-Remy is Les Baux de Provence. The village that sits atop a hill in the southern part of the Alpilles mountain range is a sight to see. During the summer the hilltop village is packed with tourists, so we opted to skip the steep climb and visit only the Carrières de Lumières. Neither of us was prepared for the experience. First of all, the cave was mammoth. Second, the presentation of art and music was mind-blowing. Hundreds of tourists filled the aisles between the illuminated walls of the cave, yet it seemed as if we were the only ones there. Visitors sat around the perimeter of the huge space just so they could take it all in. 

Mas-sainte-berthe

Mas-sainte-berthe

Coming out from the light show we were happy to run into Mas Sainte Berthe , a winery on our way out of Les Baux. Yes, more wine!  Some of my favorite tastings of the trip.

Bastide Rose in Thor -Dinner and overnight

Discovering that Bastide Rose had a fine restaurant onsite was an added reason for staying for two nights. The mastermind of the kitchen is Poppy’s son, Emmanuel de Menthon.

La Bastide Rose for dinner

Emmanuel

Along with his son, who serves as wine host and waiter, Emmanuel and his chef create imaginative dishes from local and home-grown products. Guests appear at La Bastide Rose from far and near to enjoy a meal and the beautiful surroundings.

Day Three

Itinerary: L’Isle sur la Sorgue and return to Uzes

My Aunt Rose was one of the reasons I grew to love collecting things, so I knew her daughter Judy would love L’Isle sur la Sorgue. The small town has a Sunday antique market that is well-known in this part of France. There is also a Sunday “everything” market, similar to Saturday Market in Uzes. It was a perfect last stop for our tour —  and only a few kilometers from the bastide. After our “goodbye” to Poppy, we set out to see what we could find.

In the tiny town lined with canals and shopping stalls, we walked through throngs of people and stopped only for a late lunch at one of the busy cafes. With full stomachs and happy hearts we were ready to head back to Uzes, ending our 36-hour tour of Provence.  We had “been there, done that” … and had a ball along the way!

For more information about places we visited, check out these blog posts.

“The Golden Girls” Loving France: Day 5-6 Nimes, Pont Du Gard, Avignon

On Van Gogh’s Trail

A Sunday in Provence: L’isle Sur la Sorgue

Friend

I Just Want To Be A Girl in the Band

Before the Barefoot Blogger ever dreamed of living in France, I longed to be the lead singer in a rock band.

No joke. It’s been my suppressed desire to sing with a rock band– along with living in a ‘hippy’ van on the beach. So when the Bad Girls Groove Band came along (thank you, Nancy McGee in Sete!) I fell in love with them.  They are everything I ever wanted to be … and more! The girls are not only drop-dead gorgeous, they have that kind of glamor that’s a flashback to the past…

 

 

Bad Girls Groove Band

Bad Girls Groove Band

 

 

Bad Girls Groove Band

Bad Girls Groove Band

 

 

… and a whole lot of Rock n’ Roll!

Bad Girls Groove Band

Bad Girls Groove Band

 

The weekend of the Saint Louis Festival in Sete, the Bad Girls Groove Band of London ruled the main stage. 

 

 

It’s no wonder!

Here’s a quick visit with the Bad Girls Groove Band in Sete on the main stage and at St. Clair’s. Same time, next year! (Fingers crossed!)

More about the Bad Girls in Sete:

The Bad Girls in Sete

Barefooting in Sete, France

IMG_4560

 

 

Just Another Summer Tuesday Night in Uzes

The Barefoot Blogger is getting a bit blasé, I’m afraid, about all the activity below my apartment windows on Tuesday nights.

I mean, there are only market vendors with jewelry, food and all sorts of handiwork. There’s a bit of music and, of course, tango dancing at the Mairie (town hall). Sounds boring, right?

NOT!!!

Tuesday night around the Plaza de Duche

Tuesday night around the Plaza de Duche

 

IMG_4939

 

Tango dancing at the Mairie on Tuesdays brings together dance lovers and tango club members from near and far.

