A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life

Welcome

I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a late 60's wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter and their children live in Alberta.
Comments are always welcome, always read - and answered if need be. Feel free to share, I love hearing from all my cyber-space friends.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Churches, Cathedrals, Basilicas

Everywhere we went in France and Germany, there was a church or cathedral.  Some of them were called Basalica, but I haven't been able to get a clear definition of the difference, at least in this day and age.  Apparently originally Basilica were large public buildings purposed for business or legal matters with no religious function at all.  No matter what they were called, they were all impressive buildings, made the more amazing considering the era in which they were built with no power tools or machinery to assist in the construction.

Here are a few photos of the churches we visited.

Notre Dame, probably the most famous cathedral in the world, as you know experienced a fire not all that long ago, and reconstruction is on-going.  We were only able, therefore, to see some of the outside, and even then some aspects were blocked by construction and security walls

St.-Chappelle church is just a short walk away from Notre Dame, a little church tucked in behind a (now) government building, so we got no photos of the outside.  But inside...the most impressive display of stained glass I've ever seen anywhere:





The chapel at the Palace of Versailles was as opulent as every other room in the palace




At Provins the St-Quiriache church dominated the town


In Bayeux, Normandy, again the church could be seen from almost anywhere around, and inside was a pipe organ that took up most of the wall


 In Frankfurt also, many church spires soared over the surrounding buildings

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Food, Glorious Food

While in France and Frankfurt, we had the opportunity to sample local foods.   Amazingly, we saw many 'restaurants' that we see at home, like: McDonald's, KFC, Starbucks, Subway.  We made a couple of forays into these for a coffee break here and there - it was nothing like home.  The French fries at McDonald's even tasted different.  Coffee was mostly espresso - and the tiniest cups ever!  Occasionally an Americano was found, but still smaller than what we're used to at home.  And a cup of coffee isn't $1.00 either!

In France, we enjoyed baguettes and croissants almost every day, buying them for our breakfast or to accompany the dinners we cooked at the suite.  They were so yummy!  But we quickly learned that fresh is best.  A baguette left sitting was hard as rock by the end of the day.

Our first day in Paris, as we walked down the streets, we discovered a lovely little restaurant with outdoor seating (and despite the cold weather, a lot of people sat outdoors to enjoy their meals).  The baguette 'sandwiches' were a reasonable price, and big enough for two to share, so that's what we did.

In most small deli-type restaurants like this there was an array of sweets similar to those in the picture above, and we did take opportunity now and again to enjoy some of those.  Every pastry was a work of art, and sometimes looked almost too good to eat.

 Crepes was a must-eat, and we had a few over the time we were there - sweet and savory both.  But their crepes weren't like what we have at home (rolled up with fruit inside and whipping cream on top).  In France, crepes are folded, and came in different shapes - square, round, triangular - depending on the filling and ,like the sandwiches, are large enough to share.  Here's a photo of the one we shared in Provins:

When DH and I headed for a visit to Frankfurt (more on that in another post), we had dinner with family in a lovely restaurant, where DH enjoyed typical German fare of a Frankfurt schnitzel.  We're sorry we didn't take a photo.  And then we had lunch in a German deli - a sausage with sauerkraut and a lovely green bean casserole that we haven't been able to duplicate yet.

We had a couple of meals in pizza joints - and really liked their pizzas - thin crust and lots of toppings, and a different sauce than we're used to that we couldn't quite define, but as I said we enjoyed them!

DH ordered a 'hot dog' from a street vendor once - it was nothing like we get at home.  It was a looonng European weiner, with a very thin bun that wasn't quite as long, and covered with a nice sharp cheese. But he said it was delicious!

I ordered Salade Fraiche once in a pub, expecting a green salad of some kind.  I was pleasantly surprised to receive what I can only suggest is the French version of chef salad:





From the bottom left going clockwise: eggs with Hollandaise sauce, potato salad, green salad, avocado with a poppy dressing, tomato with dressing, and in the center rolled up ham and emmental cheese.  It was delicious!

All in all, not too many foods that we can't get at home, but served up French style, made for a unique experience for us.

Blessings, Peggy

Friday, December 6, 2019

An Ancient Walled City

France is an old country, with standing architecture hundreds of years old.  Here in Canada, we might find a building 150 years old, but there some were built nearly 1000 years ago.  It's truly amazing to think that structures could stand for that many years without crumbling to almost nothing.

We had the opportunity to visit Provins, an ancient walled city, about an hour bus-ride from where we were staying.

The drive through the country-side was refreshing after several days in the city, and we saw oil pumps, just like in the prairies at home



Originally built in the 13th century, much of the outer wall is still standing.  We did see some maintenance/repair work on-going. 


