mardi 19 août 2014

Teeny elevator

This is the elevator to our apartment. Capacity 3 people. Not!!

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lundi 18 août 2014

Monday Lunch

OMG--we are having lunch 'neath the dome of the department store Au Printemps. Pinch us!!!

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Les Deux Magots

We are indulging in breakfast at at place Papa Hemingway hung out in with JP Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. The bells of St Germain des Prés, the oldest church in Paris are ringing next door as we sip. Greetings from Paris!!

dimanche 17 août 2014

Dinner on rue Mouffetard

On rue Moufftard we found an authentic crêperie and enjoyed dinner with sweet cider. It was a fitting end to a wonderful Sunday

St Etienne du Mont

A shrine to the patron saint of Paris: Saint Geneviève

This beautiful church next to Le Panthéon has so many wonderful things to look at and hear--like the great organ was playing. Geneviève's tomb is enshrined in a lacy brass box. People slip in tiny written prayers wherever they can. Pope John Paul II was pictured here. Blaise Pascal is buried in this church as well. Look how tender this delicate sculpture is of Saint Anthony listening to baby Jesus.

Ancient Wall

This is part of the 800 year old enclosure that surrounded France. They leave it up because it is history! Kind of cool--don't you think?

Antique Flea Market (brocante) along the Seine

Suzie and I went to the antiquités brocante along the Seine near Pont Alexandre III. There were many dealers and we both found some small treasures to bring home. The event highlighted the last weekend of 'Paris Plage' where the city of Paris literally turns part of the banks of the Seine into a beach with sand and huge umbrellas. The French love to go to the beach!

300+ steps to the top

Wow! Maginifique! Formidable! Surreal.
And it's true. They would only allow 17 people up. The old steps were worn and kept getting narrower and narrower!! Great experience.

Rotisserie Chicken, anyone?

I went to the outdoor market this morning after mass and there were organic rotisserie chickens for 22.90 euros per kilo. Ouch! There were many great things to see with an emphasis on BIO or organic items.

Tour St Jacques

I'm about to be one of the 17 people allowed to climb this lovely 500 yr old tower at noon. Blaise Pascal, one of my favorite authors, stands at the bottom. St James stands at the top pointing the way to Santiago de Compostela--the ancient path that pilgrims walk still today. Will let you know if I make it to the top!!

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samedi 16 août 2014

Adventure to Château de Vaux le Vicomte

To top off our day, we decided to visit Vaux le Vicomte, which was built for Nicolas Fouquet, the Minister of Finance for Louis XIV. The castle is located about 55 kilometers SE of Paris. We took the RER D train to Melun and then a shuttle bus from the train station to Maincy where the estate of 500 hectares is located. On Saturday evenings from May to October, you can see the castle by candlelight. There are thousands of candles inside and out to create a magical night like those of the 17th century. The evening ends with a spectacular fireworks display but we left for the train station by taxi before the show. We arrived back at our apartment just before midnight and we were so glad we went as we both had wanted to see this for a long time.

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Allée Vivaldi

Paris has an elevated walkway similar to NYC's High Line, but much longer. It, too, is a converted railway. We walked about 2-3 km of it this afternoon and were super impressed with 1) it's beauty 2) it's length 3) how it seems like you are out in the country when you are in the middle of a huge metropolis and 4) the amount of people who use it for leisurely strolls!

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Lafayette, we are here!

Our afternoon adventures took us into the 12e arrondissement to the Picpus Cemetery where Lafayette is buried. It's the only private cemetery in Paris and the American flag flies over his grave. Pretty special. It is difficult to find and has weird hours, like only from 2-4 and closed on Mon-Tues. we got there at 2:30 and we're told the cemetery closes early today at 3pm! He is buried next to his wife who lost her grandmother, mom and sister in the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. Nearby is the burial site of several Carmelite nuns who were also executed at this time. They defiantly sang all the way to the guillotine!!

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La Colonne de Juillet - the July Column

While waiting for the bus on the way to see Lafayette's tomb, I took this picture of la Colonne de juillet. It was built to commemorate the revolution of 1830 and it is located in Place de la Bastille in front of the Bastille Opera House.

Our Picnic

We love to eat outdoors whenever we can so after our walking tour we bought crêpes, sandwiches, and Orangina for our picnic in the gardens at Notre Dame. Suzie loved her jambon-fromage crêpe salée.

Île St. Louis Walking Tour

We went on a walking tour of historic Île St. Louis with a French guide. There were about 25 people in our group and we were the only Americans. The tour was conducted entirely in French and we both found it to be very interesting. We learned a lot about the architecture and we were able to enter some of the many interior courtyards that are centuries old. We also discovered that some famous artists lived on Île St. Louis - Cézanne, Chagall, and Daumier, to name a few. We also saw a Cedar of Lebanon tree and some very scenic views of the Seine.

A well that is centuries old that we saw on our walking tour.

Petit Déj

G'morning!!! We are eating our breakfast with yummy mirabelle jam and about to head out for more Parisian adventures!!

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vendredi 15 août 2014

The Jacquemart-André

Unbelievable! What a gem this Jacquemart-André Museum is. One couple: Edouard André and his wife Nélie Jacquemart-spent their lives collecting art and throwing parties in their 2 story home that was designed by a very ingenious architect. They had no children and donated it all to France. It is breathtaking-with works by Rembrandt, Donatello, Botticelli, Carpaccio, Uccello, Tiepolo, David, Vigée LeBrun, Gainsborough, Mantegna, Chardin and Fragonard amongst many others. Simply jaw-dropping!

Apéritif on a boat

Pinch us!

Angélique had told us this boat was a good spot for a beverage on the Seine. It's true! Overlooking Notre Dame and the bateaux-mouches, it just reeks with ambience. A votre santé!

La Pucelle

Isn't she gorgeous? She stands in front of St Augustin Church near Gare St Lazare in the 8th.

Assumption Day at Notre Dame

The great cathedral bells were ringing and there were speakers projecting the singing and the preaching. And it was such a beautiful day!

YouTube Video

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Street market

Around the corner from our apt is a little street market today. We bought food for lunch, scarves and dish towels!!

This is Marge and me. We are dancing through our time in France!!

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Aug 15 is a holiday

The church bells are ringing everywhere today because it is Assumption Day and lots of things are CLOSED! C'est la vie. Here is one of the gorgeous statues in our apartment.

Maybe we will go to the Jacquemart-André Museum near l'Arc de Triomphe.  This home was the residence of Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart in the 1800's. They spent their lives collecting some fabulous art.  It is sort of like the Frick museum in NYC.  Do you know it? Well, we downloaded the Jacquemart André app to our iPhones and we will explore and have fun. Here's a photo from the website ;}