 

 

 

Dancers swirl to their favorite tango music in this beautiful setting in the center of Uzes.

 

 

Inside the Hotel de Ville (Mairie)

Inside the Hotel de Ville (Mairie)

 

 

 

 

Wandering around the plaza gave me a chance to stop by for a short visit with one of my favorite artists. (More about Marie and her work coming soon!)

 

 

 

 

There’s always something new to try from the weekly vendors. l’Aligot de l’Aubrac is a mixture of cheese, heavy cream and potato stirred up in a huge pot. It’s served here with grilled sausage and onions.Yum!

 

 

 

 

Not bad for a summer Tuesday night in the neighborhood….

 

Duche in Uzes on Tuesday night

Duche in Uzes on Tuesday night

 

IMG_4769

 

 

Fete Votive 2015 Uzes: Explosive!

There are few words better than “explosive” to describe the late night parade in Uzes that accompanied Fete Votive 2015.

After waiting for hours to see what event organizers had in store for this year’s Fete Votive parade, the crowds went wild. Justly so. The contrast of the loud, bright, huge moving floats against the pale, regal, ancient buildings along the streets of Uzes was striking. And exhilarating!

Fete Votive Parade Uzes 2015

Fete Votive Parade Uzes 2015

 

IMG_4714

 

IMG_4725

 

IMG_4722

 

 

IMG_4700

 

 

IMG_4750

 

IMG_4754

 

A true fantasy!

Here’s just a sample of the sight and sounds…

 

Did they outdo themselves this year? All I can say is, “I can’t wait until same time, same place 2016!

See Fete Votive Parade 2014 revisited. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Summer. It’s Music Time in Uzes!

What better way to welcome in summer in Uzes than with music all around town?

It’s Fête de la musique à Uzès with music ranging from flamenco guitar to folk music, to rock. Stages were set up on street corner and plazas throughout the historic area with hundreds of spectators taking in every precious moment.

My venue of choice was flamenco. My new friends from Pittsburgh — fans of Barefoot Blogger! — invited me to join them for dinner at Ma Cantine, directly in front of the street stage.

The friendly owner of Ma Cantine, Terry, welcomed all to join that could squeeze around the tiny tables. Menu selections for the night were limited and reasonably priced. Along with his wife and the Liv Tyler-lookalike server, Terry kept busy serving drinks to seated customers, as well as people standing in the crowd.

2015-06-21 20.29.45

 

Down the street a bit and around the corner, more music in the Place aux Herbes, more bands.

 

2015-06-21 22.01.25-2

 

Of course, I should have known it would be a perfect night when I headed out the door wearing

a blue polka-dot dress, a petticoat

and red shoes with bows …

2015-06-21 14.00.50

… and it all ended with a perfect summer sky.

Uzes sky welcoming summer

Uzes sky welcoming summer

 

 

The French “Ninth Art”: Bandes Dessinées

Follow on Bloglovin

The French love bandes dessinées — drawn cartoons.  We may call them  “funnies”  in the States  but here they take the art form quite seriously. 

The graphic style is recognized and debated by art historians in France as the “Ninth Art”  —  a category that ranks comic drawings along with poetry, architecture, painting and sculpture.

My first exposure to bandes dessinées (drawn strips) was at an exhibition in the Place De Herbes.

Art in UzesThinking it was a book signing that was drawing the crowd of people, young and old, I walked up to the tent set up in the plaza to get a closer look.

Strips of cartoons on single sheets of paper; comic books in soft and hard covers; and colorful posters were stacked in piles on the tables. Hard-bound books with CDs of George Brassens, Jacques Brel, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and other music icons were arranged in neat rows.

IMG_2516

Artists were busy selling and signing the books and comic strips to the enthusiastic shoppers.

IMG_2470

The artist that got my attention was Jose Correa.

Jose Correa

Jose Correa

He was seated at the end of one of the long tables, busy signing his work — with gusto. It was his art that was featured on the poster for the event, I learned.

