Blogs from Chartres, Centre, France, Europe


Europe » France » Centre » Chartres September 18th 2022

Tim tells me today is probably the biggest day of our trip, so it’s 7.30am and I’m getting the jump on this blog. Last night I was still going when everyone else was asleep. I enjoy the peace but it does take some joy out of it. It reminds me of a motorbike trip I did with a club, who shall remain nameless , but not any rebel outfit. We rode Vespas. One member, a friend who writes for a living, did a daily journal for our website, and I certainly never fully appreciated the effort he went to; I do now. Thanks Ian. I’m certainly not complaining, but if it seems a bit lean some days, bear with me. I’ve decided facts about each attraction are less important than a bit of opinion, so we’ll ... read more
Quiet Sunday In Reims
Porte de Mars, Reims
Porte de Mars ,Reims

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres July 25th 2022

From Tours we drive north to the city of Chartres. On the way we stop off for lunch at Vendome which is a very pleasant town on the confluence of 3 rivers and home to a huge abbey. Though a small town today Vendome was for centuries a major centre in this area. In Chartres it is all about the cathedral. This is one of the most impressive gothic buildings in the world and draws huge numbers of visitors both to see the famous towers which are different (!) but also the interior particularly the blue stained glass windows and the labyrinth on the floor of the nave. We see the city during the day but come again at night as the town runs an impressive light show every night starting at dusk. When we're here ... read more

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres September 29th 2016

We took the metro directly to the train station for our day at Chartres. The weather was beautiful and the ride comfortable even though we were in "second class". Actually, all public transit here has been wonderful; prompt, clean and comfortable. There are no elderly people who ride the subway because......of the damn stairs. I must have climbed the Eiffel Tower since I was here. Anyway, we arrived in Chartres and could see the cathedral from the train station. It was Monday and most of the stores and cafes were closed but we found one and Linda scouted out the TI and I ordered Cappachino for two. When Linda came back with a map she had a sandwich and I had a pastry. Yum!!! As we sat outside school children of all ages ran by in ... read more

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres August 17th 2016

Geo: 48.4444, 1.48417After a coffee in Bailly we headed off on our road trip to Chartres. Our GPS (we have nicknamed her "kitty" as we are in a Jaguar) stubbornly insists we must take the toll freeway, so she leads us on a complex route to get there. When we left the highway, the toll booth refused both our credit cards, and even the 6 euros (8.75 CDN) cash that we put in. We pushed the Help button and someone who spoke some english helped us. He would not let us through the gate without taking a ticket requiring us to pay the same amount again online, failing which the car owner will receive a fine. Allegedly we are to receive reimbursement for the cash we put in, but we doubt that will ever happen! We ... read more
Chartres Notre Dame Church
Astrological Clock
Stained glass and Gothic sculptures

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres August 7th 2016

Friday we rode our bikes to the Foret de Clamart. We took the scenic route there (and by that I mean the long-we-got-lost route, not the prettiest route) and when we got to the forest, we could only find the hiking trails at first which were very steep, rocky and not too bike-friendly. So, back down the big hill and finally found the bike trails. These were steep too but at least they were paved and ridable. This forest was well used by people running and biking. We ate our picnic in the woods and then biked around some more before heading home. The next day was off to Chartres. This town is famous for its Cathedral (dating back to the 1100's) which is spectacular. We could see it from miles away driving in. We parked ... read more
Chartres streets

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres May 22nd 2016

Sunday morning, I was up at 6 so I could shower, change have some breakfast and pick up our Zipcar all before 8:30. The Zipcar was about 10 blocks away so it was easy to walk to and the drive back to the hotel to pick up everyone else was just as easy, straight down the road the car was on and one turn on to Rue du Champs de Mars. We were driving to Versailles, where we would drop Christina and Jourdan off for the day, so they could visit what I consider to be the most treasured place in Europe (that we have seen so far) and that is Chateau Versailles (Pompeii is also amazing). I specifically recommended a Sunday so the fountains would be going in the afternoon (unfortunately it rained and they ... read more
Rose Window
After and Before
Onion Soup

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres February 28th 2016

Arriver à Chartres le jour du 422e anniversaire du couronnement du roi Henri lV (le seul qui l'eût été ici, d'ailleurs) est somme toute un événement en soi! Les rues piétonnes du centre-ville grouillent de monde malgré le froid et le grand vent. Ça fait la file devant les cafés pour se réchauffer en après-midi et attention, la presque totalité des centaines de petits restos servant le commémoratif menu royal affichent complet! L'exception pour moi sera l'invitante et jolie table de La Picoterie qui acceptera avec plaisir une femme seule voulant absolument manger cette fameuse poule au pot royale! Mais en ce dimanche ensoleillé mais toujours frisquet, pour la grand-messe d'occasion, les rues se sont vidées et la foule s'est engouffrée dans l'immense et majestueuse cathédrale Notre-Dame. L'heure est à l'ouverture d'esprit pour le chant grégorien, ... read more
Magnifiques vitraux bleus
Nettoyage de la pierre, intérieur de la cathédrale
La nef

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres September 22nd 2014

Geo: 48.4444, 1.48417I didn't sleep too badly last night. I woke up quite a lot but was able to get back to sleep. I did have some odd dreams though. In one, I was some sort of vengeance demon, and I sneaked up on a small evil person and flung him into space. I don't know where that came from! Must've been the kir before dinner last night.After we had all eaten (the usual sort of selection, and I was able to roll my own ham and cheese crepes), we walked back to the Cathedral and down into the lower town by the river Eure. At one time, the river was used for all sorts of awful trades and was generally filled with offal and other nasty stuff. When most of those trades were no longer ... read more
Notre-Dame de Chartres
Cathedral in the daylight

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres September 21st 2014

Geo: 48.4444, 1.48417Woke up a few times during the night ("Gosh, it must be nearly morning!" Look at clock. "Oh. It's only quarter past two."), but I managed to get back to sleep pretty quickly each time. I had set my alarm for 7:00, but when it went off I reset it to 8:00. So, I woke up feeling not too bad, which I thought was pretty good for the first night. It's the second night that's the test though!The phone booth-style shower wasn't bad, and the Worst Hairdryer in the World ... well, it got my hair dry. (I'm writing this from my new hotel room in Chartres, and guess what: that damn hairdryer followed me!)I went out in search of breakfast and was immediately struck by the humidity. Three, two, one: head o' frizz! ... read more
Dedicated to Ricardo
Scary bird grave dedicated to Jean-Jacques
Chartres Cathedral

Europe » France » Centre » Chartres June 8th 2014

Bob had very carefully chosen our route from Le Crotoy to Chartres taking special care in working out how to get across the Seine river which is never terribly straightforward. Rouen is the obvious route across but we hate Rouen, for a couple of reasons after problems there on previous trips, so do our very best to avoid it. Today’s route was absolutely excellent. The weather was drop dead blue sky gorgeous, the roads almost empty of traffic being a Sunday on a holiday weekend. The Tandy was in excellent spirits and so were we after a good long and obviously much needed sleep. Our route took us almost due south, edging quite close to Paris and nowhere near to Rouen crossing the Seine at Mantes la Jolie. A route we’ve not been before and there ... read more
Lots of lovely little villages to drive through
Tree dappled country road
Mantes la Jolie

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