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Posts from the ‘Paris’ category

Thursday Doors: Père LaChaise Cemetery, Paris, France

Père LaChaise Cemetery

Père LaChaise Cemetery

Today, I thought I would do something different for Thursday Doors. This is a video I made of Père LaChaise Cemetery in Paris, France! Lots of doors here!

The cemetery is named after Father Francois de la Chaise, (1624-1709) the confessor to Louis XIV, who lived in the Jesuit house that was on the property at one time.  The sight opened as a cemetery on May 21, 1804 with the burial of a five year old child. That first year only thirteen people were buried here because it was felt the cemetery was too far from Paris. Also, Catholics would not be buried here because the Catholic Church had not blessed it. Later in 1804, with great fanfare, the decision was made to transfer the remains of Jean de La Fontaine (poet) and Molière (actor/writer), seen as rock stars in their day, to the cemetery.  Again in 1817, the purported remains of Abélard (philosopher) and Héloise d’Argenteuil (his lover) were also transferred with their monument’s canopy made from fragments of an abbey. This strategy led to the desired results: people were determined to be buried among the famous citizens.  The famous and wealthy people buried here would try to out do each other, even in death, with beautiful burial chambers, most the size of a phone booth, but some very extravagant.  Père Lachaise was expanded five times and today over one million bodies are buried here in 110 acres. Many, many more are in the columbarium, which holds the remains of those who have requested cremation.

Today, strict rules apply to be buried in the cemetery.  To be buried here one must have died in Paris or lived there. Also there are 50, 30 and 10 year leases on the burial sites. After the lease is up the remains are removed and placed in Aux Morts, (to the Dead) an ossuary, similar to the famous catacomb sights.  When the ossuary is full, the bones are cremated and then returned to the sight. I wanted to see the graves of Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and Oscar Wilde. A roster of all the famous people buried here can be found on the internet. I would suggest taking a map of the cemetery with you or download the Maplet of Père Lachaise Cemetery on your IPhone as we had. After all there are 110 acres to explore and it is very steep and uneven with forest like ledges in some areas. Also note, that at 4pm in the winter, bell ringers ringing old fashioned school bells, walk the cemetery to announce that the cemetery closes at 5pm. You do not want to be locked in the cemetery left to scale a 20 foot gate!  I hope you enjoy the video!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors?

Color Your World: 120 Days of Crayola: Indigo

Versailles Tavern in Indigo Blue

Versailles Tavern in Indigo Blue

Indigo was added to Crayola assortments in 1999.  It is the color between blue and violet and named after the Indigo dye derived from the plant, Indigofera tinctoria, a tropical plant of the pea family!   It is known as Independence Indigo, the color for Pennsylvania in the “State Crayon Collection.

My photo for the challenge was taken while walking to the Versailles Palace or Royal Chateau, in Versailles, France. It was pouring so we diverted from our walk to buy umbrellas. Then we passed this lovely Indigo colored pub. Do you see the words, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity on the front of the pub? It must be their Independence Indigo too!

This post is just one of many in the Color Your World: 120 Days of Crayola Challenge! Enjoy!

A Lingering Look at Windows: My Favorite Daytime Christmas Scene in Paris

My entry for A Lingering Look at Windows: Week 51. Enjoy!

Aujourd'hui in Paris, France

Aujourd’hui in Paris, France

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle Two, Instead of Twinkletoes

Every child at the Montmartre Christmas Market wanted little pieces of pottery from this man! Even me! Priceless!

The Pottery Man, Montmarte, Paris Christmas Market

The Pottery Man, Montmartre, Paris Christmas Market

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

Twinkle in Paris. Could it be any better than this? Enjoy the Weekly Photo Challenge!

Twinkle, Twinkle, Paris at Christmas

Twinkle, Twinkle, Paris at Christmas

A Photo a Week Challenge: White

This is my entry for white. Behind the beautiful clock at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France. Enjoy! For more entries look here!

Behind the Clock, D'Orsay Museum, Paris, France

Behind the Clock, Musée d’Orsay , Paris, France

Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

Behind the Clock, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

 

Photography 101: Day 10, Mystery

This picture is a mystery to me! It was taken at Christmas on the streets of Paris. That tree was not white! However, it must have had some kind of lighting on it. My first reaction, when I saw the picture, was to delete it, but the more I looked at it the more I liked it! It was taken on my cellphone, because it was pouring and I didn’t want to take out my camera. Enjoy!

Mystery on the Streets of Paris

Mystery on the Streets of Paris

How to Make Friends When Traveling

Christmas Lights are Everywhere

Christmas Lights are Everywhere

Reflecting on our trip to Paris, I must tell you it was one of our best vacations, although it was not our first time there.  I think there are several explanations why we had such an enjoyable time. Because it wasn’t our first visit, we could focus on things that we had missed on previous stays. We were, for the most part, out of the tourist mode and more into the relaxing/really get to know you mode. We rented an apartment, we shopped locally in our neighborhood and ate most of our meals in restaurants in the neighborhood too. There were not many Americans, if any, to be found in the places we liked best. The French people were most polite, helpful and actually acted like they enjoyed us as much as we were enjoying them. This was especially noticeable in the restaurants. The key to starting off on the right foot, for me, is trying to fit in. I start with the language.  Knowing some words in their language can go a long way. Trying to carry on a conversation in their language takes you even further. Learning words to be polite, like please, thank you, and your welcome should be the bare bone basics in any language.  Where is, also comes in very helpful along with the word for bathroom. Ha! Another good reminder: things are not going to be the same way as I am accustomed to in my home, in a different country.  Isn’t that the reason I travel? If my new surroundings were not going to be different, I might as well stay at home.  So be prepared for different.  Look for new ways of doing things.  Try new foods. Go with the flow, but be prepared. I study every day on Duolingo, sometimes for as little as an hour sometimes more.  It is a free App and internet sight, that is fun, and can be studied with as little or as much time as you want to take for it. I am on my 110th day studying French and before that I studied Italian on Duolingo, after I came back from Italy where I took a full immersion language course at Il Sasso. I didn’t want to lose my skills. Through Duolingo I have met friends, asked a bazillion questions to French speakers and others, learned something about their culture and translated articles. It has been so valuable to me. So to me this was a stepping stone that made my time more enjoyable on my vacation. I think it also made a huge difference to the people I interacted with. With that said, here are my four favorite eating spots in Paris during our stay this time. Practice those language skills!