“Ok,” says me to me as I walked to get in line to meet Correa. “I’ll get a poster and have it signed.” “Better, yet, ” says me, “I’ll  ask him to sign one of his CD books.”

Jose Correa

The CD set has music of Jacques Brel, the French singer who became famous during the time of Frank Sinatra. Brel is still a legend in France. The CD book has pages and pages of  cartoon drawings by Correa, along with his dialogue on the music.

Jacques Brel CD book

Jacques Brel CD book

 

Inside bande dessinee graphics, poetry and CDs

Inside bande dessinee graphics, poetry and CDs

Owning a CD with a personal message from the artist sparked my curiosity about bandes dessinées.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

“Bandes dessinée” is a type of art made popular in France and Belgian in the 19th century. Unlike “comic books”, the subject matter for bandes dessinées was not humorous. The “strips of paper” were more like graphic novels, occasionally penned by famous French artists. The drawings often raised public debate, similar to political cartoons. (See below for reference and more details.)

 "A family supper" from Caran d'Ache in le Figaro on February 14, 1898. The drawing depicts the divisions of French society during the Dreyfus Affair. At the top, somebody says "above all, let us not discuss the Dreyfus Affair!". At the bottom, the whole family is fighting, and the caption says "they have discussed it".

“A family supper” from Caran d’Ache in le Figaro on February 14, 1898. The drawing depicts the divisions of French society during the Dreyfus Affair. At the top, somebody says “above all, let us not discuss the Dreyfus Affair!”. At the bottom, the whole family is fighting, and the caption says “they have discussed it”. Wikipedia

In the 20th century the popularity of bandes dessinées grew rapidly as the drawings appeared in national papers and magazines. Themes were both serious and humorous. Cartoon characters and comic books from America flooded into Europe.

Le Journal de Mickey, based on Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, was published in France in 1934.

Le Journal de Mickey

Le Journal de Mickey

When War started, the Nazis occupying this part of Europe banned comics that came in from the US. Bandes dessinées artists in France and Belgium picked up the slack and finished many of the adventures of Superman and Flash Gordon. Since then, comics from the US have never been as popular with the French — replaced by the work of famous comic artists from around the world.

Some of the cartoon characters known in the US today originated in France.

Recognize this?

The Smurf characters originated in France.

The Smurf characters originated in France.

References: Thanks to Wikipedia for providing just enough information to make me dangerous!

Caran d’Ache the artist 

The Dreyfus Affair

‘Til next time 10247353_712774975446317_5694589719174608707_n

Stacey Kent Concert in Uzes

Follow on Bloglovin

There are a few musical events in my life that the Barefoot Blogger will always remember. The concert with Stacey Kent in the Cour du Duche high on the list.

A magnificent azure sky against the yellow haze of the Chateau du Duche and a soft summer breeze made the evening in Uzes seem heaven-sent. Add to that the clear, innocent voice of Stacey Kent, singing my favorite type of music — Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz, aka Diana Krall and Melody Gardot. It was an experience that made me pinch myself several times during the performance to make certain I was not dreaming.

IMG_3174

Although I live only a few feet away from the Chateau du Duche, I had never been inside the courtyard. Guests are invited for special events and occasional tours.

 

Inside the Cour des Duche

Inside the Cour des Duche

 

The Cour des Duche

The Cour du Duche

 

The private Chapel

The private Chapel

 

 

Stain glass windows to the Chapel des Duche upclose.

Stain glass windows to the Chapel du Duche up close.

 

The stage set up inside the Cours des Duche

The stage set up inside the Cours du Duche

 

There was even a glimpse of the Duke and the family who were entertained from the balcony onto the Cour du Duche.

 

The family and the Duke

The family and the Duke

 

Isn’t it fun to see royalty up close and personal?

IMG_3181

Stacey Kent and her ensemble were casual and at ease with the mostly French audience. Stacey Kent is an American and conversed easily in French, telling the crowd about the music and her fellow musicians — especially her husband, the lead brass and wind artist.

