Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Round and About Confolens

Before I start with this latest missive, I am delighted to announce that, having just completed 2 years of blogging, I have now accumulated 200 plus followers. Wow, it is hard to believe, but very gratifying,  that so many of you out there find my blog worthy of all that support. My thanks to every one of my followers, not only for reading my blog, but for leaving such kind comments.

At first glance, Confolens (not far up the river from the chateau at St Germain  I featured 2 blogs ago) would not appear to offer much in the way of memorable  visual experiences, but with a little advance research, and the expenditure of some shoe-leather, these are the foremost historical  locations to be discovered in the town, which is built on an old Roman road.

The picturesque highway sign on the town approach.

The present bridge across the Vienne river is built of granite and limestone and it replaced a Roman bridge. It dates from the end of the Middle Ages, but has been considerably altered. Until they were demolished in 1777, it boasted three fortified towers, some 10 metres (33 feet) high. The last span on the left replaced a drawbridge. Being for many years the only bridge on this section of river, it saw a heavy traffic of men, animals and merchandise. All of these had to thread their way past shops, built on the bridge, but now long gone!

The striking architecture of the hospital, which was originally the convent of St Clare. In 1792, the hospital was transferred here from the "old town" nearby. An upgrade in 1895, paid for by a legacy, altered the facades and increased the building area. Further extensions were built between 1927 and 1932 to accommodate the 205 bed spaces which there were in 2005.
For further information see HERE

A view across the Vienne from the hospital to the church of St Maxime

The imposing entrance to the church of Saint Maxime is a work of the 13th century, and in typical local Limousin style. The church is confined by adjacent buildings and it was difficult to get back far enough to take this photo!! The original romanesque church, mentioned in records from 990, has disappeared as a result of numerous reconstructions.
and on going inside, one finds an interior completely altered in 1499, to provide two unequal naves, separated by elegant columns.
The large stained glass windows are relatively recent!! They were made upcountry, at Tours, in the 19th century


A number of 15th and 16th century colombage (half-timbered - or "post and beam" in the USA) houses still survive in the Rue de Soleil area near the church, as can be seen in the two photos below.


This nearby fountain, now converted into a planter, caught my eye.

The old donjon on a hilltop, all that remains of the castle of Confolens.

Views from the top of the hill, with the tower of Saint Pierre church very prominent in the centre.

The gateway (from the outside) of the 13th century Courthouse, which also allowed entrance to the castle and the town. The existence of a courthouse testifies to the importance of the justice system in operation in Confolens at this early time.

 (and from the inside)

 and I was proud of this view I shot from inside the gateway, framing the Saint Maxime church spire.

If you should want to stay in the area, it sounds as if the centre of Confolens may not be the ideal place for you; see Leon's blog HERE 

Not very far away from the town, one of my followers has a B and B at Exideuil see HERE . Please note that I do not normally "plug" any commercial  activities on my blog, but in celebration of my new 200 follower milestone, I have decided to make a very rare exception!! I must emphasise that we have not visited or stayed there ourselves, so leave you entirely to form your own opinions!!

104 comments:

  1. What a fascinating day trip. The architecture is amazing and the area packed with history. Congratulations of your 2 year milestone and number of people who are following you. I'm not at all surprised. I love to visit here. I can see why others do as well. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Maryu.

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  2. This is the reason we follow: right here on this post: history, architecture, beautiful art and sculpture, interesting factoids to string it all together and then, these gorgeous pictures!
    No wonder!

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  3. Looks like you had a wonderful experience checking out Confoilens - you definitely did your homework - that makes it so much more interesting, doesn't it? Love your pictures - so lovely, makes me want to be there too!

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  4. Mary with Nigel's help, now he is here, we do our best to track down what history is available. The time taken for research means less posts but hopefully more interesting. Thanks for the great comments over the past couple of years. Diane

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  5. Rosaria we are both more than pleased with your comment, thanks you so very much for the kind remarks. Thanks so much for following. Take care Diane

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  6. The Café Sucré Farine it pays to do a bit of home work first or it is easy to miss so much. Confolens also has a large annual festival, so hopefully we can do another post on that :) Diane

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  7. I really do love it how you go out and "search" for these hostorical places. I feel like i went on the journey with you!

