It was Sunday, May 31, late in the day, that saw us driving around the lower Normandy town of Alençon in a steady rain. We were looking for a place to have an afternoon cup of tea or coffee, but nothing much was open. Only one café had its shutters up and the lights on, but there were so many cars parked in that central neighborhood that we had to give up trying to find a space to put the car in.
We drove into the area of semi-pedestrianized streets around the town's church and tourist office just to have a look. The church, above, has an elaborately decorated front façade, as you can see in the photo above.
I went inside and took a couple of photos of stained glass windows, above and below. Those were about the most colorful elements in the Alençon decor on a wet Sunday afternoon.
The town's château, long used as a prison (as many châteaux have been used over the centuries) is a hulking brown mass sitting in the middle of the old town (below). In the rain, it's even hulkier.
Around the château, two other main monuments — the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) and the Palais de Justice (courthouse), below — are also massive grayish-brown stone constructions.
Meanwhile, here in Saint-Aignan our weather yesterday was similar to what we experienced in Alençon 10 days ago. It rained almost all day. We were on the road again, driving CHM up to Blois to put him on the train back to Paris. We took advantage of the drive to have lunch in a favorite restaurant near the Château de Chambord. CHM's 10-day visit just flew by.