March 23, 2021

Château de Chambord

King François I built a huge Renaissance palace as his country getaway in the Loire Valley. From its humble origins as a hunting lodge, Château de Chambord became a symbol of the French king's power. Today the palace sits within the largest enclosed park in Europe, a forested domain that is home to deer and wild boar. Here's a peek inside the imposing château, from the double-helix staircase thought to have been inspired by Leonardo da Vinci to the carvings of the monarch's personal emblem, the salamander.

Château de Chambord

February 28, 2021

Tours: Heart of the Loire Valley

A good home base for exploring the many grand châteaux of the Loire Valley is the city of Tours. One hour from Paris via high-speed TGV train, the region's largest city is also set amidst the valley's much humbler troglodyte homes. And I had the opportunity to dine in one of these fascinating caves.

Town Hall, Tours

January 25, 2021

Angers: Gateway to the Loire Valley

The city of Angers on the Maine River in western France is a gateway to the Loire Valley and its many beautiful châteaux. A quick lunch stop in Angers gave me an opportunity to explore the city's medieval centre with its impressive 13th-century castle, Château d'Angers, and a cathedral constructed in a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, Cathédral Saint-Maurice.

The French City of Angers on the Maine River

January 18, 2021

Mont Saint-Michel

One of the world's top pilgrimage sites is a small island off the coast of Normandy, France.  An important destination for Christians for over a thousand years, Mont Saint-Michel continues to draw throngs of visitors and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy

November 30, 2020

Bayeux Tapestry Museum

The town of Bayeux in Normandy, France is famous for an 11th century tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England by William the Conquerer in 1066. The wall hanging consists of nine panels of linen cloth (measuring 70 meters  or 224 feet in total length) embroidered in ten different colours of wool thread. It was probably commissioned for a new cathedral in Bayeux and is now on display at the Bayeux Tapestry Museum.

Replica Detail from the Bayeux Tapestry

November 09, 2020

The Poppy: Symbol of Remembrance

Here in Canada, November 11th is Remembrance Day. Millions of Canadians will wear a red poppy in support of the Royal Canadian Legion and, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, pause to honour the sacrifices of those who have lost their lives at war.