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    CLAIREINPARIS   58,631
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Hiking around Ambleville

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I love that part of the countryside around Paris so much... It is called the Vexin area, and it is roughly North/North-West of Paris. Ambleville is definitely North-West, on the way to Normandy.

I parked outside the castle. Isn't it lovely how you could just about imagine it through the foliage?

The castle is right next to the church.

The war memorial had the cutest cock on top!

And there was another funny animal at the top of the church's bell tower... What do you think it could be? A dog?

One last look at the castle...

... and I left the village for the countryside.

I had had a rough time these last few days, with a family issue that brings much tears... and this gentle hilly countryside was exactly what I needed.

It was warm, like a beautiful August day, but not too warm. Just perfect!

Although the wheat had all been harvested, there were still many things to look at in the fields, with corn and lucerne (or is it called alfalfa where you live? here it is grown as food for animals and has pretty purple flowers and a very sweet smell).

When I left the hamlet of Amiel...

... I discovered a nice view on Ambleville's castle and church in the distance.

After crossing some refreshing woods...

... I reached more fields, from which I could see the village of Omerville far away.

Some goldenrods made the path look rather grand at that point... Don't you just love these tall bright plants? They always say 'enjoy the end of summer!' to me.

The vegetable gardens as I approached Omerville were an equally welcoming sight. Someone is putting a lot of work into them!

Ambleville seemed almost asleep, and I didn't meet many inhabitants!

As I walked again through the countryside, I finally felt this wonderful feeling of wellness and freedom which I had found so elusive. It had taken two hours this time, but it was finally there and stayed with me all evening. Hikes really work, friends! :)

Although I didn't see many people, I made a couple of encounters.

And then I was back in Amberville, where I also crossed a very sleepy village before I reached my car...

Thank you so much for sharing my hike! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
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P.S. If Ambleville's castle looks familiar to you, it might be that you remember the day when I visited its gardens:

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MARKATSPARK 7/31/2015 6:51AM


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  Family issues can be so difficult to deal with, and often feelings well up that only time and pensive thought can sort out. Tears provide the emotional release that is needed before those deeper emotions can be explored. I hope that things are better... Your hikes bring that peaceful feeling to me too when I see what you show us through your pictures. Your narrative is informative as well, and I enjoy your hikes as much much as the travel channel shows I sometimes watch. You have a real eye for photography. Thanks!

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SJKENT1 8/27/2013 5:47PM

    Hikes and walks really bring me comfort and peace also. It is so hot right now, so no walks lately. I long for it.

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TINY67 8/25/2013 3:58PM

    Great Pictures

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KAREN91 8/21/2013 8:02AM

    Claire, Looks like a very lovely castle and countryside! I hope your hike restored your soul. I've found a walk out in nature very restorative myself. I'm emoticon about your family problems. I hope your moms ok, I worry about you. emoticon emoticon

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QTEALADY20031 8/20/2013 4:39PM

    Claire, I am so glad that you were able to hike in the beautiful countryside and leave your cares behind and find the peace that does elude us at times. Your pictures are just beautiful and I so enjoy seeing the castles and other landmarks that we do not see here in the states. Claire, thank you again for sharing and please know that I am thinking of you. emoticon June

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BKNOCK 8/20/2013 1:51PM

    Once again, beautiful pictures! I know that feeling that you are talking about and yes, hikes do really work!

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CHERIRIDDELL 8/20/2013 2:56AM

    So sorry to hear family issues are causing you stress. I always find your blogs relaxing they take me back in time to the early 90's when I lived in Baden-Soellingen and I used to drive across to France ,for me your hikes are often a trip down memory lane and remind me of when my daughter was young and she and my corgi dog used to roam the countryside. I can't tell you enough how much I enjoy your blogs , they are a real delight to me thank you.

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NUOVAELLE 8/20/2013 2:52AM

    Ambleville looks beautiful through your camera lens, Claire. I'm glad you enjoyed your hike and you discovered the feelings of wellness and freedom. I hope they're lasting and they've helped you cope with all the difficulties.

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    Beautiful as always! Thanks again!

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CHEEKYGEEK 8/18/2013 2:51PM


I'm so sorry you have some rather serious family matters. However, I'm glad that the glorious countryside was a soothing balm for your soul. I very much understand this. I too find solace in nature and green things. I currently live in the desert, and it simply sucks the life and joy from me (I'm a big Harry Potter fan, so I call this place my Azkaban Prison). However, I do have plans in the work to go back to my home state of Ohio where it is so much more beautiful and soothing and green and glorious. (I could probably live without the mosquitoes And in the winter it is blanketed in a sparkling mantle of white...until it gets slushy. lol There is nothing quite like going for a run or a hike during the silence of the first snowfall.

Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing.

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ZOE13O 8/18/2013 2:48PM

    For the past week I have been working 12-16 hour days, missing my days on SP and looking for a little stress relief......Your blogs always do the trick! Thanks for the walk through the Paris Countryside and as always the incredibly beautiful pictures.

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LINDAKAY228 8/18/2013 11:17AM

    So sorry about the heartbreak of the family situation. The pics are so beautiful. Getting out in nature is my therapy too!

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GARDENCHRIS 8/18/2013 10:23AM

    thank you for sharing, hope your family situation works out... blessings.

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CAPECODLIGHT 8/18/2013 9:17AM

    I remember the Vexin from history classes - much fought over land, yes? Thanks for the special photos. I agree there is nothing like a hike to make you feel better and a camera to help you see all the beauty in a special way. We're so lucky you share the beauty with us.
Hoping your hike helps you deal with your family concerns. All the best to you!

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GOANNA2 8/18/2013 9:01AM

    Thank you for another amazing hike. Absolutely
amazing. I'm so glad I am able to come along with
you. emoticon Have a great Sunday.

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HELEN_BRU 8/16/2013 10:56PM

    Hope your family issues improve soon. Walking with you is a like a breath of fresh air! Thanks. emoticon

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ALIHIKES 8/16/2013 9:38PM

    Wow Claire the photos are beautiful. I also enjoy walking, it provides comfort and solace, particularly when we are surrounded by nature. The castle, the flowers, the fields, the butterfly, the horse, the old buildings -- your photos are delightful and restful and relaxing.

I wish you all the best with your family, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.


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WARRIORGIRL121 8/16/2013 8:56PM

    Beautiful! emoticon

Your blogs are the next best thing to being there! emoticon emoticon

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REGILIEH 8/16/2013 3:20PM

    So emoticon about family issues.

The hike was as wonderful as always! Everything was so beautiful!

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WILDASTER 8/16/2013 11:56AM

    Dear Claire,
I'm so glad you were able to get out and hike, it can be so refreshing to leave our cares behind for even a short while and enjoy the peace and quiet of God's creation. (and man's hand in keeping things up!)

I loved your pictures of the forest path, and the beautiful shots of the buildings in the distance. I have a connection with one shot in particular, the woman hanging out the clothes to dry. I am doing that today too.


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LINDAK25 8/16/2013 11:47AM

    Just reading your blog with all the spectacular photos leaves me with a feeling of peaceful joy. Sorry that you're having a difficult time with family issues. I'm glad you were able to renew your spirit with this wonderful hike.

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LIZALOT 8/16/2013 10:27AM

    Thank you so much for sharing with us again all those lovely sights. and yes, you can almost smell the smells too! I'm glad you found some peace and tranquility, and hope your family issues can resolve themselves in time.


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SARAWALKS 8/16/2013 8:43AM

    Walking, hiking, running - much better medicine than pills! I'm so glad you found some peace. I loved the hollyhock photo...and then I thought, hmmm, butterfly, symbol of appropriate! emoticon emoticon

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JOHNBABJR 8/16/2013 7:24AM

    Thank you, Claire, for another lovely interlude. I hope your family situation gets better. I so enjoy your beautiful photos.

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GINIEMIE 8/16/2013 6:20AM

    Ma chère Claire,
Je suis désolée que les problèmes de famille te cause tant de tristesse. Par contre je suis contente que tu as trouvé la moyenne de retrouver le calme. Tu as raison, le doux paysage aide a retrouver la paix en soi et marcher c'est très bien pour le coeur et le corps.
Comme d'habitude tes photos sont merveilleuses. Franchement je ne trouve pas une que j'aime mieux, elles sont tous belles.
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LEANMEAN2 8/16/2013 6:12AM

    Thanks for taking us along with you. I enjoyed it.

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ARTJAC 8/16/2013 2:32AM


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TATTER3 8/16/2013 1:04AM

    You're in my heart and prayers. The walk is so lovely to look at. What a wonderful adventure. May everyday be a blessing to you! Keep walking!!! and keep taking those wonderful pics!Love it!

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 8/15/2013 11:57PM

    Getting out and walking long distances in a wooded area brings some peace to me also. Warm thoughts and joyful smiles to you.

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1CRAZYDOG 8/15/2013 9:19PM

    ((((((HUGS))))))) So sorry you were sad, but good that your beautiful hike helped calm the mind and spirit. Lately I have to do the same! Situations . . . we can't change . . . our REACTIONS . . . we can change, so that's what I try to bear in mind. Easy? NEVER. But it helps.

I think that little guy on top of the church looks sort of like a wolf! The pointy ears. I thought I recognized that castle. It really is so gorgeous!

