Wednesday, 1 July 2015

France

It's not unusual to see 'striking workers' parading through the streets of Paris flag waving, blowing trumpets, beating drums, and generally voicing their rights - some of which are extremely generous - for example many workers are able to retire on a full pension whilst still in their mid 50s 
There must always be plenty of work for the French arborists. Not only do the municipal parks and gardens have pollarded and pleached trees, but most roads, avenues, streets and pathways up and down the country have trees marching along them like regimental soldiers
Did you notice the elegant street lighting?

Beautiful bridges crossing the River Seine are collapsing from the weight of these so called love-locks - why do tourists continue to do it? not only damaging historical bridges but marring classic views along the river
Les amoureux, Jardin de Luxembourg
mode élégante
Don't you just love the street furniture?
Hector Guimard's Art Nouveau metro entrances
with their stylish organic flower bud lights
 
Wallace drinking fountains are a symbol of Paris found scattered along the sidewalks. Designed by Charles-Auguste Lebourg, they are named after an Englishman Richard Wallace, who financed their construction. A Wallace fountain can also be found outside the Wallace Collection in London, a gallery that houses works of art collected by him 
Art Nouveau glass canopies
and these quaint newspaper and magazine stands
I am guessing that this stylish little building in Jardin de Luxembourg could be where boules or pétanque is played. There is a stone bench seat running around the outside of the building - may be the equipment is safely stored inside!
How about sailing un bateau jolie - just choose your nation's flag - 
and then sail it on the water in front of the Palais du Luxembourg?
Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the French baroque architect, was the person most responsible for popularising the mansard roof seen all across France. A mansard roof has steep sides often with a double pitch, and many have extraordinary dormer windows
Last year whilst visiting Paris I showed you the area where my son lives. It is an area by the River Seine which was not only beloved of the Impressionists but 
musicians too - one of which was Bizet
His home in Bourgival looking out across the Seine
Bizet had a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris but he died prematurely at the age of 37 years. For most of his life he suffered from recurrent throat complaints possibly aggravated by smoking.  Whilst completing Carmen he suffered attacks of what he called 'throat angina' and became depressed by the evident failure of Carmen. He decided to take a rest at his home in Bougival, and feeling a little better took a swim in the Seine. The following day he was afflicted by a high fever and pain which was followed by a heart attack. He seemed temporarily to recover, but three days later on his wedding anniversary, he suffered a second fatal attack
  
  
What about this life size, stylish, colourful snail? We had a very brief splash of rain during our time in Paris and at least 20 of these monsters crawled out from under our son's garden hedge. They are unlike snails seen in the UK - I think perhaps they have a little more 'je ne sais quoi' about them than ours!
What I enjoy about Paris is its timelessness
I like the fact that it is still the same Paris I discovered on my first visit as a teenager - my gilded memories remain intact
Unlike so many other cities, London included, 20th/21st century architecture is largely absent from the centre of Paris, apart from Pyramide du Louvre and Centre Pompidou 
Much of the modern glass and steel architecture, some of which is exciting and adventurous, is sited on the periphery of Paris at La Défense.
Taken on a hill in Saint.Germain-en-Laye 8 miles away from La Défense - Paris is hidden away on the far side
Finally the pound is strong against the euro - these little delights would have cost almost £1.50 last summer - this year they were the equivalent of just over £1, but I resisted

44 comments:

  1. It is a joy to look at all the pictures of Paris!

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    1. Thank you I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing them

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  2. Always a pleasure to look at Paris, and your pictures are very special, Rosemary. That is interesting information about Bizet; I love Carmen, and how sad he did not live to see its spectacular popularity, to this day. Last year we loved the yachts at the Jardin de Luxembourg, and what fun to see them again. The beautiful details make Paris so very special.

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    1. I discovered about Bizet from my DiL Patricia - she knows all about the painters and musicians that inhabited the area of Paris where they live.

