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Greetings from France

I have arrived with only a few minor hiccups along the way. All in all the time here has been enjoyable, I've been able to see the birthplace of John Calvin since I happen to be staying in the town where he was born. Noyon, France, which is up in the Northern part of the country.

Tuesday morning, I arrived, and spent most of the day adjusting to the new schedule. Thankfully, my body adjusted and on Wednesday, I was ready to go. We spent the morning at the John Calvin house (Jean Calvin here in France), and looking around the beautiful cathedral in town.

Interestingly, during World War 1, most of the town was destroyed by bombardments, subsequently forcing the community to rebuild everything during the 1920s. Still, it's a beautiful town here in northern France. In the afternoon, we traveled around the countryside to see an old ruined abbey which was at one point a place of pilgrimage. Jean Calvin would travel there with his other on a holy day so he could touch the skull of Saint Anne. Now, most of the once beautiful location is gone.

Today, we went sight-seeing. How does this play into a vision trip for France to see if I should move here? It is an interesting question, I grant you, but it's part of the culture. Finding the culture, and seeing how they see themselves and their history helps me navigate the territory. By seeing the countryside, traveling the roads, and generally just listening to the population, I'm able to discern more about the land, and if I would like to move here.

Chateau de Chantilly, France, 2015
One of the places I went today was the Chateau de Chantilly known for pottery, horses, and lace. While the grounds are beautiful, and expansive, I enjoyed the beautiful artwork displayed including portraits of kings, queens and other influential individuals.

Some other paintings included seascapes and landscapes, with Arab influence (the man who built the collection had served in North Africa during the 1840s, and loved the culture and inhabitants).
Chateau de Pierrefonds
After we finished there, we headed home by way of  the Chateau de Pierrefonds aka Merlin's castle - the location used in the television series, Merlin. While we didn't have the opportunity to travel inside the location, we did have the opportunity to look around. It's a massive building built for defense.

All in all, I have enjoyed the trip so far, and look forward to the next leg in Paris.


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