Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Photo Shoot Out: Favorites

Today is the 1-year anniversary of the Friday My Town Shootouts, and the theme is Favorites.
Well, my favorite thing is of course taking a random trip somewhere, and last Saturday I did just that.
Hopped a train to Ussel, where they have a nice little park with a stream running through it and lit by a collection of lamps, every one different.
Old Ussel looks like many restored midieval french towns, with narrow cobbled streets, grey stone buildings, and slate roofs.

We arrived at noon, and promptly stopped for a hot lunch, but the shops don't open again until 2:30 or even 3 (if they haven't closed up for good - Ussel looks hard-hit by recession), giving the place a deserted look.
The historic district centers on the church, naturally.
Some of these old churches are real jewels.
Some of them are still painted from floor to ceiling, though not this one.
This one has modern stained glass in the windows
(many churches lost their fabulous windows in WW2)
There were two treats inside, one being this incredible carved and colored altar.

And the other being this statue of St Francis.
At least I think it was him. He's got doves.
I just like the way it's done, and the warm coloring. So many church statues are so cold and distant.

Outside there were plenty of cats.

Yeah, you.
The Botanical Garden & Park advertised a waterfall.

It falls in the shade, which was quite cold. The railing of the bridge was lined with icicles.

The stream feeding the falls joined a river.
If we'd had more time (and were slightly more warmly dressed!),it would have been nice to hike along the river out of the town and into the surrounding farmland.

But the last train back (which was actually a bus, and not a train like this, like we arrived on) was leaving at 4:20pm. Miss it and you're stuck.
So that was the outing to Ussel.
For more FSO Favorites, click here!


Rebecca said...

I like those shots from Ussel. Makes me want to be there.

Bagman and Butler said...

Wonderful trip! It looks like it was a great way to spend the day.

Tabor said...

What lovely old architecture. Hopefully these cities will survive the recession as they survived the war.

NanU said...

Thanks, everyone.
It was a nice day, Mark, though I think we spent as much time getting there and back as being there. Next time I show Mev around the area I'll pick something closer (in fact, our next destination may be Neussargues, which is only a little closer, but the train times are better), and a day it's not trying to snow.

I think they will survive, Tabor. They've been around a long, long time already, and both local people and the government are interested in keeping these old town centers.

Ann said...

May be you should deliberately miss the train, and spend an evening in a bed and breakfast little place.

I was telling my new Austrian student that I have been to Europe, but only at the airport. May be I should also go and see the lovely places like Ussel and Paris with lots of History and achitecture.

My sis Marg did "GO", she got a PhD in plant pathology and is a full professor, and going lots of places like you.

GingerV said...

Charming town, one I would like to see. I love Europe with its trains to everywhere - we want to spend 3 weeks in Italy in the fall but will drive with friends and not take the trains.... I will miss that.

J9 said...

I love taking little side trips too, but haven't had time lately - this makes me yearn for the journey!

Jama said...

What a beautiful place to be!

Patience-please said...

Oh, this is what the My Town Shoot Outs are all about. You've just taken me to France! Lovely. I've always wanted to go.

Kerry said...

Oh this was a special post. I agree about the warmth of the statuary in the Ussel church that you visited: warm and nicely painted, not cold and impersonal. I really appreciate the chance to share some of your trips with you. Even if it's @#%$&*! cold out there. So I will look forward to Neussargues.

Pauline said...

What a lovely town! I'm so glad you chose to visit. I love your church shots.

Barry said...

Ussel looks like a wonderful place. In a world that is becoming increasingly homogenized, it's wonderful to see a place that is so distinctive.

Chef E said...

I love the architecture, and the icicles! Although I have had enough snow to last me a while here in the northeast...