Monday, January 30, 2017

Eglise Saint Alpin

The Church of Saint Alpin,
in the Gothic and Romanesque style,
was built between the 12th and 16th centuries. 

Dedicated to the eighth bishop of Chalons,
it includes his life-sized tomb in the central walkway. 

Just before Christmas, 
one spot in the church housed several nativity scenes
created by different artists. 

Most of the time,
the nativity scenes do not include the baby Jesus
until Christmas Eve.
He is most often conspicuously missing.

But several of these included him. 

Outside, we walked the streets where I
sometimes can't help but take photos of window displays...
such as these Santas and Christmas items made out of chocolate. 

And this chocolate fountain! 

Most cathedrals in any French town or village
include a monument to the dead soldiers 
of WWI.

And below, the French flag 
and names of the "Soldats morts pour la France."

An exceptional building.

The city of Chalons-en-Champagne
is filled with medieval houses
like the one below. 

Next time I'll share some photos of the church in Paris
where we enjoyed a piano and accordion concert.
Thanks for stopping by! 
And unbelievably,
nearly time to say Welcome to February.

(Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)
(Info via Wiki)

Monday, January 23, 2017


The little town of Chalons-en-Champagne
(formerly Chalons-sur-Marne)
was one site of our anniversary celebration 
in the Champagne region. 

We knew our actual anniversary
would be filled with a lovely crowd...
So a few days before that,
 we stole away before family arrived in Paris
and before descending on other family members
for the big holiday. 

Like every city in France,
she dressed up for the holidays. 

Most people don't know this
but I collect sleighs.
The Christmas ornaments on my mantel
are always laced with big and little sleighs
 filled with sparkly presents and glittering fruit. 
My grandmother made all of our stockings growing up. 
We each had one with her own little design on it.
Mine was a sleigh 
and I've loved them ever since. 

Below, the sweet little square where we finally found a hotel.
Forgot just how many hotels are closed during the off season. 
And sadly, I missed getting photos of the Christmas market
which wound it's way along a walking street behind the square.
A freezing cold evening so,
after spending the afternoon hunting closed hotels in icy air,
we didn't spend much time walking the Christmas Fair.

But before dinner at our hotel,
we did walk the full square and had a glass of champagne 
at one modern and one traditional place. 
Fun to have one in each! 

Next time a few photos
of the interior of the oldest church in town. 

Til then,
hope 2017 is treating you with kindness. 

How about that March this past weekend!! 
What a beautiful, peaceful coming together of women,
all over the WORLD! 
The Divine Feminine Rises. 

(Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trip to Launois in the Champagne region

There's been much said recently about 
champagne helping to deter dementia and Alzheimers. 
A 2013 study found that three glasses a week
can help prevent memory loss. 

So we did our part to save our minds by making a trip to the Champagne region.
One of our main goals was 
to pick up some bubbly for Christmas
at Launois.

So we made a stop at the Launois tasting room and office
in the town of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger,
a village in the Cote des Blancs area
south of Epernay.

A very young pretty woman.
who spoke almost no English, 
served us a tasting of the Blanc de Blanc,
'white of whites' made mostly of Chardonnay grapes,
then took us back to the office.

Though I didn't get many snapshots,
the entire place,
every surface and every space on the walls,
 was filled with lovely things.
And since I collect angel photos,
I had to get this one. 

Since we had family coming in for the holidays
and knew we would be surrounded by loads of people
for our actual anniversary the night before Christmas Eve,
we picked a little town in the region to spend the night,
(which I'll show more next time)
and celebrated just the two of us
with champagne and dinner.

So sweet to steal away and relive some of our travels
during our time of living in France. 
Since champagne was our First Date cocktail together,
it seemed fitting to celebrate with a trip to the region.
And if bubbles will also boost my brain,
then I'm all for that! 

Happy New Year to all!

(photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)