Friday, June 3, 2016

Carpe Diem #969 France

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am excited it seems that you like this ginko through Europe and I hope to inspire you this whole month with the beauty of Europe, the continent were I am living. Today we are visiting France, also one of the co-founders of the EU.

France .. best known before its wine, but recently also known through the acts of terror which occurred there last year. France, for us Dutch people the most wanted holiday destination. In fact our oldest son and his family are going to France this summer on a holiday. But ... of course that's not something on which I can fill a complete episode (smiles).

France flag
As I talk about France, the first thing which came in mind is (next to wine) The Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron-lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.
Constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.

The Eiffel Tower in Autumn
steel construction
climbing towards the highest point
autumn leaves swirl

© Chèvrefeuille

I have seen the Eiffeltower for real and climbed it almost to the top. The view is really exciting and breathtaking. I remember that I was there as a student (long time ago) for the study history of Art. Of course I didn't visit only the Eiffeltower, but also the Louvre and the Centre de Pompidou (modern art).

France and wine ... you can not miss that. I am not a big wine drinker, but I like to drink sometimes Cognac and sometimes a glass of white wine. France is one of the biggest wine producing countries and their wine is excellent.

sparkling wine
together with the one I love
in front of the fireplace

© Chèvrefeuille

in front of the fireplace

As I did in the other episodes I love to share one of the most beautiful parts of France. In my opinion that's the Pyrenees. The Pyrenees are the mountains between France and Spain and they have a rich history. One of the most famous stories of the Pyrenees is the story of the war against the Cathars on castle Montségur on the mountain Pon. The Cathars were a Catholic sect.
About this Catholic sect I once started to write a novel, but that novel is still not ready, but .... well that doesn't matter.

Castle Montségur
I like the ideas of the Cathars by the way and their ideas are now known as gnosticism.

like an eagles nest
high up in the mountains

save haven
for different thoughts and ideas

© Chèvrefeuille

The Pyrenees (haute)
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain. It separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extends for about 491 km (305 mi) from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea.
For the most part, the main crest forms a massive divider between France and Spain, with the micro state of Andorra sandwiched in between. The Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre have historically extended on both sides of the mountain range, with smaller northern portions now in France and larger southern parts now in Spain.

high up in the mountains
I feel lost and confused
in between countries

© Chèvrefeuille

As I promised you I love to introduce haiku poets from the countries we are visiting. So today I have found haiku created by a France haiku poet Jacques Arnold (1912-1995). He has written several haiku, but one of his most famous haiku is the following:

Jasons : Dieu merci
ça sent si bon la forêt
la soupe au persil

Let us chat : thanks God
it smells so nicely like forest
the parsley soup 

© Jacques Arnold 

It was a joy to lead you through France in this part of our Europe ginko and I hope I have inspired you to create haiku, tanka or another Japanese poetry form. Have fun!

This episode is open for for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 8th at noon (CET). I will publish our next episode, Italy, later on.


  1. Carpe Diem #969 France:

    vermilion sky
    artists at their easels
    capture the Seine