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Walking around royal Senlis

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hello dear Sparkfriends!

This blog wasn't supposed to be a blog! I went for a walk, took some pictures, and came home... Then I looked at them and thought that maybe some of you would enjoy seeing what I saw today, by a lovely, sunny (but chilly) day. So here is my afternoon...

I went to Senlis (North-West of Paris, roughly 30 minutes away by the motorway). One of my favorite little towns, with its houses in pale grey stones and its royal history.

At the moment, not being able to walk very far (my feet aren't getting worse, but the improvement feels very slow!), walking in a town is easier as I can go back to my car quickly if needed. Not so easy when hiking on a path in the middle of the countryside, demanding, uneven and muddy -- have you noticed the amazing difference in terms of calories burnt between a walk and a hike when entering your fitness minutes? make sure you don't call a hike what is actually a pleasant walk! :)

These are the old castle's ruins... The castle was built from the 10th century. And these were the royal apartments...

I loved this detail on the priory's facade...

Opposite the priory, another old building has been transformed into a Hunting Museum. Those of you who have read my blogs about my unwelcome encounters with hunters during my hikes can imagine I wouldn't usually go to a hunting museum! But one of its rooms currently presents a few paintings by Séraphine Louis (also called 'Séraphine de Senlis'). I love Séraphine... I had to see them!

I saw her paintings several years ago in the Maillol Museum in Paris, where a big exhibition had been organized. It was wonderful. And it stroke me again today: I don't really like her paintings from far away, but I love them when I look at them closely, with all the details... Do you see what I mean?

For those of you who enjoy that kind of naive art, you might enjoy the movie on Séraphine's life. It is simply called 'Séraphine'. Not a happy story, but a gorgeous movie, very moving and aesthetic.

Here is the link to the English version:

As I left the museum, the view on the nearby gothic cathedral was beautiful... The steeple looks like lace.

Inside the cathedral, it wasn't bad either...

Then I walked on the town's walls...

Yes, on top of there... There is a lovely wide alley, and the view on the old town is so pretty!... I think I wouldn't mind living in Senlis!

It has some nice shops... a flower shop...

... and even an art gallery...

... and a hairdresser with a sign I love...

... in the cutest little street!

And there are quite a few beautiful streets!

I could almost choose already where I would like to live!

Hmmm... or would it be in the house at the corner of 'rue St Yves - l'argent' (St Yves with money street)?

I think the statue of St Yves on it is so cute!!! (He holds a paper, because he was a lawyer - and is the patron of lawyers - and a bag of money because he defended the poor free of charge.)

Hmmm... or maybe on top of this old wine shop, now a fabric shop?

It isn't far away from the Town Hall and its tiny bell tower...

... and the fountain on 'Place Henri 4' (Henry the 4th Square).

Or... wait. I know. It would have to be the house with these beautiful flowers... That's it, if I am ever moving to Senlis, I would have to have a garden! :)

Thank you for reading dear Sparkfriends! I'll try and do a bit of work tonight, but I'll also answer between tonight and tomorrow all my Sparkfriends who are waiting for an answer to their lovely emails and goodies. Or at least, I promise I'll do my best! (It really is crazy at work these days... I am trying to finish a BIG project before I start in my new role on 1st July!)

I hope you are having a fantastic weekend! Go on a walk in a nice area or a hike in the wilderness, it is great for the morale! :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    976 days ago
    Only just seen this blog - it's beautiful. Not far from where I live, but never been there. Isn't that shocking???

