20 September 2007

I'm falling behind... here's Bellegarde

The château de Bellegarde reflected in its moat

I can't keep up with our travels and activities on this blog. The blog is still on Sunday and in Fontainebleau and Bellegarde. Today is Thursday already and our tours of Loire Valley sights are nearly finished now. I thas been much too short.

An old road sign on the Nationale 60 road in Bellegarde
says that Orléans is 47.5 km in one direction
and Montargis is 23 km in the other.

I'll be able to report more on this week's activities next week. Joanna and Janice fly back to North Carolina on Saturday, and we'll be on the road until then, without Internet access, starting tomorrow morning.

One of the staircases at the château de Bellegarde

Bellegarde is a place I've photographed and written about several times (here and here) since I started this blog. It's a convenient stopping point for us, it being about half way between Saint-Aignan and Paris if you take the route that goes through Orléans and Milly-la-Forêt, near Fontainebleau. The château de Bellegarde and its setting are beautiful.

Vanishing France

Bellegarde itself is a little down-at-the-heels. It's a village in transition. It has been bypassed by the main highway. The old road is a narrow street that passes through the middle of the village, and the houses and abandoned storefronts along that street are covered in black soot from automobile and truck exhaust. I posted this picture a couple of days ago.

The old bridge at the château de Bellegarde

More next week about Saint-Aignan, Valençay, Loches, Chenonceaux, Amboise, Chaumont, Blois, Chambord, and other places along the way. Today we are leaving to go to the Mont Saint-Michel, which my sister really wants to see, and on to Paris for 24 hours. On Saturday, Joanna and Janice fly back to the U.S. and I drive back to Saint-Aignan. There are many gardening chores to do now.


  1. Ken, I agree 150% with bob f. I should have told you the same thing a long time ago when I first read your blog. Shame on me. Keep up the good work. That goes for Walter also. ChHM

  2. Merci, ChHM, merci bob f., merci Donna, et merci Ginny. What can I say?

    Here's one of the things that keeps me going. A few years ago I made friends over the Internet with a woman named Jean in Buffalo NY. She had cancer but it was in remission. She was planning to come back to France, but the cancer returned and she was unable to travel.

    I sent her and some other friends a few pictures I had taken at the château de Valençay near Saint-Aignan. Jean wrote to me to say that she regretted not being able to come back to France as she had planned, that she never even knew such a beautiful place as Valençay ever existed, and that she was thrilled to see the pictures. She passed away a few months later, before I ever had a chance to meet her in person.

  3. I wouldn't take anything for my Internet friends--you meant the world to Jean. You may not have met her face to face, but you did meet heart to heart and that's the best way.

    Your blog makes our world bigger and better. That goes for Walt's blog also.

    A few weeks ago you thought you'd run out of material for the blog, now you have an abundance. We'll just wait to hear about these busy days you're having. I wonder if France met Joanna's and Janice's expectations.

  4. I found your blog earlier this year (while doing research for a trip to France that I am planning in November)and have been a faithful reader ever since. I enjoy reading your blog and love your pictures what a great photographer you are.

  5. Those photos are just incredible. Another reason why I need to come back to Saint-Aignan!


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