Tag: <span>Jacek Proniewicz</span>

Sete,France:the perfect brake

Sète is the most fascinating small town on the French Mediterranean coast precisely because it doesn’t go out of its way to be charming. It doesn’t have the time. This is an attractive – but serious – port full of working people with stuff to ship out and turbot to sell.The site is wonderful. Sète encircles a lone hill, the Mont St-Clair, on the otherwise flat Languedoc coast. And it is all-but an island. There’s the sea out front, of course. Behind, though, is the Thau lagoon – a vast expanse of salt water, colonised by oyster- and mussel-beds. Between the two, a network of canals brings the scramble of port and fishing activity right into the town centre.

The canals both define the town and provide the current that energises the place. Many townsfolk have their own little boats to take them shopping. Anglers with apparently unlimited time on their hands line the banks and, come summer, the main Canal Royal is the theatre of Sète’s famous water-borne jousting. Sète is, in short, a swirl of a spot, with constant movement on land and canal.

It helps, of course, that Sète has the finest unsung beaches of the French Med – eight miles of them stretching along the spit of land separating the lagoon from the sea. An enormous scheme to tidy up access and the shore-side promenade is under way. But don’t wait. Go now to find the unfiltered boisterousness of the real Mediterranean. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

    
   


Tarot T 15 in France

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Beaugency,Loire Valley

Beaugency

Beaugency is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France. It is located on the Loire river, upriver (northeast) from Blois and downriver from Orléans.

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History

The lords of Beaugency attained considerable importance in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries; at the end of the 13th century they sold the fiefdom to the Crown. Afterward it passed to the house of Orléans, then to those of Dunois and Longueville, and ultimately again to that of Orléans.

The city of Beaugency has been the site of numerous military conflicts. It was occupied on four separate occasions by the English. On June 16–17, 1429, it was the site of the famous Battle of Beaugency, when it was freed by Joan of Arc. Beaugency also played an important strategic role in the Hundred Years’ War. It was burned by the Protestants in 1567 and suffered extensive damage to the walls, the castle, and the church.

On the 8th, 9th and 10th of December 1870, the Prussian army, commanded by the grand-duke of Mecklenburg, defeated the French army of the Loire, under General Chanzy, in the second battle of Beaugency (or Villorceau-Josnes). It was fought on the right bank of the Loire to the northwest of Beaugency.

In 1940 and again in 1944, the city was bombed by Nazi Germany. On 16 September 1944, German Major General Botho Henning Elster and his 18 850 men and 754 officers surrendered at the Loire bridge of Beaugency to French résistance.

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Chateau de Talcy

The Château de Talcy is a historical building in Talcy, Loir-et-Cher, France. It lies on the left bank of the Loire River, in the Loire Valley, known for its 16th-century châteaux. It was commissioned around 1520 by Bernardo Salviati, a Florentine condottiero and cardinal with connections to the Medici family. The château, which is embedded in the village to one side, where the village church forms one side of the courtyard, is more Gothic in its vernacular feeling than might be expected in a structure built for an Italian patron at the height of the Renaissance.

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The estate is better known in literary rather than architectural history. Salviati’s daughter and granddaughter, Cassandre and Diane, were the muses of two leading French poets of the time, Pierre de Ronsard and Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné, respectively. Ronsard fell in love with the 15-year-old Cassandre in 1552, during his stay at Talcy. He dedicated to her some of the best known sonnets in the French language. D’Aubigné, a neighbour of the Salviati, composed for Diane in 1571 the collection of sonnets, ballads, and idylls entitled Le Printemps and at her death the finest of his poems, Les Tragiques.

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Among the outbuildings preserved from the 16th century are a presshouse and a dovecot; there is also a traditional vegetable garden. In the château is the “chambre de la Médicis” where Catherine de’ Medici and her son Charles IX are said to have planned the Massacre of Saint

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The Salviati retained the ownership of the estate until 1682. Henceforth it passed through a succession of owners, including Philipp Albert Stapfer. In 1933 it was sold to the state, on condition that the 18th-century interiors would be preserved intact. The château is visited by 20,000 tourists annually.

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The Chateaux of the Loire.Amboise Chateaux

Amboise

Located half way between Orléans and Tours, the little city of Amboise has played a great part in French history, particularly during the Renaissance era. The magnificent castle of Amboise is one of the many chateaux bordering the Loire river, all listed in the UNESCO World Heritage including Chambord, Chenonceau or Azay-le-Rideau.

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The chateau was built on the foundations of an old fortress, its position perched high on a promontory over looking the Loire, offering a solid defence against any intruders. The chateau was seized by Charles VII in the mid 1400’s after its owner, Louise d’Amboise was involved in a plot against the monarchy. He was later to be pardoned but the chateau remained in the hands of the king.

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Birthplace of the French Renaissance, the Château d’Amboise, built in the 15th and 16th centuries for the kings Charles VIII, Louis XII and François I, towers majestically over the Loire River and the slate roofs of the houses in the old town of Amboise. The royal residence is home to a prestigious collection of Gothic and Renaissance furniture. Highlights of the castle tour are the Salle du Conseil, the Salle des Tambourineurs (drummers’ hall) and the Empire apartments. After exploring the interior, visitors should head for the gardens and terrace, which offer a fantastic view of the Loire Valley. Built onto the ramparts is Saint-Hubert chapel, a magnificent example of Flamboyant Gothic art that contains the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci.

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Loire Castels.Chateau de Chambord

The Chateau de Chambord is the largest of all the chateaux residing in the Loire Valley and is undoubtedly the most astounding. In 1519, under the instruction of King Francois I, the original manor was demolished and the construction of Chambord castle begun. The design is suggested to have been initiated by Leonardo Da Vinci, and the location, amongst the Boulogne Forest, served as a perfect hunting lodge for the king.