    Red

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  8. Hello Diane:
    First, congratulations on reaching your two year blogging milestone. That in itself is a huge achievement, but, to have maintained such a high standard as you have of blog posts throughout that time is really an amazing feat.We look forward to many more in the future!

    Confolens is truly a hidden gem! We have never visited or indeed heard of the town before and so have much enjoyed your illustrated and greatly informative 'tour'. It is so interesting to hear of such places which are off the well worn tourist tracks.

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  9. Boye By Red I am really happy to read your comment. It is great that you feel as if you did the tour with us. Thanks for following and commenting. Diane

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  10. Jane and Lance good to see you back on comments again, and thank you so much for your very kind words. I keep thinking that I will run out of posts, but there is so much history around here, that for the time being, I think we will be managing to find places fairly close by. Keep well and thanks for following Diane

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  11. Awesome blog, I do love history and old buildings, old towns, old cities. Here in western Canada, we don't have many buildings older that 100 years. Mostly after fifty years they get torn down and new building put up. It is so refreshing to tour these fantastic old towns and reading it's history. Just wonderful. Happy to here of your 2 year blogging milestone. Hope to see many more of your wonderful blogs.

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  12. Congratulations on reaching such a significant milestone.
    I lvoe today's photos. I will have to come back and read the narrative as I'm dealing with sickness today. Have a great evening.

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  13. Another wonderful tour Diane. I have put France on my list.

    Congrats on your 200th follower.

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  14. Horst that is very much like a lot of places in South Africa. The history is interesting, but not really that old. Europe amazes me and there is much still being discovered. We have Roman ruins nearby that I have now visited 4 times; each time it just gets bigger. Time to go again, and especially for N who has not seen it since (I think) 2006. He will be in awe of the changes. Thanks for the kind comments. Diane

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  15. Joyful so sorry to hear that you are not in the best of health today. Take care and get well soon. Thinking of you Diane

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  16. Gaelyn, that sounds wonderful, France on the list :) Looking forward to the visit. Diane

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  17. Congratulations and well done!
    Your blog is always interesting and superbly illustrated.
    Wishing you many happy returns ...

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  18. GaynorB Thanks so much for your kind comments and for following. I always appreciate your visits. Keep well Diane

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  19. delightful little town and congrats on 2 years blogging keep it up love your blog

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  20. Beautiful post Diane! Love the last photo! It is like a picture postcard:) Congrats on your 2 years blogging! Hope you are having a good week:)
    ~Anne

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  21. Rebecca, thanks for the kind comment and for following. Take care Diane

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  22. Anne thanks so much for following, and yes I also love that photo :) Have a good trip away, looking forward to hearing what you have been up to :)) Take care Diane

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  23. Wonderful tour, Diane! Favourite shot: the bridge! :-)

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  24. JM I like the bridge photo, but my favourite is still the last one :) Diane

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  25. Wow! I think of my house as old (1883) but that's nothing compared to what you are surrounded by in the Old World! Beautiful pictures and I do love the last one best!

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  26. Jewel Sauls, We certainly agree over the last photo :) Our own house is over 200 years old and that is just a baby in our surroundings here in Europe!! Keep well and look after your singing birds. Diane

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  27. Congratulations 2 u my dear on your achievement for being a blogger for 2 years. As for me, I have just started blogging Oct 2011.. Still young.. I m really admire of all the photos of your traveling missions.. Marvellous.. Keep it up.

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  28. First of all congratulations on reaching 200 followers - that is really great. I love coming to read your blog it is always so interesting and I get to see parts of France that I never new about - so thank you for that :)
    What a lovely place to visit, the architecture is lovely and as for that hospital - all I can say is wow what a beautiful building.

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  29. What a fantastic achievement, Diane! I'm not surprised you've built up such a following. Your postings certainly merit all that attention!

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  30. Hi Diane. I'm so glad I popped in today to visit that beautiful church. Gorgeous photos!

    Denise

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  31. Congrats on 200 and 2 years. the fact that you respond to each and every comment is part of your successful blog apart from excellent material.
    Thanks for the link to our post of our very small stop at Confolens.
    I did enjoy cycling the area when there. Wish we had known about the B&B as our hotel was a bit down in the mouth and we picked an everage place for dinner. I agree that after reading your post, Confolens had much more to offer.

