When you wish upon a star…

We may be among the few visitors to Disneyland Paris today who have been to Walt’s childhood home in Marceline, Missouri. The power of Mickey and all the Disney characters and stories began under “the dreaming tree” in the middle of a very small town that no one much visits. But when you think about that young boy in a little farm community in the heart of America and then see the entire universe of fellow dreamers that his imaginings have reached, it’s rather stunning.



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On the road to Paris

We spent part of our day in the ancient town of Provins. At the beginning of the 2nd millennium, it was one of four towns in the territory of the Counts of Champagne that became the venues for great annual trading fairs linking northern Europe with the Mediterranean world, from the 11th to the 14th centuries. Provins is the only one to retain its original medieval fabric. Continue reading

High on a hill

Art, architecture and religion come together in a very stunning was in the town of Ronchamp where Le Corbusier designed and built the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, completed in 1954. Considered one of the most important examples of twentieth-century religious architecture, it is an active church, and the convent of the Sisters of the Poor Clare. Continue reading

Just another Monday in the salt mines

We may take it for granted now, but salt was a big business in the Jura region for hundreds of years. Today we went underground at Salin-les-Bains to get a glimpse of what mining salt was like. The saltworks here was active for at least 1,200 years, until 1962. The part of the mine we saw is an amazing underground gallery from the 13th century, with a hydraulic pump from the 19th century that still functions. It was hard work and very important to keep producing a steady stream of  that “White Gold.” Continue reading