    2122 days ago
    Man, what am I doing in Pittsburgh when I could be living in France? Le sigh!!
    2124 days ago
    I am catching up on blogs, I am so behind, but LOVE this town, and I also loved the Séraphine movie, I saw it a year or so ago, streamed on Netflix. I had to look up more info about her - wish I could have seen the show of her paintings. Senlis - well, I'd love to live there too! Bet it costs the earth. Is it on the train line to Paris or would you need a car? We can dream, can't we? emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2125 days ago
    I could look at your photography ALL day....amazing!
    2125 days ago
    Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous collection of photos just from walking around. Wow! You are a very lucky person to be able to do that! I think of my job pretty highly but wow you must really have a neat one to be able to do all that walking even if it is or is not part of your job. Wow!
    Keep up the walks! And the pictures! emoticon J'espaire que vous allez passer un tres bonne nuit! Sorry my french is a little rusty but I do hope you have a good night! K
    2127 days ago
  • NAN111
    Such gorgeous pictures! I enjoyed looking at all of them. Wish I could visit there someday. What a great escape from a dreary day here in DC. Have a great week!
    2127 days ago
    Such beautiful pictures..I enjoyed our walk together..very nice. emoticon
    2127 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/21/2012 3:29:49 AM
    This is soo beautiful. What a wonderful day of discovery. Thanks for letting me discover it too!
    2128 days ago
    Thank you for all these beautiful sights - I loved it all, the castle, the cathedral, the signs, the shops, the small statue...
    Have a lovely week-end!
    2131 days ago
    Sweet. emoticon Thanks for sharing.
    loved the little streets. emoticon
    2133 days ago
    What great pictures, as usual - you have the nicest walks and I am so glad you're willing to share them with us!
    2133 days ago
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    2133 days ago
    I love those little streets! There are a few like that in Bar le Duc, and just a couple above the Citadel Souterraine in Verdun. I bet Paris has tons of them!

    I love that art! I want it in my house! The first picture is especially nice (and would match the rug in my living room perfectly...). I doubt I can afford her, though!

    Thanks for sharing!
    2133 days ago
    Absolutely stunning as always!!! cant wait to show my daughter!! She will love these!
    2133 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    It's been raining here for 2 days. I know we need it, but I'm looking forward to it clearing so my youngest and I can get out for a walk!

    These are beautiful pictures! Thanks so much for sharing!
    2134 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    Absolutely beautiful! You should write a travel book! emoticon
    2134 days ago
    So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

    2134 days ago
    In the movie, "Ever After", Danielle (Cinderella) tells the prince that she could no sooner choose a favorite book than a favorite star in all the heavens. I'm pretty sure that's the same way I feel about your blogs and photos. They're all so wonderful! Is it also the same way you feel about the many places you visit? You seem to find such treasures in them all!

    Thank you for sharing another walk through France with us!
    2134 days ago
    Quelle belle ville! J'aimerais bien y habiter aussi! Comme toi, je suis tres tres occupee a l'ecole, mais cela va bientot etre fini!! Je ne peux guerre attendre, et au meme temps, je suis triste. Dans deux semaines, j' aurai le temps d'ecrire des blogs.... Quelque jour, bien sur, je voudrais bien visiter la France! Je dois commencer a marcher de plus en plus pour que je pourrai t'accompagner!

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    2135 days ago
    Oh Claire I can just imagine what more the country would have in architecture if it was not for war. I researched about Le Havre & found a majority of the 132 bombs dropped hit Le Havre it is often described as the storm of iron & fire. 90 percent of the city was left in ruble.The folks left on foot or bicycle at dusk & came back during day light. I am so grateful I did not go through what they did ,but I feel so sad about what they went through.It seems your country is never ending in seeing the sights.I fell in love with your country because of you & educating me. Thank you Claire for being a wonderful teacher.
    2135 days ago
  • NAN041
    Claire, thanks for the "Mother's Day Blog".

    My daughter & her hubby brought lunch
    over today...nice way to spend the day..Nan
    2135 days ago
    Do they have places to live for rent? Because I want to move there too! emoticon I love this place! Of course the castle ruins gave it a plus in my book!! emoticon Love that you can walk on the wall and the picture of the town from up there was beautiful and so quaint! The 2nd photo reminds me of the buildings in my favorite movie "Pride and Prejudice"-goes to show you that some of the same architects built buildings around the same time up in England, where that movie was shot! That is what I like best about a walk vs a hike, you can take time to stroll or go fast or stop and smell the roses, take pics and really enjoy the scenery. When we hike or go on a trail we do our interval, fast walking so you can burn more calories. Yes, I always feel better after going out for a walk! Glad you decided to blog and share the photos with us! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2135 days ago
    Rog read your blog with me and thought your pics were fabulous.
    2135 days ago
    thank you, claire, for sharing your world through the camera lens and your words once again. "grey" was never a favorite for architecture until you showed how beautiful it can be. loved the detail photos of the artist's work as well. thank you for sharing, you have a gift! emoticon
    2135 days ago
    Senlis looks lovely. I especially liked the cathedral and the little statue of St Yves. Glad you had another great walk. x
    2135 days ago
    Lovely. I always love seeing your pix and the areas near where you live...
    2135 days ago
    What a perfectly charming place!! I can see why you might want to live there. It would be wonderful to be surrounded by such beauty and history. And, I can imagine that you would have a beautiful garden - maybe with lots of roses.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    2135 days ago
    So beautiful every story & picture I am awestruck. You always give me more history to learn from your amazing country. I find it fascinating how all the walls & buildings,churches have lasted for centuries. I read about the town of Senlis they still have part of the amphitheater that it once held 10,000 spectator's during the gladiator fights .The cathedral that you were in was actually started to be built in the year 1199.The wall is still there to keep the Franks out in those days.
    I also find it amazing so many old buildings & churches are still existing after World War 11,Some must have been destroyed from all the bombing.We are blessed to see see all things thanks to you for bring this into our homes.
    Thanks again Claire

