Monday, July 19, 2010

Walking our legs off

It was a grand plan to do a walking tour of the area in which we are staying. We started out at 9:30 heading for the Luxembourg Gardens just up the road a bit. Gorgeous, spacious, wide paths, great expanse of trees, small exhibition of posters celebrate Chopin's birthday, people sunbathing, strolling, enjoying the sun and the shade, joggers, in allalovely spot.
The walking tour in the guide book then took us to St Sulplice. A big church not far from the gardens which was famous well before the Da Vinci Code and has frescoes by Delacroix. A peaceful, large church with chairs rather pews.

Then the book took us to the completely wrong corner so we thought the cafe we were going to have coffee at had closed but on checking when returned home we found the map had the place marked in the wrong spot. Perhaps tomorrow we can check it out. But we still found a place for a coffee...we are in Paris after all.

Feeling a little revived we then set off for Isle de Louis one of the islands in the middle of the Seine. We walked past the Notre Dame (how blasé!) and continued to stroll to the central street of e island and strolled on down the main street popping into whichever shop took our fancy. They were open this time. Up until about 15 years ago we hadn't had Sunday trading in Melbourne, how quickly one forgets these things and takes it all for granted. I won't digress into othe other things that have changed and we have forgotten about like the bread delivery and the milk delivery by horse and cart!

Lunch was a piece of quiche in a little cafe and a lovely glass of Ginger beer. Much revived again we headed for the shops on Rue de Rivoli and in doing so passed and paused at the gardens in Hotel de Sens... A great photo opportunity. Then we pushed on to the shopping area and success I found a lovely jacket that fills my view of a little something from Paris.

Then more shopping and walking... No more purchases on my part but loads more walking until we arrived back at the apartment exhausted.

A bit of a rest and then out to dinner at a nearby restaurant. Astroll around some different streets in the balmy evening air and home to bed!

A day around the town

"who'd have thought..." we said as we gazed at the firmly closed doors of the department stores... Yep the department stores are shut on Sundays in fact most stores other than those around the tourist areas are shut on Sundays. It was a long topic of conversation over lunch as we had decided we'd do a spot of shopping to find that special little something that screamed Paris! But it was all silent on the shopping front.

However we had already had an absolute treat in the L'Orangerie where we finally made it to see some Modigliani paintings it was part of their collection as opposed to a special installation which the banners at Musee D'Orsay seemed to imply. However we spent time enjoying the ambiance and beauty of the Nymphaes ie Monet's water lilies which are in a cyclorama in this lovely building in the Tuileries

A bit of a line wait gave us time to chat and take a few photos of each other and the parts of the Eiffel Tower that we could see from the Tuileries wall. After out trip to the fateful, fruitless shopping area we had lunch and headed to St Chapelle yet another sight of beautiful things in this case the spectacular stained glass windows.

Strolling through Paris back to our apartment in St Germain took us through some narrow streets past some open shops with jewelry and other things to look at then finally home and resting in preparation for an evening out.

We eventually made it out and had a lovely quiet dinner near our apartment and an ice cream from the ice cream store at had about 100 people waiting at it during the afternoon but not so when we made it to the counter.

Yet another lovely day in Paris and two more to go!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In Paris

For reasons best known to someone other than me I have not been posting!!!! Sort of obvious when you look at the date gap between this and other posts.
I have been siting here in our holiday apartment in St Germain Du Pres reading the "Happiness Project" on my ipad and died that I can post my photos on my blog when I download them on my return to New York. I like to have photos in my blog especially when I am traveling but I was unable and too disorganized to get the cable from Apple to enable this to happen with my iPad and that's what I brought with me is time.

We have arrived in Paris after our four days on the canal boat. I couldn't write about them at the time as we had no Internet access, in fact we had very little other than the joy of cruising along a canal through the French countryside and developing our skills in boating.

Our first full day (yesterday) in Paris touring had us up early and off to Musee D'Orsay but not to the museum ,yet, but to the wharf outside and on a canal cruise of Paris. You'd ink after a week of canals we'd have had enough. By the end of the 3 hour cruise we had had enough of locks I have to say but the tour of a different aspect of Paris was lovely. We ended up at Place de la Villette and it was a good spot to then catch the train and travel to the Musee de Jacques Mart Andre where we had been four years ago and seen a fabulous photography exhibition of e works of the Paris Match magazine photographers. Photos of celebrities in different and interesting situations. The purpose of the trip was to buy the book from the exhibition that I hadn't bought last time as I thought it too much to carry and too expensive. I have regretted it ever since and couldn't buy it on line but now..... I have it and it isn't all that big nor was it too expensive. The current exhibition at the gallery was from Greco to Dali. An interesting exhibition with some lovely works by Sorolla and the ever bizarre Dali. The house is a little like the Frick in NYC in that it has permanent exhibition which is the house itself and it's art collection and then has a different art installation every so often.

We decided we would walk back to Rue De Rivoli to do a little shopping but it was such a long way and we needed a bit of a breather to renew our energy for shopping. Not much success along the part we walked in terms of shopping but we were strolling along with views of Place du La Concorde, the top of the Eiffel Tower and then eventually alongside the Louvre.

We caught a Metro train to Odeon and walked back to our apartment via some shops. No success in the fashion buying stakes but great success in the vying of items for the soon to be bored great niece/nephew. If we knew the gender of said child we'd have bought even more!!!

Home to our apartment overlooking from the first floor, the bistros of Rue du Seine. A bit of a rest up and then out to find a bijou jazz experience. Many of the places advertised or listed on the Internet and in books are closed. Bilboquet the most famous of jazz places was just a few streets away but is now apartments. Sadly. However we found another jazz place with great food and ambiance just up the rue from where Bilboquet was and had a delightful late dinner listening to a jazz combo, hardly a band when it's a piano and a sax. It was a great day in Paris filled with sights, sounds and photos.