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  3. Gosh Rosemary, I found myself holding my breath until I reached the very end of your beautiful photos from Paris, you shared so much beauty. The trees, the signs, the outdoor settings, the pond boats, the gardens and rooftops - even the foods on display - all are truly what makes Paris the amazing city it is. Thanks for the background on Bizet too.
    If younger I would consider moving to Paris for an extended stay - my visits are always too short and I miss so much! Will be there later this year for a brief time.
    Hugs, Mary -

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    1. Thanks Mary for your kind comment - I was happy when my son returned to live in Paris for a few more years, it is a place that I am always happy to visit. I have lost count of the number of times I have visited Paris, but there is always somewhere new to discover.

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  4. Absolutely beautiful Rosemary. It's so lovely to see your photos and not the usual tourist ones. Love that snail, pretty and the trees.
    Regards,
    Margaret

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos Margaret - Paris always offers up something new however many times I visit.

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  5. The Wallace Collection was one of the highlights to our trip to Paris one year.
    You have many photos of the neighborhood where my husband lived and where we always stayed in Paris .. rue Jacob ..
    This has not helped my surging wanderlust one bit, I want you to know !! :) Merci ~

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    1. That should have been The Wallace Collection was one of the highlights of our trip to London one year :)

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    2. Sorry, any hope that it may spur your wanderlust forward?

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  6. Paris was where I learned to just sit and watch the world go by. Bliss.
    I rather liked Defense too, even though most modern architecture leaves me cold. Perhaps just because it was Paris!

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    1. La Défense is certainly worth visiting - it is where my son works

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  7. Dear Rosemary,

    I've enjoyed your take on Paris, and the delightful details that you've provided. Now I want to incorporate into my house dormer windows in the style of armor, but, alas, I don't have a Mansard roof! I'm glad that Paris still holds true to your memories; revisiting the past can be a disappointment, particularly as I think we tend to burnish the memorable glow.

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    1. Dear Mark - perhaps it is fortuitous that you do not have a Mansard roof, an armour dormer window might not go down too well with your neighbours. They are rather wonderful on that roof in Paris though.
      I have seen old photos of areas I have visited dating back before the turn of the 20th century, and apart from the fashions worn, everything else looks quite familiar.

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  8. It is a beautiful city and you're right, keeping the new construction on the outskirts it such a good idea. I have to say that some of the more modern buildings in London just leave me cold.
    Love playing the music from Carmen, how sad he never knew how beloved it would become.

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    1. No doubt the world has been deprived of other glorious pieces of opera due to his untimely death at the tender age of 37.

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  9. Beautiful photo's Rosemary! They make me want to go to Paris, but the UK first :-) Thank you for your sweet email and suggestions of places to visit. It must have taken you a lot of time, which I appreciate.

    Wishing you a lovely week!

    Madelief x

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    1. Delighted to help and hope that some of the places mentioned will be of interest to you and your girls.
      I always enjoy visiting Paris and having the opportunity to see my son and his lovely family.
      Hope that your forthcoming holiday goes well and that you all enjoy yourselves.

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  10. Oih, how beautiful photos. I thought I love this and this, and then the next photo is also wonderful, so I love all these ones.
    Thanks for sharing these.

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    1. That is so kind of you Orvokki - you have made my evening - thank you

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  11. I'm totally gobsmacked Rosemary. Scrolling up and down and just can't get enough of your beautiful photos. Amazing. And so wonderful to see Paris through your eyes and lens. Now you've me dreaming of a trip to Paris. To the city of love. Thank you so much for lettig us tag along dear.

    Take care sweet Rosemary.♥

    Charlie
    xx

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    1. Dearest Charlie - it is so lovely to hear from you, I was really happy to have you tag along with me - thank you for your kind comment,

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  12. Dear Rosemary
    I love all the different and unusual aspects you have captured in this beautiful city - I could look at your pictures all day - they make me feel that I am there with you. Beautiful.
    Elaine

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    1. Hello Elaine - so pleased that you enjoyed the pictures - Paris is a photographers delight, something to spy around every corner and alleyway.
      Thank you for your very kind comment.

