Some of you may have seen a photo I put on instagram and Facebook last week of a small French courtyard. What was fascinating about this was not so much the super pretty courtyard, but the fact that it was found behind a most unassuming door in a wall on an unassuming street in a small French village. I really wanted to take a sneak peak with a camera lens behind all of the doors I see in walls, they are so common here, but it is impossible to see what lies on the other side unless you happen to know the owner and are fortunate enough to be invited inside. There is usually a mere hint of what lies beyond, a tree rising high above the wall, perhaps a vague scent of flowers but nothing more, they are hidden away, secretive and totally captivating. Short of attaching the go pro camera to a long stick and poking it over the top of the wall, which for obvious reasons is really not acceptable, there is no way of taking photos. I mean imagine the scenario, you are sitting drinking an afternoon tea, perhaps taking lunch or even swimming and suddenly a plastic eye starts snapping away at the top of the wall, invading on your privacy – you see, sadly not an option!
However, it did get me thinking about gates and driveways, the entrance to the house. Here in France, they are nearly always fenced with a gate or a street door. Sometimes these are left open, but more often than not they are firmly closed, to keep in dogs and to keep out unwanted and uninvited visitors.
Styles vary hugely, wrought iron being by far the most common.
They nearly always have big stone pillars
Some are new
Some are decades or even centuries old
and some have definite driveway envy!
Some offer complete privacy
some are purely functional farmyard gates, I do love the little red tractor here
and some serve a purpose, this is advertising the house is for sale – a little restoration needed, but hey once the garden was cut back so you could actually make it to the front door I wonder what one would find inside?
some are purely functional, neither imposing nor offering any form of privacy
and some I completely fell in love with!
So if you are visiting France this summer, take a little time and look at all the different styles – it cannot be denied, the French know how to do entrance gates!