 

 

IMG_3203

Stacey Kent in concert in Uzes

 

Stacey Kent

Stacey Kent

 

 

Jim Tomlinson, Stacey's husband and saxophonist extraordinaire.

Jim Tomlinson, Stacey’s husband and saxophonist extraordinaire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now sit back and enjoy the music of Stacey Kent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1512694_10151792418576809_968768725_n

 

Travel Diary for Foodies

Travel Diary for Foodies
Follow on Bloglovin

There’s no better way for a “foodie” to recap a year’s travel than to revisit meals and favorite foods devoured along the way.

Enjoy the journey!

Macaroons from Christmas Market, Uzes

Macaroons from Christmas Market, Uzes

Christmas Market, Uzes

Chicken Stewing at Christmas Market, Uzes

Appetizers in Turkey: Calamari and Mixed Seafoods

Appetizers in Turkey: Calamari and Mixed Seafoods

Salmon Salad, San Quentin La Poterie, France

Salmon Salad, San Quentin La Poterie, France

Meat Pies, London, England

Meat Pies, London, England

Fruit Tray for "Southern" Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Fruit Tray for “Southern” Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Fresh Greens and Homegrown Tomatoes, Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

Fresh Greens and Homegrown Tomatoes, Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

Cappuchino, Port Vendres, France

Cappuchino, Port Vendres, France

Wine! France!

Wine! France!

Garlic! L'Isle sur la Sorgue, France

Garlic! L’Isle sur la Sorgue, France

Ham Biscuits for "Southern" Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Ham Biscuits for “Southern” Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Coffee at the Orangery, Kensington Palace, London, UK

Coffee at the Orangery, Kensington Palace, London, UK

Lobster with Penne Pasta in Nice, France

Lobster with Penne Pasta in Nice, France

Shrimp, Oysters and Mussels in Sete, France

Shrimp, Oysters and Mussels in Sete, France

Fresh Greens with Lardon and Goat Cheese in Uzes, France

Fresh Greens with Lardon and Goat Cheese in Uzes, France

Bruschetta in Florence, Italy

Bruschetta in Florence, Italy

Street Vendor Paella in Arles, France

Street Vendor Paella in Arles, France

Seafood Starter in Lacoste, France

Seafood Starter in Lacoste, France

Greens and Chicken Salad, Roussillon, France

Greens and Chicken Salad, Roussillon, France

Punch with Fruit Ring, "Southern" Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Punch with Fruit Ring, “Southern” Baby Shower, Douglasville, Georgia, USA

Fish and Chips, London, UK

Fish and Chips, London, UK

Gnocchis au Chèvre et Aubergine in Nice, France

Gnocchis au Chèvre et Aubergine in Nice, France

"Four Seasons" Pizza in Uzes, France

“Four Seasons” Pizza in Uzes, France

"Bouchon de Lyonaisse" Salad in Lyon, France

“Bouchon de Lyonaisse” Salad in Lyon, France

Everest Beer, Kathmandu, Nepal

Everest Beer, Kathmandu, Nepal

Oysters, Shrimp, Tapenades at Artists' Fete in Uzes, France

Oysters, Shrimp, Tapenades at Artists’ Fete in Uzes, France

Entrecote and Frites in Avignon, France

Entrecote and Frites in Avignon, France

Sherpa Biscuits in Pokara, Nepal

Sherpa Biscuits in Pokara, Nepal

Saucisson in Uzes, France

Saucisson in Uzes, France

Brioche with Caramel Glace

Brioche with Caramel Glace in Lyon, France

Tuna Steak in Collioure, France

Tuna Steak in Collioure, France

Grilled Octopus, Nova Siri, Italy

Grilled Octopus, Nova Siri, Italy

Pork Medallion, Uzes, France

Pork Medallion, Uzes, France

Fresh Fruit, Brie and Lavender Honey on Crusty French Bread for Lunch!

Fresh Fruit, Brie and Lavender Honey on Crusty French Bread for Lunch!

IMG_3764

%d bloggers like this: