Tag Archives: france

THE POMPIDOU CENTER – colourful Paris

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Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris.

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The Pompidou Center. An interesting building with a fun elevator trip to the upper floors. Be truthful though, would you want it in your back garden? Not so sure – but it certainly has a quirky and fun functionality that reflects the diversity of the artworks on display. Well worth a visit, and there are many interesting shops and other galleries in the area

 

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Suddenly reminded of airport check in or passport control here at the entrance 😉

 

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I think the area in front of the center could look so much better with some kind of makeover, it was all a bit scruffy to be honest. Just cleaning the graffiti off the pipes would have helped. Watch out for con artists – they were wandering about with official looking hand held charity pads with loads of signatures on them. There were two girls playing deaf and dumb on our day but we caught them out when they were taking a break from ripping people off.

 

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Looking down from the top floor.

 

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The first work to greet us – a photo doesn’t do it justice it was
fascinating to interact with.

 

Just two works here, and hardly a reflection of the Center – if you love art or just want to be inspired, amazed or witness something unique you have to visit.

 

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Yes of course – Pablo Picasso!

 

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Henri Matisse – Decorative figure on Ornamental Background. They don’t get more colourful than him – he was brilliant!

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The iconic ” Jeune fille en vert” or Girl in Green with Gloves by Tamara de Lempicka just draws you closer, and seeing it in the
Center was a highlight – it’s brilliant and has been a source of
inspiration to so many. Painted in 1929 and quintessentially Art Deco.

 

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Aurora making an entrance! We travelled everywhere on the
excellent Metro and due to a few days with pollution we didn’t
pay a single euro.

 

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More colour – French old-fashioned style carousel with stairs – wonderful!

 

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More colour – this time on the Pont des Arts – sadly all gone now
including ours somewhere slap bang in the middle of this photo.

 

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Final photo, and I am unable to put a name to this fabulous building – can anyone help me out – thanks!

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PARIS – Walkabout.

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Hardly needs an introduction – The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris). Perhaps the finest example of French Gothic architecture. It has some of the worlds most famous
gargoyles that allow rainwater to run off the building. If what looks like a gargoyle doesn’t have a spout but is purely decorative, then it’s called a grotesque.

 

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The oldest public clock in Paris and what a beauty! you’ll find it in the center of Paris on the Isle de la Cité. It was built into the tower by Henri le Vic, a clever German engineer who arrived in Paris in 1370.

 

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View up the wonderful River Seine.

 

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For me a big disappointment. With all it’s history and film
immortalization, it looks like every owner had taken something away
and then modernized in the cheapest finishes they could find – sorry Paris! Having said that we didn’t get inside – that is hopefully more spectacular.

 

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Shame you have to go to cities like Paris to find these wonderful markets where you can touch, smell and taste before you buy – no plastic, nappy filled trays here!

 

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Colourful in Paris too! Not sure if she knew she would appear in our blog, but thanks to her for brightening up the day with this terrific costume.

 

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In the Latin quarter. It’s certainly not the pizza Aurora’s heading
towards – it’s the coffee house on the left and it’s selection of
pastries.

 

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Cosy by day…..

 

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Cosy by night – love the Vespa!

 

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Multinational Paris!

 

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A beautiful Wisteria or Golden Rain in the Trocadero Park.

 

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Who doesn’t just love a “patisserie.

 

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We were lucky enough to have this patisserie close to our flat. There were queues every morning, but it was a mouthwatering pleasure to stand in line.

 

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This baker had a sense of humor and he didn’t have to worry about making too many – they were putting smile on everyones faces and of course we tourists loved them, both to eat and photograph 😉

MONTMARTRE

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Montmartre, the area surrounding a 130 meter hill, is famous for it’s rich heritage. From 1872 to 1914 it was the bohemian home and workplace of many famous artists and composers. I’ll probably get slated for saying this, but a blog needs to be honest, and if you are expecting to wander around and see the kind of work Renoir, Degas, Matisse or Picasso were creating here, then you will be very
disappointed.

Most of the stuff being churned out there is by multicultural artists aiming solely at the tourist market, and it is unfortunately reflected in the quality and subject matter of their work. On that day anyway I can honestly say I didn’t see a single canvas I would have bought.

