Backroads America: Saint Urho, Menahga, Minnesota

Some mythical saints became part of our religious vocabulary over the centuries, like Saint George the dragon slayer. Others, like Saint Urho, are complete fabrications that sprang fully formed as a joke from the minds of two Finns in the 1950s.


Supposedly the patron saint of Finnish vineyard workers, Saint Urho drove the grasshoppers from Finland. Several small towns in Minnesota celebrate Saint Urho Day on March 16. I think they have been grasshopper free for years. 😀

Many Finnish immigrants to the United States settled in Minnesota and worked in the mining and timber industries.

Backroads America: Big Mantrap Lake

Beautiful day for our first day camping at the lake.

Onward to Aix-en-Provence

A charming town in Provence, Aix has churches, fountains, plazas, restaurants, banks, and shops. And masses and masses of students. It was gloriously sunny and mild when I arrived this afternoon. So nice to escape the frigid weather of Beaune.

Chateau de Chateauneuf

On a rocky outcrop overlooking the Burgundy canal sits the Chateau de Chateauneuf and its village. The original keep dates to 1132. It was fortified with towers and a drawbridge in the 14th century during the 100 Years War and is one of the only remaining examples of 14th century Burgundian military architecture. It was remodeled and expanded in the 15th century in the flamboyant Gothic style by Philippe Pot, a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece. It remained in private hands until 1936 when it was donated to the state. The chateau and its village are protected historic monuments.

Heaven is a Parisian Boulangerie

On The Road Again

In France for two weeks with family. It is sunny but very cold and windy in Paris. I had to get in a quick visit to Notre Dame, one of my favorite places.

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