In 1537, 18 years after its initial construction, the castle keep, with its towers and terraces was completed by 1800 men and 2 master masons. Francois I later ordered the erection of a royal pavilion on the castle’s northeastern corner, with a connecting two-storey gallery, and at one stage contemplated diverting the Loire River to flow directly in front of his chateau. Henri II, his son, initiated the building of the castle’s west wing, housing the chapel; and later in 1685, Louis XIV completed a 440 roomed extension.

By the 17 th century Chambord consisted of 440 rooms, 365 chimneys, 14 main staircases and 70 smaller staircases. The key features of the magnificent Chateau de Chambord include the grand staircase and the remarkable skyline.The innovative staircase was designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, consisting of two separate flights of stairs spiralled around each other. It is possible for two people to enter the two staircases at the base and not see each other until they reach the very top. The castle’s skyline is its most distinctive and astonishing feature, with a central lantern tower reaching 32m high and roof terraces with stunning spires, turrets and sculptured gables.

The grand estate of Chambord covers 1000ha of oak trees, pine groves, moors, swamps and magnificent clearings. The vast forest is open to visitors who wish to discover the national wildlife reserve by foot, bike or horseback. All year-round visitors can access observatories set up for viewing wild animals. The beauty and magnificence of Le Chateau de Chambord is breath-taking and is a ‘must-see’ for all tourists visiting the Loire Valley on either a short break or an extented holiday.

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Formentera and Ibiza

With a population of just over 7000 and no airport, Formentera is usually quieter than its neighbor Ibiza. However, in the peak season of July-August, it draws huge numbers of tourists. The overwhelming majority are Italian and the Italian language is heard more often than any other. Some are independent travellers, but many come on package holidays. In peak season, advance booking for hotels is absolutely essential. The hotels on the island are mostly small and independently owned. The majority are in the one- and two-star categories. There are also many small apartment developments. There are no high rise buildings on Formentera. Camping is forbidden on the island.

The island is flat and sandy with magnificent, unspoilt beaches. There are a few places where the land rises to present spectacular cliffs to the sea. It is perfect for cycling, walking, snorkelling and sailing. However, it has very few cultural or historical attractions such as museums, castles, churches or art galleries. Its cultural attractions include some megalithic sites, a roman road, some watch-towers (18th century), the 18th century chapel of Sant Francesc Xavier and a small Ethnological museum.

Some of the islanders make their living from small-scale traditional fishing. In parts of the island, the soil is good enough to support vines and fruit trees. Several parts of the island are covered in Mediterranean pine trees. Salt marshes (now abandoned) are defining features of parts of the island. However, tourism is the biggest sector of the local economy.

Outside the peak season when the tourists are high spenders, Formentera has an atmosphere of simplicity and back-to-nature that is the heritage of its past hippie phase. More and more, parts of the island are actively managed as a national park with, for example, board-walks through the sand dunes to enable them to regenerate their vegetation. In addition, areas of the surrounding seas are designated as zones of particular scientific interest in which certain plant and fish species are protected.

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Visiting Gibraltar ,part one

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To arrive into Gibraltar is to be awestruck by the sheer majesty of the Jurassie limestone Rick that dominates the horizon .The Rock has attracted visitors ,some friends,some foe .Throughout its colorful history .All drawn its unique charm and character ,which still thrive today in the Gibraltarian people .

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Strategically situated on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula ,the British Overseas Territory is almost entirely surrounded by water other then the narrow isthmus which links it to mainland Spain .
Gibraltar is less then seven square kilometers on the outside ,but inside lies a myriad of caves and tunnels that stretch for almost fifty kilometers .Herein lie some of Gibraltar ‘s biggest mystery and secrets .

To be continued


Cape Verde

Cape Verde is an Archipelago of nine islands lying like a jeweled necklace off the coast of West Africa

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Cape Verde’s beauty was largely kept a secret – the long beaches of endless white sand, lapped by turquoise ocean: the historical mystery of colonial style towns like Ribeira Grande, the first European City in the tropics: the wide variety of landscapes – from dramatic volcanic to lush and verdant. If you enjoy fine beaches, beautiful scenery, vibrant cultures and have a sense of adventure, Cape Verde will not disappoint.

The Cape Verde islands are a great destination all-year round for a getaway that refreshes your soul. You can expect temperatures from 24-27 degrees in the Spring/Summer season, and 22-25 degrees in the Autumn/Winter season.

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Recife ,Brazil

Recife is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 3,743,854 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 5th-largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco.

Recife is located where the Beberibe River meets the Capibaribe River to flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. Its name is an allusion to the stone reefs that are present by the city’s shores. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city center characterize its geography and gives it the moniker of the “Brazilian Venice.” As of 2010, it is the capital city with the highest HDI in Northeast Brazil.
A combination of a large supply of labor and significant private investments turned Recife into Brazil’s second largest medical center modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment receive patients from several neighboring States. Like all other cities in the Northeast, Recife is developing its tourist sector. The beach of Porto de Galinhas, 60 kilometers (37 mi) south of the city, has been repeatedly awarded the title of best beach in Brazil and has drawn many tourists, and the Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda, 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) north of the city, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982.Recife’s infrastructure is among the most developed in Brazil for travellers and business people, though there is wide room for improvement.

The city is also an educational center, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet and abolitionist Castro Alves, moved to Recife to attain their education. Recife and Natal are the only Brazilian cities with direct flights to the islands of Fernando de Noronha, World Heritage Site.

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