Inside the city we found narrow, narrow streets that didn't slow down many of the drivers.

There was a town square, with hitching posts still evident

An ancient tower and keep still stands that has served many purposes over the years, but is now the bell tower for the church:

And, of course the church, Eglise St. Quiriache

At one point, we looked out over a section of wall to see the surrounding town built up around the original

Our day was a wonderful walk back in time.

Blessings, Peggy

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Versailles

When we started planning our trip to France, one of my wishes was to be able to visit 'some' castles.  Well, little did I know how far even those 'close' to Paris would be.  And with all that we wanted to see and do, time of course was not unlimited.  So the Palace of Versailles was the only actual 'castle' that we visited.  And it WAS impressive!  Everything shined gold!!!  And the rooms and hallways huge!  The grounds are massive.








On our walk through, we found a brochure describing a carriage museum nearby, so that was our last stop for that day:

It's easy when you're walking through to imagine the people in their formal attire for balls and dinners, arriving in their carriages, and enjoying the food, wine, music, entertainment of the day.

Just a little taste of what life was like for the royalty of the 17-18th century France.

Blessings, Peggy

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Louvre

Everybody has heard of the Louvre, and anybody visiting Paris will certainly have it on their list of places to visit.  Our day at the Louvre was nowhere near enough to take it in.  Actually, what we saw was enough to make us want to come back, but thankful that the day was over, because it's so very overwhelming!

DH and I chose to take in the Decorative Arts display, and the Statuary, as well as take a look at the 'walled city' reproduction of what was originally built to protect Paris.  It was all fascinating, and here's just a taste of what we saw.  Oh, and we decided not to stand in the line-up to see the Mona Lisa - had we had another day, we might have done that as well, but we wanted to use our time to take in as much as we could.

The Louvre, once a palace, is an immense building that just never seems to end (inside or out).  What you see of the Louvre is only a portion, there is almost as much underground as above.   Parts of the building have administrative purposes, and apparently parts are used for state affairs.


Decorative Arts
 Almost every kind of decorative art you could imagine was on display.
Stained glass:


Not sure what this bowl of 'fruit' was made of, but it looked glass:

Highly decorated glassware:

A chessboard of glass and metal:

Jewelry:
 And tapestry, so huge and so intricate, telling stories and describing the life of the times:
Statuary
This was DH's favorite, and wherever we went he searched these out.  The hall was immense, and here is just a bare sampling of what we saw. When we think of the tools they would have had, it boggles the mind that they could produce such beautifully crafted artwork.



The Walled City
This was most fascinating to DH as well, given his background in construction:

 As I said, just a very small sampling, you'll just have to go there to see more!

Blessings, Peggy

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Museums

While in France we visited many museums - not as many as we would have like to visit, because some museums take all day!  And then, after a while a person can just be so full of sensory input, you get lost and just can't take in any more.  Anyway, here's a recap of some of the museums we visited.

Musee D'Orsay
This museum is know for its wide array of classic and modern French paintings.  The day we were there, there was a special exhibit of Degas and his love for the Paris Opera House.  So many, many  paintings of ballerinas, this was obviously his passion:


There was also an impressive display of statuary:






And a replica of a Louis XIV reception room:
And so very, very many paintings, by the likes of Degas, Van Gogh and Monet:




Tuillerie Gardens
This is like an outdoor museum of statuary, that of course includes a fountain.  The Tuillerie was originally an area populated by roof tile factories; a palace and gardens were built there by Catherine de Medici in the 16th century and was used as a residence by many royal families until the palace was destroyed in the late 19th century.  Today it is a public garden for everybody to enjoy.  For us it was ladies only, as the fellas went elsewhere



Musee d'Orangerie
We visited here on the same day as the Tuillerie Garden.  This building was originally a place to store citrus trees over the winter.  Now it houses mainly Monet's water lily paintings (some of them).  This is just one photo of several very large paintings that covered the walls in two consecutive elliptical rooms.



Also there was a collection of art-work and the library of Felix Feneon, who appeared to be a major force within the world of journalism in France in the early 20th centuryJust a couple of examples:




Military Museum
While the ladies were enjoying the museums above, the men headed for a military museum where they saw examples from warsof ancient day through to modern times:


Aerospace museum
On another day, DH and one of the other fellas made a trip out to an Aerospace Museum (the rest of us went elsewhere, which will be covered in another post)




The Louvre will be covered on another day!   Hope you enjoyed this brief look at some of the museums to be seen in and around Paris.      Blessings, Peggy