|Leaving Paris this morning for the 'country'. (We were very happy to be able to store our extra day pack and small box of items under the bus for this trip! Lightens the load we'll be carrying around France this week.)
We stopped about 11:30 for a guided tour of a 13th century castle in the process of being built! Guedelon is a fascinating project of which none of us were aware. Meticulous detail is being followed in every way to construct this castle using medieval building techniques such as: quarrying and cutting the stones; making the mortar; felling trees to make the bridge, doors, & scaffolding; building and using squirrel cages for cranes to lift the stones and put into place; making the ropes and baskets needed; blacksmithing all their tools; making the roof tiles, etc., etc. Our guide was excellent as she told of the challenges, problems and successes of each huge undertaking.. Their goal is to complete the castle in 2025, having started in 1998. Check online to see their progress at:
Late afternoon we arrived in the lovely old medieval city of Bourges – yes, I know, another one! (We had a lovely room with a wonderfully big bathroom at the Best Western here.) A local guide took us around the narrow streets; this town has over 400 half-timber buildings! After dinner and after dark I went out into the streets to see what their evening illumination program was all about. (Ivan started with me but when nothing happened he went back to our room.) I hung around a while and when the street lights started turning blue I walked to a nearby museum and saw the way they were projecting lights and murals (accompanied by classical music) onto the walls of important buildings in town. I saw 2 presentations before deciding it was bedtime. It wasn't spectacular but I admired the dedication, work and coordination required to produce such a program.