The trip to France over the past couple of weeks went really well and was great fun. Of course I missed John and the dogs immensely but with the wonders of modern technology like Facetime and Find My Friend he was able to follow my adventures which actually made me feel quite safe especially when I was out and about alone.
I arrived in Paris Orly and made my way across the city to the hotel to find they had no booking for me. There was a bit of confusion about who was sharing with whom etc and after a lot of walking and phoning around I actually found a lovely hotel about 50 metres away from the others. The nice receptionist was even kind enough to upgrade me from the little room I had booked to a rather nice suite.
After settling we all met up for dinner. There was Linda Larsen the organiser, Keith Lo Bue the tutor artist, seven Americans, an Australian and me, lots of chatter and swaps of what we did and were hoping to do. Most of the week was site seeing, sometimes I ventured out alone, sometimes with one or two of the others or as a small group.
As I arrived on the Monday I had missed the weekend main markets but I did visit Les Passages Panoramas, Jouffrey and Verdeau.
We found a few old books and papers but Keith found an enormous tomb full of wonderful text for a relatively modest sum. The frontispiece dated it to 1618. An amazing thing to touch and hold.
Found antique bookshops like La Galcante with Keith.
The Catacombes which were an amazing eye opener.
Over 6 million skeletons perfectly placed. You can find more photos online.
As well as all the usual places like Place de la Concorde, Eiffel, Pompidou, Musee de Cluny and many others I even found a few bead stores!
For the second week we had to travel down to Toulouse but because of the Air France pilot strike plans had to change rather rapidly! TGV here we came along with many other displaced travellers. Aren't they amazing looking trains? Even with all the super hype about their speed they can still only reach top speed for the short distance between Paris and Tours, the rest of the time they are fast but not as fast as they could be.
Eventually we arrived at the beautiful, tiny and artful village of Durfort for our retreat stay.
I had a lovely room in the attic of La Cascade with it's own balcony.
The village is well known for its leather and copper there there were many demonstrations going on by apprentices the weekend we arrived.
A show and tell of all the things bought in Paris.
Michelle from Australia working away next to me. She also came to stay with us for a couple of days afterwards too!
And the beautiful, lively, aromatic and very well served weekly market in Soreze.
It was a great two weeks. I was exhausted most of the time with my Withings telling me I was doing around 15000 steps a day around Paris which is 8 or 9 miles and I'm not a walker! The group work was very interesting and I learned a lot least of all about what I like making myself. I will try and photograph the little I did later.