Vivid Sainte-Chapelle

After the iconic Eiffel Tower,  Sainte-Chapelle with its amazing stained glass windows is my favorite place to visit in Paris. The height and vivid color of the windows create a stunning effect. As you look at them, you wonder how they stand, as the stone supports are quite tall and thin and the walls appear to be “all window.” The chapel’s architecture and windows date to the early 13th century. It’s hard to image the construction taking place 800 years ago. 

#stainedglass, #saintchapelle, #Paris, #thingstodo, #iconic, #architecture, #history, #Louisix, #13century, #chapel, #church, #art
Admire the stained glass of Saint-Chapelle in this wide angle photograph taken with the Sony a7rII.

This royal chapel, commissioned by Louis IX on Ile de la Cite in Paris, is located near Notre Dame Cathedral. If you buy the Musee Pass to pay admission to numerous museums and monuments for a 3-5 days, this beautiful church is included. I recommend going on a sunny day!

Walking the Gardens of Versailles

After October 30 this year, the fountains at Versailles shut down for the season, but the gardens still offer a lovely long walk. Some yellow leaves held their place on the trees and reflected the low afternoon light. Without the water flowing, we were able to see the amazing sculpture of the fountains, especially these horses and men rising from the water.

#versailles, #Paris, #daytrip, #gardens, #walk, #November, #water, #season, #fountain, #bike
Zoom in to examine the baroque sculpture at the center of the pond. Versailles Gardens, November 2018.

I always enjoy seeing the locals enjoying these gardens — walking, biking and even taking out a paddle boat. The scene reminds me of New Yorkers enjoying the pastoral beauty of Central Park. 

“Paris is always a good idea.”

I have to agree. It has been many years since my last trip to Paris, and I have good news: My friend Diane invited me to join her in November in Paris. Pourquoi pas? I’m going!

Making travel plans again for the iconic city allows me to think back on my 2004 trip to visit my friend Louise, who was living there with her family. We walked all over the city together, starting with Le Tour Eiffel.

#paris, #iconic, #eiffel, #dofirst, #arrived, #seine, #travel
Fresh (or not so fresh) off the airplane, we went to see the Eiffel Tower from across the River Seine.

We hiked to the top of Montmartre for lunch, the art in the square and a visit to Sacre Coeur, a beautiful Catholic church.

#sacrecoeur, #montmartre, #paris, #travel, #summer, #france
View of the neighborhood from the tower of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, Paris, 2004.

On Ile de la Cite, the first arrondissement, where the Cathedral of Notre Dame is located, we stopped for ice cream at Berthillon before wandering the narrow streets lined with elegant shops.

#paris, #berthillon, #june, #summer, #travel, #icecream, #glaces, #sorbets
June was the perfect month for ice cream in Paris at the well known Berthillon.

It’s hard to make a short wish list for my November trip, since I spent over a week in Paris in 2004 and toured countless museums, churches, gardens and neighborhoods. One things is for sure: I want to walk the city again. There is so much to discover on foot.

#art, #notredame, #paris, #seine, #walking, #travel, #explore
On the Left Bank of the Seine near Notre Dame, it is fun to peruse the art displayed in the vendors’ stalls.

Tragedy in Nice

My heart goes out to the families who were innocent victims of unspeakable cruelty on Bastille Day in Nice, France. We must pray for peace and for God to heal this violent society we live in.

As I lie awake last night, not sleeping, I thought back on time my daughter Courtney and I were on Boulevard des Anglais in Nice 10 years ago when families were crowding the same space in a similar way. It was the finals of the World Cup between France and Italy. Here are a few photos I took that evening.

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A reflective moment on the water’s edge in Nice, France. July 18, 2006.

This image of the man resting by his flag on the beach in Nice still resonates with me.

#france, #flag, #family, #peace
Father and son support France in World Cup Final, Nice, 2006

#france, #nice, #worldcup, #peace, #flag, #tricouleur
Crowd in Nice for World Cup Final, 2006, near Boulevard des Anglais as seen from Meridian Hotel.

#france, #worldcup, #2006, #flag, #family, #peace
World Cup Final was a family affair for the people of Nice, 2006. Game was televised on a big screen.

#moonrise, #nice, #france, #crowd, #worldcup, #peace
Evening ends peacefully in Nice, July 2006, as fans crowding Boulevard des Anglais watch World Cup Final on big screen.

Lavender in July

The Provence region of France can be blistering hot in July, and you might think that you were a month or two late to enjoy seeing rows of lavender growing in the fields. You’re not! You might be a month late to see fields of sunflowers in Provence as well as Tuscany (in Italy), but you are right on time for the lavender.

When my daughter Courtney and I took our road trip through Provence, driving in our “putt-putt” between Avignon, Gordes, Les Baux, St. Remy, L’Isle sur Sorgue and Roussillon we discovered this lavender field at the Abbey de Senanque. The abbey’s location is just at the foot of the hill near Gordes. I shot this photo, but you may have seen a similar shot on many book covers.

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While the weather is hot and dry in July, you will hardly notice it. The delicious cuisine, the colorful farmers markets, the pottery shops and the local wine (Chateauneuf du Pape), provide ample distraction. Oh yes, there is the scenery and landscape photography too, to capture and hold your attention.

Normandy American Cemetery

More than nine thousand service men are buried and memorialized here at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer, France. It is sobering to see the lines of crosses that mark each life lost in a courageous effort to defend freedom.

#American, #cemetery, #France, #memorialday, #remember, #fallenheroes, #dday, #freedom, #courage
The American Cemetery is located in a peaceful and beautiful spot on the coast of France.

 

#liveslost, #dday, #memorialday, #france, #American, #freedom, #1944, #honor, #fallenheroes
Reading one name, date of death and home state inspires reflection.