Only two posts on this Wednesday’s Bloggers Round-up (I’m a little pressed for time). Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, brings us a very interesting interview with a kiosquier as Paris celebrates 150 years of newsstands. Niaill and Antoinette from Chez Charnizay take us on a visit of Chinon castle in theL oire Valley. Enjoy!
Paris kiosks celebrate 150 years. My interview with “kiosquier” Jacky Goubert.
by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use
From April 17 until April 21, Paris is celebrating the 150th anniversary of one of the most iconic symbols of the French capital – its kiosks. On Friday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacky Goubert and his daughter Gaelle, who operate the kiosk on the Boulevard Saint-Germain between Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots. It’s where I buy the International Herald Tribune whenever I’m in the neighborhood.
MK: This has to be one of the best kiosks in Paris. How were you able to get the concession for it?
Jacky: Normally, it’s not possible to pass a kiosk from parent to child because they are only licensed and not purchased from the city. But somehow my mother arranged for me to take it over when she retired. She started working here in 1972. Read more
An excellent fortress: Chinon
by Niaill, a Scotsman, and Antoinette, a Dutch American, from Chez Charnizay, who live in the village of the same name in southern Touraine and blog about their adventures in the Loire Valley
We like Chinon and we stopped by again earlier this month. We’ve always liked Chinon from our very first forays into the Loire Valley as tourists in the early 1990’s. This despite the fact that every time we approach it from the south side of the river Vienne and pass the SuperU [it wasn’t a SuperU then but some other chain] on the left-hand side of the road where it runs between huge plane trees we’re reminded of our failure at the time to get to grips with the French custom of closing on the dot of noon for lunch. At least 3 times we were doomed to disappointment at that supermarket, arriving just as the doors were firmly closing.
The fortress walls as we see them today are mostly due to Henry, Count of Anjou, later King Henry II of England. It was one of his favourite fortresses, which is hardly suprising given its strategic location on the crossroads between 3 regions: Anjou, Touraine and Poitou. Read more
I don’t know how much you know about Jeanne d’Arc, as she’s called in French, but most people probably remember that she was a peasant girl who heard divine voices, then, disguised as a man, led the French army to several victories during the One Hundred Years’ War after which she was sold to the English and burnt on the stake for heresy in Orléans at the age of 19.
Chinon, on the western tip of the Loire Valley, is where she first gained access to the royal court in 1428. She was 16 at the time. I won’t go into any further history because it’s a bit complicated and isn’t really my thing. Suffice to say that historians do not agree on her real participation. Some believe she was mainly a mascot while others maintain that she was a skilled tactician and a successful strategist, although it hardly seems possible when you consider her background and age.
Anyway, the reason I’m writing about her here is that, when we visited the Castle of Chinon a couple of weeks ago, there was a whole room devoted to her, with many illustrations showing various faces of the Maid of Orleans. I only regret that I didn’t note the dates and artists. I found it quite amazing to see how differently she was depicted.
But the one I liked best was at the end. It’s a poster by William Haskell Coffin to encourage Americans to buy war saving stamps during World War II. This time, I thought to take a photo of the information as well. Isn’t she just what you’d imagine a 15th century peasant girl to look like!