Convivial petanque game
Petanque is a very popular « sport » (Yes : sport, there are even world championships), and generally practised as leisure game and has an important social role where it is played. Well, people play, but take it very seriously and like other people for other games, no one wants to loose. The principle is easy: two teams (of 1 to 3 partners: singlette, doublette, triplette) play against each other and the purpose is to put your steel balls as close as possible to a target, which you throw at 9 to 15 m distance, a little wooden or plastic ball. On e team begins with one try, then the other, and then the team which is far has to play to get closer; either you try to get close or you shoot to remove the close ball from the other team. Each round, the closest team wins, and there are as many points as there are closer balls than from the other team. You play as many rounds necessary to reach 21 points. Then there is a “revanche”, and there can be a “belle” if the looser from the first round wins the second round.
This game is played on a free space generally under trees for the shadow in summer (ah, the classical Provence images with plane trees and petanque players. . . ), the ground being preferably moderately hard. Many people play on the same place and meet each other there.
On the pictures you see different postures the players can have, and they look very serious. . .
What most people don't know about PAU is that they produce more milk perhaps more than any other place in France. In the picture are the producers. lol!
We visited one of the most successful farmers in Europe, and it is amazing what these farmers do with these cows in the picture...The cows are milk factories on their own.
Seeing the Outside Walls of the Chateau
The Chateau of Pau was started in the 12C and was enlarged during the 13-15C and remodeled during the 19C. The first building was a flat topped hunting lodge and also served as a Donjon. In the next centuries it converted to a castle residence. In 1464 it became the capital of Bearn. In the 16C Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre, gave birth to a son who later became Henri IV in 1589. The structure is of various types ranging from brick to fine carved stonework.
Inside the Chateau: basement, the 100 dishes table
When you begin the guided visit, you have to follow the guide who repeats two-three times, flashlights are not allowed for photography; frustration, but there is an explanation: it seems the Gobelins inside do not like the flashlights, and may be it is true, they have wonderful colors.
Well getting in you go through the kitchen (picture 2) where the fireplaces look like new, without any soot, which for me belongs to a “normal” fireplace.
After having crossed the officers room, decorated with “modern” (19th century) furniture, you enter the 100 dishes room; this is a huge room which contains a table where 100 people could sit and have dinner in the same time (main picture ) ; the table is of oak wood resting on fir legs; it does not look massive, looks even elegant, but if you want to tell something to the person at the other end of the table. . . . . At the other end of the room is a statue of . . . . Henry IV , of course, but the interesting things here are the gobelins you already could see on the main picture. On picture 3 a rural celebration and on picture 4, a hunting scene; the colors are not very good on the pictures, but these big, more than 3 meters high tapestries are impressive with realism, and details.
Pity is that being in a guided tour you have no time to have a detailed look at these wonderful pieces of art.
The main staircase which leads to the first floor has an interesting “en caissons” ceiling. (picture 5), and again are the M and H initials on the right part of the montage.
Visit inside possible only with a guide
Entrance fee: 5 €
Free for young people until 17 and free every first Sunday of the month.
Open throughout the year, every day except: January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th
September 16th to June 14th:
9h30 - 11h45 / 14h - 17h
June 15th to September 15th:
9h30 - 12h15 / 13h30 - 17h45
Glass stained windows. . for fun
I post here some pictures of the glass windows of the St Girons church. the windows are from the 19th century, the glass-maker is unknown (well, from the guide and the websites).
Interesting are the orange coloured glasses, not very common in old churches, and I like to look at the colours and shapes in the silence of the churches. . .