Camille, right around the corner from our apartment in Paris, was the closest and had the most delicious traditional french food and pastries. It was packed with locals at all hours. I would highly recommend it. Like any great Parisian food spot the tables were small, very close together and you had to move the table or climb over other guests to get to the table.  A great conversation starter!

Les Philosophes, was the restaurant wine bar, coveted by locals and especially young people. Located on a very busy walking lane, the people watching was excellent.  Sitting outside under the big umbrella heaters, enjoying a wine and salad for hours, made me feel like I was part of the neighborhood. Everyone talked with everyone! We spent one enjoyable evening in conversation with a couple from Hong Kong.

Les Philosophes

Les Philosophes

Sorza Restaurant and Bar, on Saint Louis-en-L‘ile, was one of the most romantic and charming spots with a fabulous selection of food. We had the best pasta dishes here, but what set it apart from the other restaurants was the sorbet! The best I have ever eaten!  The lime was so fresh and fruity with bits of lime peel. Other flavors were raved about too.  I crave that sorbet now that I am at home!

King Falafel Palace in the Jewish Quarter, is an Israeli restaurant famous for their falafels.  There were long long long lines daily just to get a carry out. I had never tasted a falafel and had never even heard of one, but I couldn’t wait to try it. One evening we got into the tiny tiny restaurant and were seated under the Israeli flag draped on the wall. I had the biggest pita sandwich ever! I am not sure what the contents were, but it was meat and sausages with fresh vegetables and some kind of sauce, all plumped and over flowing in that pita. It was delicious and well worth the wait. Also I had the best pomme frites in all of Paris I am sure! I sat and watched a server/helper slice pitas, hundreds of pitas. Each individual pita  was slit open with a box cutter and stacked to be prepared for the falafels. That was his only job and he had a hard time keeping up!

The Falafel

The Falafel

Finally, as one of my blogger friends pointed out, http://www.delightfullyitaly.com, it is also good to know hand gestures ( a form of communication) and what they might mean in another country.  I think you will find this video most helpful when planning to visit Italy. Something to be aware of before you make that hand sign!

For more interest see:
Duolingo, Language Studies, http://www.duolingo.com
Il Sasso, Premier Italian Language School, Montepulciano, Italy.  http://www.ilsasso.com
Camille, 24 Rue de Francs-Bourgeois, Paris, France.  See TripAdvisor
Les Philosophes, 28 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France.  See TripAdvisor
Sorza Restaurant and Bar, 51 Rue Saint Louis-en-L’ile, Paris, France, http://www.sorza.fr
King Falafel Palace, Specialités Israéliennes, 26 Rue des Rosiers, Paris, France, See TripAdvisor.

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Père LaChaise Cemetery

Père LaChaise Cemetery

I have to rest my knee today after yesterday’s shopping spree. (See previous posts) When I mentioned to the perfumer that I wanted to go to Père LaChaise Cemetery, he warned me it was not very level and down right steep in some areas. So today Baby Bear and Papa Bear are off to see one of the famous cemeteries of the world without me!

The cemetery is named after Father Francois de la Chaise, (1624-1709) the confessor to Louis XIV, who lived in the Jesuit house that was on the property at one time.  The sight opened as a cemetery on May 21, 1804 with the burial of a five year old child. That first year only thirteen people were buried here because it was felt the cemetery was too far from Paris. Also, Catholics would not be buried here because the Catholic Church had not blessed it. Later in 1804, with great fanfare, the decision was made to transfer the remains of Jean de La Fontaine (poet) and Molière (actor/writer), seen as rock stars in their day, to the cemetery.  Again in 1817, the purported remains of Abélard (philosopher) and Héloise d’Argenteuil (his lover) were also transferred with their monument’s canopy made from fragments of an abbey. This strategy led to the desired results: people were determined to be buried among the famous citizens.  The famous and wealthy people buried here would try to out do each other, even in death, with beautiful burial chambers, most the size of a phone booth, but some very extravagant.  Père Lachaise was expanded five times and today over one million bodies are buried here in 110 acres. Many, many more are in the columbarium, which holds the remains of those who have requested cremation.

Today, strict rules apply to be buried in the cemetery.  To be buried here one must have died in Paris or lived there. Also there are 50, 30 and 10 year leases on the burial sites. After the lease is up the remains are removed and placed in Aux Morts, (to the Dead) an ossuary, similar to the famous catacomb sights.  When the ossuary is full, the bones are cremated and then returned to the sight. I wanted to see the graves of Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and Oscar Wilde. A roster of all the famous people buried here can be found on the internet. I would suggest taking a map of the cemetery with you or download the Maplet of Père Lachaise Cemetery (Maplets App) on your IPhone as we had. After all there are 110 acres to explore and Papa Bear acknowledged it is very steep and uneven with forest like ledges in some areas. Also note, that at 4pm in the winter, bell ringers ringing old fashioned school bells, walk the cemetery to announce that the cemetery closes at 5pm. You do not want to be locked in the cemetery left to scale a 20 foot gate!  I hope you enjoy the video!

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