Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Harmonious Afternoon

Château de Sully-sur-Loire, Loiret, France

It’s the 27th Fête de la Musique (World Music Day) here and I believe many countries have adopted this festival to celebrate summer solstice. All over the country, concerts are held for free --- may it be in auditoriums, concert or village halls or churches. But most often than not, many singers or bands (whether amateurs or professionals) hold performances in open spaces, particularly in the streets. So you’ll see and hear different kinds of music and musicians as you stroll around the city/town, enjoying the afternoon and early evening under a benevolent sky and a warm sun. (Since it is summer solstice, the day is long and usually sunny. And this year is no exception --- we had a warm weather with the sun blithely dancing in the blue sky ... even if we’ve been having some rain showers and cloudy sky for the past days.)

Well, we did our own celebration *grins*. We decided that instead of going to see the street concerts, we’ll just visit some nearby towns. So we went to Sully-sur-Loire, more or less an hour’s drive from our place. The town has a nice castle, the residence of Duke of Sully (Maximilien de Béthune), Henri IV’s able minister. It was owned by the family from 1602 (when Sully bought it) until 1962. It is now the property of the Loiret Department and open to the public. The castle is around 800 years old if one would start counting from the year Philip Augustus built a cylindrical keep on the site. I would later write a separate entry about the castle and post more photos .

The château has a water-filled moat which gives a clear reflection of the castle on a sunny day (second photo). The nearby houses are also reflected on the water, giving the area a whimsical ambiance (third photo).To add to the romantic mood, the castle and the town sits on the Loire River making it one of the ideal places to take a stroll, ride a bicycle or just lie on the grass and soak in the warmth of the sun (fourth photo). There’s an available horse-drawn carriage if you want to take a tour of the town or a ride along the banks of the river. You can even fish in the river although I believe you need a license to do this. But I guess it wouldn’t be that difficult to get.

I don’t mind missing the Fête de la Musique for we had a lovely afternoon.It was quite peaceful as oppose to the sounds you’ll hear in the street concerts. Well, I like music but if I’ll hear folk/traditional music from an accordion in one corner, then rock/techno music with electric guitars and drums on another street, symphony from a string quartet in the next, I find it a be a bit jarring. Well, that’s just me. Maybe some would find it alright. I guess each person has his own definition of a pleasing afternoon :). And mine is visiting places such as this.

Sully-sur-Loire part I


Lalaine said...

wow!! I would love to have an afternoon strolling in these places too, Lareine! It's just lovely!! Whew! an 800 year old castle?? Can the public go and see the interior?

I just love your place! IT's simply beautiful..I guess I can only dream and wish to go to France.( you're in France, rigt? )hehehe!

By the way, thanks for dropping by..I miss coming to visit here too..I haven't been visiting my links much these days..all i could do the least is comment back and visit the links in my cbox.

lareine said...

hi lalaine! yep, the castle is open to the public and you can even take photos of the interior (this is forbidden in other castles)... don't lose hope about visiting France... i'm sure you'll be able to come here some day (a cease in the oil price hike would surely help)... in any case, you live in a country of nice beaches and warm weather --- many people here would love to go there, so i guess that makes us even :))...

don't worry about visiting... i'm also a bit slack in doing my rounds... i just hope you and your family are doing great... thanks for the visit:))

maryt/theteach said...

Beautiful chateau! :)

Anonymous said...

Love the reflections. I have been trying to get photos with effect like that but I am yet to succeed. Hehe

lareine said...

to the teach: yep, it's a pretty castle... there are many in our region, and each one has its own charm:)...

to mama meji: i love them, too!... and i was able to capture them, not due to my photography skills, but because the day was sunny and the water is more or less still... so i'm sure, given these conditions, you'll also be able to capture reflections in your photo :)... just have to wait for the right weather conditions:)...

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