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  13. Your photos of Paris are beautiful. As usual you've given us a feast for the eyes which needs to be slowly enjoyed and the information is also interesting. It must have been good to see your son and family.

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    1. I am so pleased that you enjoyed seeing the photos Linda - I found out some things I hadn't realised myself whilst I was in Paris, for example the lovely drinking fountains that were paid for by Sir Richard Wallace,1st Baronet. He was the illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess of Hertford, and inherited his father's estates, and extensive collection of European art.

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  14. Lovely photos of a beautiful city. You have captured all the little details that are instantly recognisable as being Parisien. It is several years since I last visited ... I think I shall remind my husband that a visit is overdue!

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    1. It was the essence of Paris that I was hoping to convey so thank you Marina

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  15. So many fabulous photos as always, Rosemary. There seem to be a lot of places not only to visit but also to pause, to watch people, or simply to be absorbed in Pair’s air, and I think I can understand “timelessness” about Paris. The snail is so impressive but I’d feel scared when I see such big ones in person. With so many snails, your son’s environment is precious now that many snails (and frogs) are disappearing.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - in Paris it does pay to sit from time to time and absorb just what is going on around you.
      Fortunately those rather attractive stripe snails are normally hidden from view, I didn't realise that there were so many of them under the hedges.

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  16. I like Paris as seen through your eyes. It is quiet, without the crowds of people and charming. I really like this town. Greetings.

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    1. Thank you Giga - Paris does have a very special ambience

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  17. Oh so many wonderful things!!! I have only been to Paris once, but you bought back many great memories for me!! Thank you for that. Glad you had a great time! xx

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    1. You must go again Amy - it is so easy on Easyjet or via the train from Paddington. An early morning train and you can spend a whole day in Paris returning a little exhausted in the evening.

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  18. Dear Rosemary, What a cornucopia of fabulous photographs. Paris will always be special and if one gets to see it once in a while then one can be a happy person. You always show us what is different and therefore, one can maybe skip a visit and dream of seeing Paris the next time around.

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    1. Dear Gina - it is the things one sees unexpectedly on the streets in addition to the tourist 'must dos' that I enjoy in Paris. Glad that you enjoyed seeing the photos.

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  19. Mary above, said my thoughts about your photos, this time: some of the many things I love about Paris you have captured: those stylistic art deco metro entrances/exits, the lovely kiosks and newspaper/magazine stands, the dormers in the Mansard rooves (I've always wanted a house with those !), very important to me is the current fashion I see on the street, the colorful boats (never been there, YET) on the lake at the Jardin de Luxembourg, all those stately trees and the inviting walkways with plenty of metal Parisien Chaises to rest in, of course the lovers and those horrible locks (why can't they fine people - wouldn't it pay to have a gendarme there to nab them?) and just those pinky/rose peonies? or roses? So many sites to see in Paris!
    Next year...

    Thanks for a mini-trip today, Rosemary!

    Mary in Oregon

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it all Mary - the love-locks are a menace, they are several layers deep on both sides and on each side of the bridges, there must be millions of them.
      The flowers are roses, and were actually hanging over the wall where Bizet lived. I thought that they were appropriate as some had wilted which signified his loss in my eyes.

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  20. You were very disciplined to resist those delights! Paris has such style, wonderful to see all of these images. Sarah x

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    1. Those little edible delights must be loaded with calories - how is it that Parisian women remain so slim?

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  21. So great to see le Jardin de Luxembourg in so many of your pictures here Rosemary. If I have to choose one place to go when in Paris, then that's it. Also why I took my daughter there last year on her first visit to Paris. A glorious day and tired after walking the streets of Paris, it was such a treat to sit on one of the many chairs scattered on different places in the garden with a view on the boats on the water and the Château de Luxembourg. Heaven!

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    1. You are right Marian - le Jardin de Luxembourg is a beautiful, peaceful haven, to sit and watch the world go by, and to take time to recharge your batteries before setting off again.

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