Monday, March 17, 2014

Around Town ~ Provins

We've often wondered what we'd do in the unlikely event we ran out of things here in Paris.

Brittany and Provence seemed like major undertakings to visit.  They are more like Serious Vacation destinations than easy jaunts into the countryside.  Beyond that, we knew nothing about the areas outside of Paris.

Les banlieues just beyond la periphique are rumored by Parisians to be filled with seething restless masses living in modern ugly concrete structures.  L'isle de France did not seem very inviting and I considered it terra incognita.  Dragons there lay and all that.  Warning signs surely must be posted at the ends of each metro line, right?

Recently, Jude stumbled on a book that looked rather enticing.  It's An Hour From Paris by Annabel Simms.

Jude agitated for leaving the city to see what's out in Terra Incognita.  I'm glad she did.  Vasty tracts of land await.

One of the first trips we took was to Provins.

It's an ancient city, perhaps reaching it's height of influence some time in the 12th century.  Portions of the old fortifications still exist, as does much of the 12th century character of the buildings and streets.  An amazing place this is.

From April thru October there are weekend events that attract crowds of tourists and interested French.  The theme is consistently medieval.  For a photographer such as myself, I'll bet there's lots of great things to see and photograph at these events.

For our day out, Jude and I took advantage of early spring weather.  It's unseasonably warm this year.  Last year at this time (March) we were snowed on during a friend's wedding in London and again snowed on in April when we visited Jude's friend in Girona, Spain.

Our Provins visit included a walk up the hill from the lower city to the upper.  We ate lunch in the square while watching Harley riders come and go.  A walk around the old ramparts came next, wherein I spied my first serious flock of Jackdaws.  Followed by a very lovely tea in a beautiful jardin as we made our way back to the RER station to make our way back into the capital.

We were happy for the change in the weather.  Warmth! This is much more like it.

After our first visit to Provins, I can say we'll be returning from time to time to check things out.  Besides, it's just a few stops beyond Longueville where my favorite steam locomotive shed hides.

[A somewhat small album of images is here.]

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