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  32. Congratulations on 2 years of blogging. Thank you for the photos and the history, very interesting.

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  33. Another lovely tour of part of France that I have never heard of. Thankyou for sharing. xx

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  34. A great trip again as I like them!
    The bridge is fabulous!
    A gorgeous series of pictures with interesting explanations!
    Well done and well worth waiting for! :)
    Cheers, Diane!

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  35. ogyep yummy mellow, thanks for the kind comment. I would never have believed, when I started this blog two years ago, for family and friends that not only would I still be blogging but with over 200 followers!! Keep well Diane

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  36. Shoe leather expenditure, think of all the healthy exercise you are getting from these explorations Diane. Plus lots of lovely photos to share with your growing readership. Thanks Diane.

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  37. Ellie thanks for your kind comments and yes, I also loved the hospital. I see many people who are on Facebook have masses of followers there as well, but I have always said I would not go on Facebook or Twitter and to date I am happy that I have stayed away from both. Diane

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  38. Colin and Elizabeth, thank you your comment, it is much appreciated. One day we will have to spread our wings a bit as I would love to see the Loire. Keep well and take care Diane

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  39. Denise the church is gorgeous, I had plenty of photos but I do not like to make my posts too long. We have a slow connection, and the bigger the post the longer it takes me to load it! I am a red head and very impatient!! Keep well Diane

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  40. Leon and Sue thanks for the very kind comments. There is a lot to see in Conflens but we did do some research first to help:) That B & B would not have been opened when you were there it is very new. If you are in this direction though we may have the other spare room ready one day! Great cycling around here, and you can pretty much go flat or hilly depending if you go North or South. Hilly though is more interesting. Keep well Diane

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  41. Words Of Deliciousness thanks so much, I am pleased that you find my posts interesting. Diane

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  42. Happy to get back visiting and enjoyed my trip today..Always a wonderful visit..Hope all is well with you both..Spring is around the corner..happy days..
    Have a great day..xoCarolyn

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  43. Karen most of these places we keep tracking down are not far from home and we have not heard of many of them either!! So much to see without going miles and having to find accommodation :) Diane

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  44. Noushka, thanks for your lovely comment, I appreciate your following and now I feel you are a personal friend rather than just a follower. Maybe we will eventually get to meet up before you finally move. Take care. Diane x

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  45. Hi Diane, congratulation to you on your 2 years blogging achievement. Keep up the good work. *Hugs*

    Enjoy looking at all your beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing your great trip with us.

    Have a nice day and take care.

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  46. Linda I don't think that there is much energy in our walking around as I keep stopping to take photos. It does not really suit Nigel though as slow walking makes his feet very painful. Thanks for following and all your comments. Take care Diane

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  47. Hi Carolyn, it is quite chilly here at the moment but if the forecast is right it will warm up very soon. I am off to the specialist again tomorrow - I am still coughing!! Maybe the weather change will sort it out, not before time! Take care Diane

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  48. it's a beautiful town, can see that you hv indeed did some research on it. Thanks to you too, Diane for sharing and showing all these places that you've walked thru and visited, it would be a rare chance to personally visit those places and i'm glad i can see it thru your blog here!

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  49. Amelia's De-ssert thanks for your good wishes. It is very rewarding when people say they love my photos as I only have a very cheap supermarket special. When I win the lottery, first on my list is to buy a better camera with a good zoom LOL. Keep well Diane

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  50. nice tour. There's always more than you think to explore in places. Think we passed through Confolens many years ago on our way to the Périgord.

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  51. Congratulations on your 2 year Blogiversary and so many followers, well done. You have so many interesting places to see, with lots of history..your photos are brilliant. Take care anne x

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  52. Lena it amazes me how one can feel like they have been to a place through someone else's eyes. I have never been to the USA but I feel like I have strolled through much of the grand canyon with Gaelyn at http://geogypsy.blogspot.com/. Thanks for following and your kind comments. Diane

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  53. Niall and Antoinette we have driven through Confolens several times, I stopped over there quickly with a friend last year and took some photos. It was only when I got home and looked up the history of Confolens that I realised it was worth another visit! Diane

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  54. Anne good to hear from you and thanks for the kind comments. I hope that you are feeling a little better. Will chat soon. Try to take it easy and remember that silver lining. Diane xx