 

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We had a good laugh at a certain “Monsieur” who certainly looked the part but we could see he wasn’t painting at any easel – just out to impress the Mademoiselle’s I think. On another note – e cigarettes were quite the thing around here 🙂

 

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We had a very good meal here at Le Cadet de Gascogne, an excellent lamb shank pictured below. It was cosy inside and despite it’s
location it didn’t have a touristy feel about it which was very
refreshing. Great place to sit outside with a coffee and watch the
world go by.

 

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Lamb Shank with ratatouille – the cold beer wasn’t bad either!

 

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Crowning the hill is the Basilique of the Sacré Cœur offering
spectacular views from it’s popular steps. Today it is a symbol of
remembrance to the 58.000 who lost their lives in the
Franco-Prussian war. It houses the nineteen-ton Savoyarde bell
(one of the world’s heaviest).

 

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Beautiful interior shot by Aurora.

 

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View from the steps – to the right out of the picture is a cable car  (Funiculaire de Montmarte) that takes you to the street below. The cable car fee is included in regular Paris Metro tickets and passes.

 

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We were lucky enough to hear this guy playing that day – he was brilliant, and a pleasure to listen to – he certainly earned the euros we gave him!

LOUVRE -Paris

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Just in case you are in any doubt about where Aurora is!

 

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The Louvre. 60,600 square meters and the world’s most visited
museum. We recommend good footwear and don’t be surprised if
you suddenly find it’s closing time and you didn’t manage to get the
whole way around – it’s amazing!

 

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Completed in 1989 the glass pyramid was the brainchild of architect I. M. Pei.

 

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Spellbinding detail!

 

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The world’s most famous painting – and it’s admirers. Strangely enough it’s just about the only one in the gallery that is completely sealed off and protected from damage.

 

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This was no mean feat to get Aurora completely alone in the frame – patience was rewarded!

 

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And here she is in all her glory. Lisa Del Giocondo by Leonardo da Vinci. A mere 77cm x 53cm, painted sometime between 1503-1519, and priceless!

 

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The stunning Egyptian section is full of amazing treasures that leave you in awe of the  magnificence of this civilization.

 

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In life, a fashionista.

 

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We have all seen them in photos and film but nothing can prepare you for the slightly unnerving sight of this mummy – the care, detail and preparation taken to send the wealthy on their final journey is incredible. This exhibit left us spellbound for quite some time.

 

PARIS – The Eiffel Tower

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In 2014 we had a brief visit to Paris. We were on a bit of a shoestring but that really doesn’t matter. Paris is a wonderful city, incredibly vibrant, and there is so much to see and visit – no wonder we and many others will always want to go back. Like the tourists we were, we left our romantic tribute in the form of a
padlock on the  Pont Des Arts – no longer there unfortunately as they were removed in 2015 to prevent any more strain on the iconic 19th century bridge 😦

This post is predominately about the Eiffel Tower. We all know it and how it it looks, but nothing compares to the thrill of taking the steps to the elevator and finally to be rewarded by mind blowing views of this beautiful city.

 

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Aurora through her lens, anticipating what is to come – 324m. high, 1665 steps to the top.

 

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Paris makes you want to jump for joy! Aurora and I at Trocadero.

 

Next stop buying a ticket – hoping  the queues are small, and
incredibly they were!

 

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The glass floor was a new addition in 2014 – 57m above ground and lots of scary Oohs from those stepping out into the middle.

 

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Just one section of the 10,100 tonnes of steel used to build this iconic tower.

 

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And why not – a treat in the form of glass of Champagne to enhance the romance as you reach the top – the final elevator trip was an
adventure in itself – try it! It was windy up there too!

 

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The River Seine about 300 meter below!

 

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We cast a shadow over Paris!

 

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You just can’t visit Paris and not admire the vision of Gustave Eiffel the engineer and architect behind the tower.

 

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Looking back down to the Trocadero Gardens – just beautiful!

 

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We waited until sunset, and watched Paris begin to light up.

 

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Back where we started, and we were treated to the Eiffel Tower in full dress – 20,000 light bulbs in a dazzling display – thank you Paris!

Here’s a little video of the tower in party mood.