This week we took a walk through the forest of Vibraye. I've often talked in this blog about the forest of Montmirail, which has trails that begin just a few steps from our front door, but until this week, we'd never actually visited the much larger Vibraye forest, down the hill from our house a few kilometers.
France has a wonderful system of public trails. One could easily walk from the top of the country to the bottom following them. In fact people do, as they follow the route to Santiago de Compostela, they follow more than a 1000 miles of well-maintained trails. When I worked in Berkeley, I found Fodor's Short Escapes in France at a local bookstore. It was filled with wonderful walks, many of which we've enjoyed following. Practically every tourist office and bookstore sells directions for local trails. The French love to walk and they have a very well organized system of trails. It's easy to follow them, as you are given distinctive blazes on trees or posts to mark the route.
It was a wonderful sunny day and the light filtered through the trees casting lacy patterns on the wide pathways. We were by no means alone. The trail attracts hikers, bikers, joggers and strollers. The forest itself is logged responsibly, trees replanted and all kept neat and tidy. Along the way we saw large stacks of logs.
It was an incredibly green space, filled with deciduous hardwood trees, possibly beeches, supporting an understory of luscious ferns. I vowed to return for an autumn walk without fail.
I got quite a few things almost done in the atelier, although I'm not ready to share them quite yet. I also did a little more decorating in the boutique, to attract window shoppers. I made several garlands of cut up prints and paintings, strung them on embroidery thread and hung them in the window. I then added a few transparent polka dots of rice paper to the windows themselves.
view of our boutique window from the outside looking in and the inside looking out
Rick framed most of my prints and we have a display wall for them. He did a very nice job.
We are leaving on vacation tomorrow, staying in Ljubljana, Slovenia for one week, providing childcare for Quinn while Emily and Jos put together a theater festival there. A second week will be spent with the three of them in the Austrian Alps.
I expect to come back with lots of stories to tell and photos to share, but until the end of August, this blog will be silent.
Happy end of summer!