Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Wanderings - Snapshots of Angers

I mainly stopped at Angers because I had to change trains there and it was a convenient time to spend the night. The town is lovely though. There's plenty to see. It roughly marks the western end of the Loire Valley, at least the part with the highest density of castles and vineyards. Angers is at the confluence of several smaller rivers, which soon after flow into the Loire river. The Loire flows westward on to Nantes, where it finally joins the Atlantic.

Angers was the capital of Anjou, the stomping grounds of the Plantagenets in the Middle Ages. It has one of the most imposing and impressive fortresses in France, very dark and grim on the outside, brooding over the river with furrowed brow.

The House of Adam - late medieval timber house covered in amazing sculpture

The Cathedral of St. Maurice

The windows are a rare survival, stained glass from the 13-15th centuries

The mayor of Angers in the 1520s built himself this very stylish house.

It is built with the beautifully workable limestone of the Loire Valley and combines late Gothic and Early Renaissance styles.

March Wanderings - Snapshots of Rennes

I needed to take care of a bit of government bureaucracy stuff that warranted going to Rennes. That put me about half way to the Loire Valley. So I took the opportunity to set aside a few days and wander.

Here are a few photos of Rennes. It's not particularly quaint. But it has its moments. And I understand it has been voted one of France's most livable cities. It's not big but very lively, due in part to the presence of several colleges and universities.

The Parliament of Brittany

a market square - this day all the stalls had books

Church of St. Augustine

town ramparts
quirky Victorian Gothic house on the market square

Church of St. Germain

 This is kind of interesting. One of the things you see a lot around town are these exposed side wall. The street fronts are usually lined with nice, clean finish materials. But on the sides you see the rough stone that is behind it all. And then, since that stone isn't suitable for the construction of chimneys, you see clay brick incorporated into it, tracing the lines of the chimney flues as they make their way to the roof. It's all so exposed and the dichotomy of presentable front with utilitarian sides and back is so open. Somehow it feels very French. It's like mothers and wives of all ages who may choose to go topless at the beach. We all know what's there. We've all seen it since we were suckling babies. So what's the big fuss? Still, when you leave the beach and go into town, you put on your stylish outfit and heels and a bit of makeup.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Plouhinec House, skylights

The house has 3 skylights, all of which needed to be replaced. The glass seals had broken, causing moisture and dirt to accumulate between the doubled panes of glass. On Friday, 10 March, Metiers du Toit came out and replaced them all with new Velux models. They also added a small skylight in the bis, over the stairs, where there had been none before. This one was made specially, to fit the smaller space, by a local firm called Skler.

This photo shows the condition of the old skylights, above, and the new ones, below.

Kitchen - before (lt) and after (rt)

Current bath at ground floor - before (lt) and after (rt)

Attic bedroom - before (lt) and after (rt)
bis staircase