House Concert Tour-France July 2002

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The House Concert Tour is a group that rents a large house every couple of years somewhere really interesting. Rod plays a full concert each day or evening for a week. The group has done group trips to Scotland (1998), Nova Scotia (2000) and France (July 2002). These are Rod's photographs, shot on slides and scanned at high resolution. Here they are at 72 dpi.
The chateau is in Champigny-sur-Veude, a small farming town between Chinon and Richelieu in south central France, the Loire valley. The house, on a dirt road adjacent to a large working farm, sleeps 18-20 and has two connected dining rooms and a big kitchen.
So, we can eat some meals together, just like old Dutch masters in the paintings. In fact, one of the most noticable things in France is the light, which seems to permeate everything, giving every view a distinct atmosphere.

There is, for example, the view from the front porch at dawn.

Or the road to the house at sunrise.

Fields of sunflowers beside the country roads.

(to see a page of Rod's flower photos

click here)

Forgotten houses on the back roads.

And flowers everywhere.

So it's not surprising that most concerts were outside, on the front porch.

Champigny-sur-Veude is a small town.

Nearby is Chinon, a favorite getaway for various medieval kings. Richard the Lion Hearted died here on his second return from the Crusades, and the ruins of the very chateau where Joan of Arc recognized the future king of France loom over the small, bustling town.

We do the tour....

which includes the Joan of Arc Museum,

all in one small tower,

(photo tour of Chinon)

and some great views of the countryside

and town,

before descending into Chinon, with its amazing combination of the timeless

and the modern,

buying delicious fresh food in the town's market,

sampling the local cafes.

Everywhere are the little details that make France such a visual delight,

from the seemingly abandoned

to the casually functional.

In the ensuing days we visited Villandry Castle, with its grand sculptured gardens

and well-preserved historical artifacts,

(for photo tour of Villandry and gardens)

the Erotic Gardens of Chateau Maumont,

(photo tour)

Richilieu (below), Loudon,

(roadside photo tour)

and Saumur,

noting in passing the houses built into overhanging cliffs,
the small isolated villages,
and the view from afar.
We spent a day looking for local crafts,

and were rewarded with an impromptu demonstration at Charles Hair's working pottery studio.

(click for photo tour)

Sometimes we left the car behind (this photo by Norma Kerner)

and stumbled onto something worth seeing,

and each day returned to the house for a concert and some good company.

So click on the photos and links above to see the photos blown up or go to various photo pages. And, if you would like to join us on a house concert tour in the future, send an email. Space is usually limited to about 15 people.

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