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  55. Great blog Diane and I am very honoured to be your 200th follower :-) (and thank you very much for mentioning our B&B in Exideuil - La Belle Vienne)
    We have been to Confolens a couple of times. Its very nice by the river in the summer and the festival in august is good.
    Look forward to your next blog - do you know where it will be ?
    Louise

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  56. Louise I am really not sure where the next post will be. I have several places that I went to last year which I have not yet done, but the memory is sadly lacking nowadays!! It may end up being more current where the memory is fresher! I have heard lots of good things about the festival so we may get there this year.
    It was a pleasure to put a link to your B & B I hope you do well. A bientot :) Diane

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  57. Well done you for being such a good blogger - you not only write interesting posts but you also take time to respond to these posts, then you go visit the relevant blog and most times leave a comment on that blog as well. You are a truly stirling blogger!

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  58. Vera you flatter me but thanks! I very often do not visit everyone's posts as I have not got the time. I used to post daily, now it is usually weekly or longer. Yes I do try to reply to everyone's comments, that I will agree with :) I try to write interesting posts and not too long as I don't want people to get bored.
    Keep well Diane

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  59. Congratulations on two years of blogging!

    It looks and sounds like a beautiful place. :) I especially liked the picture of the stained glass windows . . .

    Thank you for coming by my blog and commenting.

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  60. Lovely photos!!
    Dear, thanks for sharing them
    http://janakitchen.blogspot.com

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  61. I am loving the idea of the shops on the bridge... kind of a great idea, isn't it? Congrats on your milestone... I love visiting here since it's like a little vacation to France each time... boy is it welcome some days!!!

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  62. The Golden Eagle thanks for your visit and congratulations. The stained glass windows are gorgeous but I always struggle to get good photos with a cheap camera; the light seems to cause problems! Keep well Diane

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  63. lostpastremembered pleased that you enjoy your small trips to France. Even if it makes you feel good for only a couple of minutes I feel as if I have done a good job :) Keep well Diane

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  64. You are lucky to live in a such an interesting area of France.

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  65. cheshire wife, it makes no difference where you live in France, the country just steeps in history around every corner. Thanks for the comment and take care, Diane

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  66. It's great posts like this, that make all enjoy following you! You always have wonderful photos and interesting history. I just wish history in school had been taught like this, instead of dwelling on dates, etc. The history of bridges is amazing, starting with the Romans and this one also. Your last photo, with the spire, is esp. great and I love the church windows also. Keep up the great posts, Diane! Just wish I could visit everything you write about!

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  67. Hi Diane .. love the photos - glorious part of the world - and a great area to learn about historically.

    I hope you're both feeling better - and starting to feel a little spring like?! Cheers and have a great weekend .. Hilary

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  68. Pam you know I hated history at school. I have never had a good memory for dates and I just failed all my exams! Now I am finding it soooo interesting. simply because I do not have to remember all the dates, Nigel does that for me he is good at numbers! Thanks Pam for being such a great follower. Take care Diane

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  69. Thanks Hilary for all your kind comments and for following. Nigel I hope will be fine once the weather warms up but his feet are always a problem. As for me I was told yesterday that I have low lung capacity!!! If the cough would stop I am not worried about the capacity!!!
    Take care and hope all is well with you. Diane

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  70. Jana ★ I am happy that you enjoy my photos. Take care Diane

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  71. I love3 that shot you took of the bridge, gorgeous! Thanks for this wonderful tour once again.

    BTW, I posted the recipe of the leche flan at the comment section just now.

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  72. chubskulit thanks for your comment and for posting the recipe. I am off to have a look now. Diane

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  73. Hi Diane....thanks for stopping by to say hello. I haven't been commenting much as of late.....I lost my entire blog roll and have been attempting to rebuild it with blogs I love seeing.

    Thanks for the wonderful tour today.....I have to tell you yours sounds like such an interesting life....I would love to get to know you a little better. I'm going to drop you a little e-mail note BTW....you are welcome to come "junking" with me anytime.

    xo

    Jo

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  74. I do enjoy your travels!! another lovely tour - what a gorgeous town - love that stained glass
    Mary x

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  75. so beautiful, how lovely you can spend the time seeing such lovely places..

