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Showing posts with the label France

A toast to La Cité du Vin

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“Every detail of the building, evokes wine’s soul and liquid nature: seamless roundness, intangible and sensual." Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières, architects of La Cité du Vin.

La Cité du Vin (The City of Wine) is a journey through the world of wine from its earliest beginnings some 8,000 years ago to the modern period in a contemporary 3,000 m² exhibition space above the Garonne River in Bordeaux.

There are 19 thematic interactive displays exploring the cultivation of wine starting with a film that takes you on a world wine tour. On the terroir table, winemakers from 10 wine regions in the world talk about the development of their vineyards.  The gallery of civilizations expounds on the topic of divine wine, medical wine, celebratory wine and sustaining wine and how these have accompanied us through the ages. These are just a few of the highlights of an afternoon full of discoveries at La Cité du Vin. My personal favorite was the buffet of the five senses where I could get …

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
*****
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 …

The Storybook Village of Annecy

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After a few days with family in Paris, I had to decide where to go next. My first thought was to travel to Carcassonne via Provence for a week of wandering in the region. While studying my options, I came across a photo of Annecy similar to that above. I took the fast train to Annecy the following day and lost no time in exploring the Vielle Ville (old town). 

The Palais d’Île was constructed in the 12th century on a rocky island on the Thiou River. It has served as a prison, a mint in the 14th century, the residence of the Dukes of Savoy in the 15th century, a courthouse and now serves as a museum for Architecture and Heritage Interpretation.

Lake Annecy What I liked best about my visit to Annecy were the daily walks I took along the lakeshore. The backdrop of mountains and fall foliage made the stroll even more pleasurable. I felt invigorated after spending time by the crystal clear waters of the lake.

Pont des Amours (Lovers Bridge) The Pont des Amours over the Canal du Vassé connects t…

Paris in Autumn 2018

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Remember the song, I love Paris? 
“I love Paris in the springtime
I love Paris in the fall I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles I love Paris every moment Every moment of the year.”

Found myself in Paris in early November with someone who has never been to Paris. How wonderful it is to see Paris from fresh eyes. I had so much to show her but since she only had 36 hours in town, it was a short and sweet visit. She wanted to see the Tour Eiffel, first and foremost, so we went up to La Terrasse at Galeries Lafayette Haussman for her first glimpse of the tower.
And lucky for us, the much awaited Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette was up. This year the tree is right side up. Last year's tree was candy themed and was upside down. At the Lafayette Café on the sixth floor, a window seat affords views of the Tour Eiffel and the back of the Opera Garnier. This is a good spot for scanning the Parisian skyline while indulging on a piece of cake.
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