    2135 days ago
    Wonderful Blog once again Claire. Lovely photos, the light always seems to be just right. I told you before it sometimes reminds me of my roots but this area is just so well maintained in its surroundings even if it is a ruin. How beautiful is that. Respect for the ruins of the past. Great Job. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2135 days ago
    Lovely walk my friend!
    I have never heard of Seraphine... I need to see the movie and do some reading (yet another thing that you have inspired me to do...nice)... as you said.. I love the close up pictures of the paintings... vibrant!
    Love from America!
    2136 days ago
    Claire, I swear that each set of your pictures gets better and better. I love the roof lines today, the grey houses and the cathedral steeple - it looks impossibly tall and lacy. The clematis picture is beautiful - I'll send some of mine if it ever gets warm enough for them to open!

    Hope you don't have to work all day tomorrow, but I remember what it's like to have to finish off a project before moving on to a new position.

    Take care,
    Gail emoticon
    2136 days ago
    What beautiful architecture, beautiful flowers . . . beautiful blog!
    2136 days ago
    Wow. Once again you make me envious with your photos. Aren't there any ugly parts of France or does your photographic eye only fix on the beautiful views. Thanks for sharing with us.
    2136 days ago
    What a lovely town! I think I could live there too. It's fun to dream...
    2136 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    Thank you for sharing you blog that wasn't supposed to be! It is so nice to have you as a guide walking through these lovely streets. Your photos are always amazing. Thanks again. Have a great weekend!
    2136 days ago
    You always make me feel like I've gone along with you on your walk/hikes! Thanks for sharing your adventures with those of us stuck at home cleaning today!! LOL
    2136 days ago
    Beautiful as always!! Our walk today was more tame, with much less history....just the roar of the wind and the ocean!
    2136 days ago
  • YIWEN39
    Gorgeous :-) Thank you so much for sharing what wasn't supposed to be a blog ;-)
    Have a great Sunday! emoticon emoticon
    2136 days ago
    I so love your stories and enthusiasm about where you're walking. They make the pictures twice as enjoyable. We really feel as though we were along with you on these beautiful walks! I love the history behind today's tour. I'll certainly watch "Seraphine" if it has sub-titles. I love biographies about artists. I've seen "Camille"; the story of Rodin's tortured protege several times.
    Thank you for another breath-taking walk, and for your lovely photos.

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    2136 days ago
    I love the beautiful pics! Thank you for sharing them. Your corner of the world is so beautiful. Tomorrow I am going to go for a hike (not a walk but a hike as you say LOL) out in nature for my morale. Hope you have a great rest of the weekend and get your project done.
    2136 days ago
    St Yves is holding a bag of money!

    I saw the film Seraphine several years ago. An amazing story.

    Gosh, Claire, what an "eye" you have!
    2136 days ago
    Hi Claire,

    I'm sure you would dearly love living in a small village and having your own garden! I think it would have to be the house with a garden, or the house with the vines on the side.

    I am going out to work in my garden now. I have to wait until the sun moves around the house so I am not working in the sun and getting burned. It looks so peaceful and cool there in the shade.

    If you ever do have a garden of your own, what would you put in it?

    2136 days ago
  • GAMMY98
    What a great way to get out for a walk. We are so lucky to have you sharing your photos with us.. Beautiful pictures and glad your feet are not getting any worst. Healing is a slow process. Thanks again for sharing your photos.
    2136 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    I have yet to decide whether it is the beautiful places you visit or your beautiful vision that always makes your photos so appealing:) Either way, your spark friends are very fortunate that you like to capture what you see -- thank you again!
    2136 days ago
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