Beautiful bits of flotsam and jetsam


Very often it’s not the grand vistas but the intricate details that are most remembered from our travels. Enjoy this array of exquisite bits of flotsam and jetsam from my travels in England and France.


A swan at Versailles


The “Thinker” gargoyle at Notre Dame


Two gargoyles’ view of Paris


Chenonceau through a window


The kitchen at Chenonceau


Drain pipe at Chambord


Opera costumes at Chambord


Egyptian cats at the Louvre


MIniatures of Paris in shop on Ile St. Louis


Pont D’Alexandre Paris


Buckingham Palace


Near Buckingham Palace


And ending on a yummy note…the Albert Pub in London. See you there!

Exploring Chambord

P1000385I have visited the magnificent 16th century Chateau of Chambord three times but my first visit was in November 1999 with my daughter, who was just into her first year of living in France after college. With the majority of tourists off to warmer climes, we often found ourselves alone in the 130 rooms open to visitors.

DSC01728And, yes, we visited them all, reaching the various floors by walking up the double-helix marble staircase supposedly inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. I loved placing each foot in the shallow spots worn away by centuries of royal occupants climbing up and down as they plotted murders and bandied about with mistresses.

P1000386The roof top with all its minarets and spires is every bit as mysterious in person as it looks in photos. Author Henry James remarked that Chambord’s “towers, cupolas, the gables, the lanterns, the chimneys, look more like the spires of a city than the salient points of a single building.

Driving down the tree-lined avenue leading away from the chateau, a wild boar came out of the mists and stopped momentarily in the middle of the road ahead of us. How magical.


A later visit in 2009 brought the additional surprise of dozens of mannequins dressed in opera costumes posed throughout the interior.

Dubbed as “Alain Germain dresses the Chambord’s opera,” costumes from renowned couturiers, such as Franck Sorbier, Nathalie Germain, Pascal Bordet, and Olivier Bériot, were displayed within the castle. P1000393Breathtaking!