Friday, May 30, 2008

Up In The North


a typical scene on the way to the North


The picture above is a typical scenery on the road towards the north of France. It’s not entirely flat but neither does the region (I use the term loosely --- referring to the area and not to the geo-political meaning of the word) have high mountains nor other natural barriers separating it from neighboring Belgium. This is why since ancient times up to the two world wars, it has become the “avenue” for conquering tribes/nations. They all pass through here on their way to conquer Gaul/France. In the 20th century, it suffered a lot from the two world wars--- including the lost of millions of lives, infrastructures and livelihoods. But the area is recovering, particularly with the opening of the Channel Tunnel in the 90's which boosted the tourism industry.


In those few hilly areas, villages were built and fortified since the Roman times. One example is the town of Laon, with its medieval buildings built on an ancient Gallic villa. The town of Soisson is also in this region, where legends say that a vase was broken by a soldier of Clovis in defiance to the king’s claim of the vase and thus provoking the ruler of the Franks to kill him. There’s also Villes-Cotterêts, the birthplace of Alexandre Dumas, the author of many novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne (with The Man in the Iron Mask as its third part). Not only that, this is where the ordinance making French the official language in France (instead of Latin) was signed by François I. These are just some of the places you’ll pass by on your way to the northern coast with its beaches and United Kingdom on the other side of the North sea; and the northern border, which when crossed, brings you to Belgium, known for its laces and chocolates.


Usually, the South is sunnier than its northern counterpart. But this month, we’ve had a rare occurrence --- the sun showed all its might in the normally rainy North. It wasn’t humid but since the sky was cloudless, you can really feel the heat on your skin. I wouldn’t say it’s scorching but it can sting a bit if you stay too long under the sun. But no matter what, I still love to feel the sun on my face and back. I neither care for a bronzed dusky skin nor a pale alabaster complexion which some people find appealing. I just want to have the warm touch of the sun caressing my cheeks and stroking my shoulders. It is really a boon to have the sun after months of gloomy sky and chilling temperature.

5 comments:

Gracey said...

hello sis! thanks for the greetings! you're right, summer is so near that I started buying swim suits na for the beach. I gained extra punds nga ata eh which I like considering how skinny I am.

lareine said...

that's great gracey!... here, i think summer is over because the weather turned autumn-like for the past few days... and it's only the end of May!... i think our summer here is getting shorter and shorter... but ta least i'm glad i was ale to enjoy a few weeks of sun albeit without the beach... well, hope you'll have a grand time lounging on the sandy shores of california come summer :)

Selerines said...

That last one is wonderful.....

Selerines said...

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lareine said...

thanks selerines! i'll keep in touch and share my views on issues you bring up in your blog whenever i can :)... my best regards to you and your site :)

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