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  76. Congratulations Diane on getting to two hundred followers. Another very good post with some great photographs. Have a good day.

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  77. My Grama's Soul, I am really sorry about your blog roll, I wonder what happened? It must be quite difficult to build it back up again.

    I have had an interesting life from very young. I have been trying to write a book, but there are so many important things in our life right now that the book has been shelved!! It will return:)

    You are welcome to email me but I am struggling to keep up with everything at present so if I do not answer immediately please forgive me. Thanks for the offer to come junking :) Keep well Diane

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  78. Mary, Mum's Kitchen Glad that you enjoyed the tour. Take care and keep well Diane

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  79. Muppy, I think we are very lucky to live in such a beautiful country, and now we have a little more time to go out and see these places together. Keep well Diane

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  80. chcmichel thanks so much for all your kind comments and following, I appreciate both. Keep well Diane

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  81. Congratulations on having over 200 followers and on your second year of posting and here's to many more. :)

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  82. Thanks Froggy, I hope there will be many more,I am slowing up a bit though as so much else to do :-) Diane

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  83. Thank you for the walk around one of the most beautiful places in France. Of course, I am a little jealous :) Congratulations on your second anniversary of blogging. And an added number of followers who, I'm sure, enjoy reading your blog as much as I do.

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  84. Hello Diane just dropping by to say hello and hoping all is well with you.. Have a great week.

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  85. I love that main entrance to the church - one of the things I miss about Europe is all the beautiful old stone buildings with so much history crammed into them!

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  86. Olga thanks so much, you always have such kind comments. There are so many beautiful places around here we are spoilt for choice. Diane

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  87. Marco Pasho thanks for dropping in, appreciated, you have a good week as well :) Diane

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  88. Kit when (if!!) I ever win the lottery I will buy a small place in S.Africa for the European winter, and then come back here for summer. Life would then be perfect :)) Take care Diane

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  89. Merci pour cette ballade et bon anniversaire. On va attendre la 3ème bougie.
    A très bientôt

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  90. Merci pour votre visite et vos aimables et encourageants commentaires. A bientôt, Diane

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  91. I always love the tours of your area. The church is beautiful!

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  92. Your posts are always so fantastic
    Un besito :D
    http://janakitchen.blogspot.com

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  93. Thanks Pam. I thought that you had not been bogging as my computer says you have not been on line for 3 weeks. When I clicked on it I see that you have a recent post!!! Diane

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  94. thank you for your sympathy on this is Belgium, Diane
    congrats with your two years of blogging !
    keep up the good work,
    anni

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  95. Jana ★ thank you for visit and kind comment. Take care Diane

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  96. anni, it is a very sad day, so many children. Thanks for your visit and comment. Diane

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  97. I thought I left a note to you about this blog and have to make sure I do..What a great trip you have given us. The churches are always so beautiful. The fountain is truly a work of art. Always wonderful to see the beautiful towns and all the work that was put into them..Thanks for the tour..xoCarolyn

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  98. Carolyn, I often leave comments and the they seem to go AWOL!!!! The fountain is lovely, just sad that it is still not working. Diane

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  99. Diane, these are some more beautiful photos you have here. I love the doorway entrance to Saint Maxime, it is stunning! I am enjoying all the archways. Congrats on making it through two years, and 200 followers (that is what I have exactly 200, I can't seem to get any more just stuck at 200) :D

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  100. Lyndsey that doorway I think is very special. I did not think I would ever make 200 I seemed to stick just below, suddenly now I am 207 :-) Hang in there it will happen. Keep well and take care. Diane

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  101. Wonderful photos of a lovely place!!!
    Thank you Diane, for so interessting tour in France!
    Best regards

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  102. Magda thanks so much for your visits and comments. Take care Diane x

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  103. Such a treat for me to read these, and pore over your photographs. Your visits to historic locations are my favourite of your posts, as you well know!

    Chalfolens is another addition to "The List" I am afriad :) it looks just the sort of place I like to wander around and daydream in.

    Lovely photos to go with your text, I love the historic facts you give us. Thank you Diane (oh yes and congrats on the milestone!)

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  104. Good to see you back blogging again. I miss you but I also know that you have been very busy. Have a good Sunday. Diane

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