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Sunday, April 17, 2011

France 2010 - Day 12, Part 3 - Angers, Château de Brissac

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear." - Mark Twain

***

France 2010
Day 12 - 13th October - Angers, Château de Brissac
(Part 3)

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Châtelet back, Chapel
The lodge roof had been damaged by fire in January 2009 (see the restoration).

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Postcards on various types of warriors during the Middle Ages, and a "Cotte" (this is roughly translated as a tunique)

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A "cottehardie" (this is an undergarment?!)

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Chapel wall

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Stone (I think) stuff on the chapel wall

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More chapel wall paintings

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Town of Angers from Château rampart

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The Fleur-de-Lys flag


Garden inside Château

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Garden

We then left the Château.

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Statue of René d'Anjou/René Ier de Naples/René de Sicile

I would've visited the Galerie David d'Angers, which had many sculptures by the famous sculptor of the same name - but it was closed for lunch. However I managed to peek inside:

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Interior of the Galerie David d'Angers

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Clothes hangers in the Galerie David d'Angers

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Pâtisserie with nice macarons

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Macarons

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Other pâtisserie delights

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Carvings on one of the buildings

For lunch, we ironically had... galettes (buckwheat crêpes - a speciality of Brittany, which we had left and in which we had not had any - well except for at one disgusting shop in St Malo which put a sausage with mustard inside, which tasted horrible).

Interestingly we saw 4 crêperies in Angers, and none had savory "crêpes" - just galettes. And I didn't recall seeing savory "crêpes" in France.

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The second menu is crazy - you get 2 galettes and 1 crêpe. Which makes for 3 crêpes in total.

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Galette with escargot, lardons and mushrooms

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Galette with ham, mushrooms and cheese

These crêpes were nice and crispy, unlike the soggy one in St Malo.

In the crêperie I looked at another table. An old woman sitting there wished me "bon appetit". This wouldn't have happened in Paris. J'en avais marre de Paris.

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Crêpe with warm chocolate and apples.

During lunch I heard a noise outside, so I went out of the restaurant to have a look:

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Another demonstration! How French!
The protestors were teens. The sign says "Vive la Reforme" (Long Live Reform). Recall that the protests in October 2010 were against the increase in the retirement age. Presumably these teens were for the reform. This was rare and heartening - it is rare that youth are against simple-minded populism. But then, they are the ones whose taxes will pay for the pensions of all the old.


Demonstration fun
Notice the teens waving at me, the rubbish bags being thrown around and the token black guy at the back

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At the tourist information office at Angers, I had gotten the brochures for the most impressive châteaux in the Loire Valley, to shortlist the ones I was allowed to visit. One of them was amusing: "little dogs allowed carried in a basket". There is also one glaring error in the French (quelle horreur !). The first one who bothers telling me what it is gets a cookie. Or something.

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Hilarious chocolate in a supermarket. If they sold this in the US, there'd be a riot.

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Various strengths of dark chocolate for each palate. From 70% to 99%. Ugh.

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Grape vines.

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This was a "Maison de Retraite" (retirement home). It was good for the role.

The next stop was the Château de Brissac - the highest Château in the Loire Valley (at 7 storeys). Around this area there were many signs for "village troglodyte" (villages in caves).

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Mailbox of the "Marquis et Marquise de BRISSAC" (this is the Fifth Republic - the nobility has long been abolished). Perhaps fittingly, they share the mailbox with a tourist organisation and an "untitled" individual, Daniel Renaud.

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Family photo at ticket booth. This recalls the family photos of the English nobility.

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Château de Brissac

Visits to the Château were only by guided tours, which were only in French at this time of the year.

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Facade


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Facade closeup
You can see the mélange of old and new styles - 15th and 17th century. I don't like the way they were mixed. The Château was also a victim of the 16th century wars of religion.

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Kitchen
If I heard correctly this kitchen was only used on special occasions.

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Kitchen entrance

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The "Marquis" in his robes.

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Room

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Two Don Quixote scenes (Gobelins Tapestries, 1782)

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Set Dining Table

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Photograph of dining room with lots of antlers.

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Dining room today with fewer antlers

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Château de Bercy
Paris had 15 châteaux. This was the most aristocratic centre of Paris. It was dismantled in the 19th century.

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1st (2nd) storey hall. Flemish tapestry depicting the life of Alexander the Great in the Reception Hall/Grand Gallery.

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Reception Hall/Grand Gallery
You see "CC". This represents Charles II de Cossé, who rebuilt the château.
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