I was lucky enough to spend the first two weeks of June this year traveling on an art tour through France. All of it from the food to the vigorous pace to the sights and experiences was an exhilarating celebration that will stay with me forever, and likely affect my erotic writing for a long time to come. Reflecting back on the trip now, looking over the pictures and bringing back a host of memories, I am grateful that I chose France for my 'coming out party', following a long year of grief and rugged change. For those who aren't looking for a travel diary from this blog, that's okay, please skip on to the kinky writing. I expect to have weekly posts of my impressions of France, but you need not worry, I'll be posting plenty of erotica, too.
The trip began... after a harrowing experience with Charles de Gaulle airport on the first Sunday in June, (there's nothing you can do but charge right in and hope you're heading in the right direction), I arrived by bus in the charming town of Rouen, northwest of Paris. We stayed in the historical center of Rouen, where the cobblestone streets of this ancient village cut into the feet, into the bones and just walking is a tricky adventure. I quickly learned that a trip back in time like this one requires a lot of endurance, perhaps reminiscent of the kind of endurance required of life centuries ago.
I fell in love with French food at a tiny cafe along this street...and French women that same night, the first moment I beheld the sight of the female with the short white/blonde hair sitting directly adjacent to our table. I was mesmerized by her grace and style, something I'd see often throughout the trip. French women, of almost any age, exude an essence about them that was remarkably alluring. The blonde, who for the purposes of this blog, I named Justine will probably show up as a character in a future erotic novel.
The theme of the tour was the art of the 19th c. Impressionists painters (Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pisarro and so many others). The first day we traveled by tram through historical Rouen, driving by the square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake and, for the first of many times during our stay there passed by the Rouen Cathedral, experiencing the infinite array of shadows playing across the facade of this Gothic church. The cathedral became the subject of numerous Monet paintings as the shifting light of the passing day changed its appearance.
We visited the marketplace, a regular feature of every small village we traveled to throughout France. The open air markets arrive around dawn (I'm only guessing because I wasn't up that early) and closed in the early afternoon. Everything from fruit and vegetables, to flowers, pottery, scarves, household wares and imported clothes. This was the place to shop...not everything in France is expensive. A silk scarf for 10 euro. Couldn't beat the price. I bought six.
I regret that there wasn't more time spent in Rouen and that jetlag and aching feet prevented me from seeing more of this unique town. I realized in these first days of the tour that my eyes and ears, my body and brain could only take in so much. Some things were left undone, like the time to sit at the site where Joan of Arc was burned, and imagine what it would have been like in the square that day ... if that were even possible. As quaint and pretty as Rouen is, there was a dark side of history lived there. The lives of most of its residents were not filled with the kind of wonder and excitement that I experienced in my brief four days.
The afternoon of that first day was spent at Monet's in Gardens at Giverny, which deserve a post all their own, but not before I indulge my BDSM fans with a hot dungeon scene in my Friday post tomorrow. Stand by.