Thursday Doors With Flowers

Since I haven’t gone anywhere lately where I could photograph doors, I’m recycling some previous ones I’ve posted, thematically. This week for Norm’s Thursday Doors, I present doors with flowers.

Luxor, Egypt
Des Plaines, IL, USA
Quebec City, Que., Canada
Chicago, IL, USA
Des Moines, IA, USA
Maisons-Alfort (near Paris), France
Maisons-Alfort, France
Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany
Miltenberg, Germany
somewhere in northeastern France
Caen, Normandy, France
Woodstock, IL, USA
Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria
Schaerding, Austria
Regensburg, Germany
Nuremberg, Germany
Santa Fe, NM, USA

Lens-Artists #84: Narrow Passageways

Amy at Lens-Artists this week invites us to explore the topic of narrow.

In my travels to “old” places – places built when there were no cars or crowds of tourists -I explored (or declined to explore) many narrow streets and other passageways.

Places like Old Town Tallinn, Estonia (where I got lost due to sidewalks and streets so narrow that I lost sight of our guide!)…
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A van that is nearly as wide as this street in Old Town forces all pedestrians to the narrow sidewalk on the left.100_0371
There were also narrow witches!
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In Stockholm, Sweden, I tried to imagine returning home to one of these narrow alleys on a dark afternoon in winter!
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Dale ends our bike ride through Stockholm coasting down a narrow cobblestone street.
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Stockholm, like many European countries, also has tall, narrow buildings.
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Even older is Old Jerusalem, Israel…Like elsewhere, vehicles have the right of way, squeezing pedestrians to the wall.
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Some of these climbing narrow streets are divided between steps and ramps.
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Watch out for motorcycles coming through!
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In ancient Egypt, clearly people were smaller to fit into narrow passageways into pyramids and tombs.

Dale and a few other adventurous souls (such as this woman from our group emerging from a pyramid) did go down these narrow steps into a now empty room in the Queen’s tomb in Giza. I took one look and decided to wait outside!
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Tourists descend a long narrow hallway covered with inscriptions and paintings to reach the tomb of Ramses IX in Valley of the Kings. These hieroglyphics declaim the deeds of the king during his reign, and there are also symbols of gods to accompany him to the afterlife.
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At the Chateau of Caen, France, a narrow stairway leads down to…where??
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On Omaha Beach, in Normandy, are the remains of WWII German bunkers, which I declined to enter, also reached through narrow passages and stairways. (I’m glad I didn’t go in – my son’s photos show empty rooms with an inch of rainwater covering the floors!)
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On the way back to our Airbnb farmhouse through the Normandy countryside, we drove down the narrow roads of villages, flanked by houses on both sides.
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A car in front of us navigates a sharp corner into another narrow street.DSC00482
A lot of traffic in Amsterdam travels its canals, which narrow on approach to bridges.
DSC00587Floating traffic jam!
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Bridges have these traffic signals indicating when it is safe and permissible to proceed (or not!).
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The day after our tour of the canals, we went to the “red light district” where we were told not to take photos of the sex workers who lived on either side of these narrow alleyways. Probably also not a good idea to photograph potential clients – good thing this one came out blurry!
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In Amsterdam, we stayed in an Airbnb 2nd floor flat, with a narrow stairway winding up to it. That was one of our son’s obligations to us for paying for his trip – carry our suitcases up and down! The stairway was so narrow and windy that he had to carry the suitcases one by one in his arms!
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Caen’s Church of Saint-Pierre

(June 17, 2019)

While in Caen, after touring the Chateau, we had lunch, then went to see the cathedral. Or at least, we THOUGHT it was the cathedral, but this is a mistake by tourists due to its size and soaring Gothic elements. It is actually called the Church of St. Peter (St. Pierre) and known as Saint-Pierre of Darnetal, Saint-Pierre-sous-Caen, Saint-Pierre-du-Châtel, and Saint-Pierre-en-Rive.

Even though it isn’t the official cathedral, St. Pierre is an imposing structure.
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It was built between the 13th and 16th centuries. During the Middle Ages, most public ceremonies took place in this church. The spire of the church was destroyed by a British navy shell in 1944, meant for the German forces, and it was rebuilt in the same style.  Remarkably, although 75% of Caen was in ruins at the end of WWII, the Church of Saint-Pierre remained mostly intact.

Front entrance:

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Architecturally, the church represents the transition from Gothic to Renaissance style. It ceased to be a church building in 1793, to become the Temple of Reason. From 1795 to 1933, the building was used for Catholic worship services.
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More of the church’s doors
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Stained glass windows

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Posted for Norm’s Thursday Doors 8/8/19.

Although I took most of the photos, I have included some of my son’s photos using his Samsung Galaxy 9 (the first time he has experimented with photography), most notably ceiling details.

Information on the Church of St.-Pierre’s history was obtained from a Wikipedia article, Church of Saint-Pierre, Caen.

