Monday, April 21, 2008

Chandai - elevenses

While chugging cheerfully to Chatres we chanced upon Chandai Church, with its unusual octagonal clock tower. Based on the excited twittering from the co-pilot seat I deduced that a photo break was being ordered so I dutifully pulled into a handy bus stop space and made a cup of tea. Chandai is on the N26 Route in the Orne Department of Lower Normandy and amounts to a half dozen streets with maybe 100 inhabitants. A pleasant place to spend our mid-morning recess and snap a few pictures. The church, sadly, was locked and, during the 45 minutes that we were there, we saw no sign of life anywhere - mind you, the temperature was in the mid-fifties with occasional rain. This good looking house was right across the street from the church. The N26, a National road engineered in Napoleon's time for military purposes, is a simple two lane highway distinguished, like all N roads, by long straight sections. Like US Highways in the States, National roads connect national objectives, continuing right across department and region boundaries (roughly equivalent to counties and states in the US). On the other hand, the D roads (Department roads) are more like county highways in the US except they are often extremely winding and narrow. Fifty yards down the road from the church was this wonderful example of architectural expediency, where the roof appears to have been designed on the fly to keep within property boundaries following some earlier constructional missteps.

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