I love the horse and bees you captured in your pictures. The horse looks so serene and those bees . . . looking busy!


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COLOR-BLUE 8/15/2013 9:13PM

    Did you use to be a tour guide? Each and every time, I read and see the pictures of your adventure, my mind escapes with your descriptions, which are so intricate and whimsical, I feel like I walking beside you!!!

I pray that things are okay with your family, and I'm so sorry that it gave you pause for concern. No matter what it looks like to you, or anybody else, everything is in divine order. God ordained everything before we even existed, and He knows the master plan, and not us. All we need to do, is have that mustard seed of faith, and things will blossom from there.

I chuckled, out loud, when I was reading about you discussing directions. You mentioned North by Northwest. That is a movie that I watched quite a bit, as a kid, as my parents loved the movie.

I'm looking forward to having you come home, and letting me tell all the tales of what you didn't share in your blog!!!

Be blessed,

- Nancy Jean -

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    As always, I cherished not only your pictures, but also the narrative. I am glad you were able to enjoy a beautiful day in the country, and let go of whatever has been bothering you. Hiking is the best medicine. Looking back some 55 years, I wished I had known you and/or of the many beautiful places to visit, near and around Paris. I guess, I was too young and too busy while visiting and living in Paris.
My best wishes that your family problems may be resolved. You know, you have many friends here, and we all care very deeply for you.

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JUNEAU2010 8/15/2013 8:09PM

    Could that have been a gargoyle? I loved the pictures and I love the fact that you sought and found joy and peace in the world about you instead of seeking solace in calories. I hope the reason for tears is gone very, very soon!

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LIVEDAILY 8/15/2013 8:00PM

    Claire - The hike was beautiful, and yes, here in the states that particular plant is called alfalfa, and it is sweet smelling and is used as food for animals. I am glad that the hike enabled you to clear your head. I hope that the situation resolves quickly. Life is too short to be sad for long.

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DOVESEYES 8/15/2013 7:44PM

    I could almost feel the warm sun on me and then the coolness as we entered the forest. How lovely to share it with you. How amazing to live in a castle. It looked like it was built on the rock and rose out and up to spread across the land...thanks
Hope the rest of your week is tres tranquile...

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NASFKAB 8/15/2013 7:35PM

  great hope you will be fine

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EFFIEANNIE 8/15/2013 7:28PM

    Beautiful, sorry to hear about your family situation. Hope things get better there.

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KING_SLAYER 8/15/2013 6:59PM

    Beautiful :)

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TINY67 8/15/2013 6:57PM

    emoticon again!

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TERMITEMOM 8/15/2013 6:45PM

    Comme ce coq est moderne, c'est drôle. Il se peut que l'animal soit un sanglier... Je suis désolée que vous ayiez des soucis familiaux. Je pense bien à vous. J'espère que cette promenade et ces quelqus jours de vacances vous ont mis un peu de baume dans le coeur! emoticon

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MAWMAW101 8/15/2013 6:35PM

    Thank you for sharing another beautiful trip to the countryside.

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DIXIENC 8/15/2013 4:45PM

    Dear Claire,
Once again you have transported me to another place and time
with a feeling of calm, peace and beauty....Thank you so for all your effort spent...
Love, Doris
I do hope that whatever gave you sadness in life has now been softened
or reconciled..D

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HOLLYM48 8/15/2013 4:13PM

    Hi Claire
I have missed you these last few days! I am so sorry to hear that family issues have been the cause of more stress lately.
I am so glad that this hike helped you find some inner peace and had a calming effect on you.
The pictures are truly lovely, I went for long walks these last few days too since I am on vacation but there is nothing here in the USA that quite compares to the quaintness of places in Europe. Thanks for sharing the beauty!
I am thinking of you and hope things will be peaceful for you soon.

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ROCKYCPA 8/15/2013 4:12PM

    Beautiful pics - thanks for taking us along on your hike!

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LECATES 8/15/2013 4:00PM

    Sorry you have had family issues but glad that the walk gave you back your sense of calm in the turmoil of life. Beautiful pictures as always and wish I was there.

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AMBERLICIOUS88 8/15/2013 3:46PM

    Wow! Beautiful pictures! I want to go there now!

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IDICEM 8/15/2013 3:44PM

    What a peaceful hike. I'm so glad it helped heal your inner turmoil, and I hope your family troubles are soon resolved. Thank you for sharing this lovely area with us.
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KARRENLYNN 8/15/2013 3:22PM

    Wow, what a beautiful place to visit! Thanks for sharing emoticon

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HARROWJET 8/15/2013 3:11PM

    Beautiful. Thank you.

Judy emoticon

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