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CFFC: Man’s Best Friend and Other Companions

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic of animals. Here are some of the domestic variety that we saw on our recent trip to Europe.

Waiting for an Uber in suburban Paris, I sat on a bench facing the Marne River, where I watched a man and his dog. At first, the man played fetch with the dog, but eventually he got tired of the game. Not the dog! He trotted behind the man, still carrying the stick they’d been playing with.
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In Caen, we had lunch alongside this sleeping dog.
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Another dog in a restaurant was this cute pug in Amsterdam.
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A woman in a contemplative mood, or perhaps just tired, sits on a memorial plaque on a hill at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.
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These two dogs on leashes seemed anxious to get to know each other, which they did while their human companions chatted.
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On our river cruise, our first stop was in Kinderdijk, Holland, to visit windmills. As we were walking along a path, I suddenly felt something wet slam against my leg! Looking down, I saw a dog – no, two – no, three dogs (or were there four?) emerge from a marsh, running and paying no attention to the group of humans in their way. I finally managed to get a photo of the last dog to emerge, this one carrying a ball in its mouth.
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Sightings of farm animals were second to the number of dogs we saw.

There were sheep in pastures,
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cows cooling off next to the Rhine River on a hot day,
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including this bull who wandered off on his own.
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Finally, on the grounds of Melk Abbey in Austria, I saw a cat – the only one I saw during our entire trip, which was surprising. Equally surprising was that this particular cat was a Manx – no tail!
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It was friendly and, I supposed, lived in one of the houses along the road descending down from the abbey toward central Melk.

Finally, a species that, while not domesticated, is not afraid to approach a boat full of humans in case they might have dropped a tasty morsel into the water.  It isn’t unusual to see beautiful white swans, singly, in pairs or family groups, near the river’s edge in many European countries.DSC01277

Thursday Doors: Caen Chateau

(June 17, 2019)

For Norm’s weekly feature, Thursday Doors, I am splitting our visit to Caen, France into two posts.

We weren’t planning to visit Caen, but ended up spending half a day there because we had to get our rental car exchanged. Actually, Caen is a rather interesting city. After we took care of the rental (we got an upgrade!) we parked in the parking lot of the château.

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The Château, or Caen Castle, resembles a fort more than a castle; however, castles were generally fortified with walls, moats, and drawbridges.

The fortified gateway is the main entrance via bridge over the wide moat.

The castle stood strategically on a rocky outcrop which overlooks the Orne River valley. From here, William would have controlled all accessible routes. Soon it was surrounded by thick stone walls and covered a vast, 5 hectare (12.4 acres) holding. Within its walls was the palace where the duke held court, of which only vestiges remain in a closed-off archeological site.
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The castle, together with two abbeys (the Men’s Abbey and the Women’s Abbey) which William and his wife, Matilde, chose as their resting place, transformed the little town of Caen into the foundation of a dynasty. In addition to St. George’s Church, the Hall of the Exchequer and the keep, (fortified tower), were enhancements built by Henry I, William’s successor.

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Sheep graze in the moat.

 

The fortified gateway is the main entrance via bridge over the wide moat.

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Gateway to the castle

The castle was built around 1060 by William the Conqueror (William of Normandy), who is famous for his successful conquest of England in 1066. His son, Henry I, then built the St. George’s Church, a keep and a large hall for the ducal Court in the year 1123.

The castle stood strategically on a rocky outcrop which overlooks the Orne River valley. From here, William would have controlled all accessible routes. Soon it was surrounded by thick stone walls and covered a vast, 5 hectare (12.4 acres) holding. Within its walls was the palace where the duke held court, of which only vestiges remain in a closed-off archeological site.

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The castle, together with two abbeys (the Men’s Abbey and the Women’s Abbey) which William and his wife, Matilde, chose as their resting place, transformed the little town of Caen into the foundation of a dynasty. In addition to St. George’s Church, the Hall of the Exchequer and the keep, (fortified tower), were enhancements built by Henry I, William’s successor.

The 11th century ramparts were originally made of wood but were soon reinforced with stone accumulated while digging out the moat. Caen Castle has over 800 meters (2,625 feet) of ramparts. The fort is one of the largest in Europe.

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I do not know the function of this tiny door found near the top of the stairs that lead up to the ramparts.

Today, within the château’s walls, are modern additions, such as a Museum of Fine Arts (which was closed on Monday, the day we visited), a sculpture garden and an herb garden.
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Main door to Exchequer’s Hall

St. George’s Church

There were many fine views of the city with the spires of the Cathedral and two abbeys towering over the rest of the town.

Closer by, a zoom lens showed doors of buildings below.

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A jogger passes the door to #77 and a wall of graffiti.

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Facade and entrance to a modern synagogue

Some information for this post was obtained from the Wikipedia article Château de Caen.