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The Reclining Buddha

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The Reclining Buddha or Phra Buddhasaiyas is 46 meters long and 15 meters high (150 ft by 49 ft). Sihasaiyas refers to the sleeping/reclining posture of a lion.  

Phra Vihara, the hall of the Reclining Buddha was built in 1832 during the reign of Rama III. The figure is made with lacquered and guilded stucco over a brick-based corpus.

The Buddha’s head rests on two box pillows inlaid with glass mosaics and is supported by his right hand.
The feet of the Buddha is 5 meters in length and 3 meters in height (16 ft by 9.8 ft). Notice his toes which are all even in size and height.
The soles of the Buddha's feet are inlaid with mother of pearl and have 108 panels showing the auspicious symbols with which he is identified. These auspicious symbols can be grouped into three categories: symbols of fortune and prosperity such as the lotus, attributes of greatness of the king such as the throne, and religious cosmology such as the ocean and heavenly forest. There are two circles, one on each fo…

A patch of green

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"God almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures." Francis Bacon 
Jardins du Palais de la Berbie, Albi.

"Bare feet on the grass comfort the spirit and connect the body to the earth all at once." Maximilian Degenerez
Pont Vieux. Aude River, Carcassonne.

"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." Warren Buffett 
Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, Nîmes.

We need to take our children out more often to reconnect with nature.
Place Wilson, Toulouse.


In this medieval village, nature trails down the sides of stone houses and the scent of oranges permeate the air.  St. Paul de Vence, Provence Alpes-Maritimes.
Metal goes well with a patch of green, n'est ce pas?  La Tour Eiffel, Paris.
"I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree." Joyce Kilmer Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux.
A patch of green will do a world of good. TravelswithCharie
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Images by TravelswithCharie

Montmartre on foot

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There's more to Montmartre than the Sacré Coeur and Place du Tertre. Though neither should be missed on your first visit to Paris. Knowing a little bit about Montmartre beforehand prepares you for a day's exploration of this historical and lively neighborhood.
The sinking house as it is called isn't really sinking. It is firmly standing just below the Sacré Coeur Basilica. Some photographer took an "illusory" photo (similar to the image I tookabove) and it became a social media hit. It wasn't all that easy to take this image because I had to consider both the foreground and background so that they do not lean with the building as well. The published pictures of the sinking house are usually taken from the grassy enclosure beside the basilica because the grass provides a level field. The fence surrounding this grassy expanse was closed to the public during my visit. In this photo, the trees provide the anchor I needed to complete the illusion.
A dozen windmills …

St. Paul de Vence

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St. Paul de Vence is a medieval village sitting prettily on a hill in the French Riviera. Famous artists have come to find inspiration in these well worn cobblestone streets with overhanging vines trailing down stone houses. The scent of oranges permeate the air as you navigate your way around the village tucked neatly within walls built in the 16th century on orders from Francis I after repeated attacks and occupation by the Spanish army under Charles V. 

I followed the route along the ramparts for breathtaking views of the valley and snow-capped Alps in the distance. Le Baou (rocky cliff) of Saint Jeannet rises 800 meters (2,624 ft.) above sea level and attracts mountain climbers. 

The Mediterranean Sea is visible from the west ramparts of St. Paul. Down the hill is a vineyard producing a variety of wine that was once tasted by Francis I when he visited the village. You can enjoy the wines of St. Paul too. Check this link for more info. https://www.saint-pauldevence.com/en/markets-win…

Romanity

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The ancient Romans were prolific builders. They certainly left their architectural imprints across France. The Maison Carrée (square house) in Nîmes is a fine example of an ancient Roman temple in the Vitruvian style. The temple was dedicated to the grandsons of Augustus according to the reconstructed inscription from 1758 which reads: "To Gaius Caesar, son of Augustus, Consul; to Lucius Caesar, son of Augustus, Consul designate; to the princes of youth."
The Maison Carrée is on a raised podium with six Corinthian columns across its façade and a deep pronaos or porch. Twenty columns attached to the wall line the sides and back of the building. The Roman style ceiling is from a restoration done in the 19th century. There is only one windowless cella or cult room in the temple.  A 3D film about the founding of Nîmes is shown continuously throughout the day in the cella. 
The Arènes de Nîmes is an elliptical shaped Roman amphitheater from the second half of first century. It was …

April in Paris 2019

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Some 800 parasols are throwing serious shade over visitors at Le Village Royal in Paris. The Umbrella Sky project which started in Àgueda, Portugal in 2011 has been so popular that it has made the rounds in different parts of the world. The installation in Paris is temporary and will fold in July 2019. Le Village Royal is on 25 Rue Royale, a stone's throw from the Eglise de la Madeleine.

There’s no denying that La Tour Eiffel is one of the most visited landmarks in Paris. The internet is full of images of this iconic steel structure and recommendations for the best viewpoints. Once you’ve settled on where to snap that Instagram worthy image, the next step is to decide on how to portray the tower. There are innumerable angles to consider but definitely check the surroundings for the best way to frame the photo and capture the "mood" you wish to communicate.

Speaking of steel, the interior of the Eglise Notre Dame du Travail (Our Lady of the Laborers Church) is built of stee…

The mountains are calling

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The Swiss Federal Railways makes it easy for visitors to travel anywhere in Switzerland with its vast and efficient coverage of the country. Even the remotest villages in the mountains can be accessed through a network of trains and cableways. So it was an easy decision to combine my trip to Lauterbrunnen with Wengen and it turned out to be a good decision.

It was warm and sunny in November when I captured this view of the Jungfrau (above).


Wengen sits at the foot of the Jungfrau mountain range, 1,274 meters (4,180 ft.) above sea level. It is a quiet, car-free village with less than a couple thousand residents. This count balloons to 10,000 or so during the ski season when the alpine village hosts the annual International Luberhorn Downhill Ski Race. Wengen is the gateway to the Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe at 11,333 ft.


A cable car dangles above the valley on its way to Männlichen where spectacular views of the Eiger and Mönch await. The Eiger is famous for its treacherous North Face whi…