Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Day in Paris

We rise and head out into Paris to spend a day wandering in this fabulous city.  Heading toward the Opera, we find restaurant parklets expanding the outdoor space for dining.

Parklets

Nearby, the food shops are setting up for their day.

Setting up

Approaching the Opera, we find a contrast of old and new architecture.

Old (Opera) and new

Behind the Opera, on Boulevard Haussmann, the famous French department stores, Galerie Lafayette and Printemps have their flagship stores.  We first wander into Galerie Lafayette to the floor devoted to food (dine in/out or purchase the ingredients) to admire the displays and peruse the wines (many types of rosé, including a large collection of one of our favorites:  Cote de Provence).


Food and wine

We are truly impressed that we can purchase a meat slicer, but aren't yet ready to try to bring one of these home.

Slice it yourself

In the main store, Galerie Lafayette is decorated with the theme Paris Mon Amour (Paris my love), with hearts everywhere, including the center of the dome.  Organized in partnership with the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, Paris Region Tourist Board, and Atout France, Paris Mon Amour showcases creative Parisian energy through fashion, design, art, and gastronomy.


Paris mon amour

Down the street at Printemps, we also visit the food floor and admire the views of Paris from the balcony outside the food stalls.


Over at Printemps

Leaving the stores, we head up Boulevard Haussmann, seeing Paris life getting back to normal as people are out in the cafes, restaurants, and shops.

Paris street life

At the Arc de Triumph, we find the Arc enclosed in scaffolding as part of shrouding the structure in fabric, a posthumous project of the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, titled "L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped," requiring 270,000 square feet (25,000 square meters) of fabric, 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) of red rope, and 3 months labor from a team of 1,200 workers.

Art installation in process

Walking down the Champs-Élysées from L'Etoile and the Arc, we find a sign of the times:  Covid-19 test stations every block or two on the sidewalk.

Test station

Along the Champs-Élysées, we pass the Grand Palais, Petit Palais, and then enter into Place de la Concorde and the entrance to the the Tuileries (with the fair we spotted on our first day).  From the Place de la Concorde, we look one way at the Assemblée Nationale (across the river) and the other way at the Hotel de Crillon and the Hotel de la Marine, formerly the depository for the royal furniture collection, crown jewels, tapestries, and precious objets d’art (and home to the French Navy Industry from 1759-2014), now restored and reopened to the public.

Grand Palais

Looking both ways in Place de la Concorde

Gazing down the Champs-Élysées in the distance, we see the Arc de Triumph (from which we just came) and, in the other direction, the Tuileries and, in the distance, the Louvre.

 Champs-Élysées (Arc de Triumphe in the distance), 
Tuleries (Louvre in the distance)

This has been a fun stroll through the right bank of Paris, visiting old favorites and seeing what has changed since we were last here.  Now, it's time to find lunch.





Friday, October 15, 2021

Arriving in Paris

At last, we're able to return to Paris for a long weekend on our way home from Hannover.  We check into our hotel near the Louvre and head over to Place Saint-Michel to find dinner.  On the way, we find a fair set up the in the Jardin des Tuileries, the public garden stretching from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde.


Fair at night

Across the Seine, the Musée d'Orsay museum, housed in the former Gare d'Orsay train station, and the Eiffel Tower light up the sky.  Looking down the length of the Tuileries, we see the famous Champs-Élysées on the other side of Place de la Concorde.

Musée d'Orsay and Eiffel Tower

Champs-Élysées in the distance

Crossing the Seine over the pedestrian bridge near the Louver, we get great views of the river.

Crossing the Seine

It's getting late and it is quiet in Place Saint-Michel, where we stroll the streets to select a restaurant.


Quiet in the streets near Place Saint-Michel

Walking back, we pass the front of Notre Dame, illuminated despite the damage done by the fire in 2019.

Notre Dame

Crossing back over the Seine, we see more great river sights, along with a bar set up on the banks of the Seine.



Along the Seine

Pop-up bar on the banks of the Seine

We pass by the grounds of the Louvre, heading back to the Tuileries and our hotel.

Passing by the Louvre

We settle in at our hotel to rest and have a full day in Paris tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Strolling Back Through Hannover

As we walk back to our hotel from the Maschsee, we pass through the Hannover Old Town and stop to see new sights along the way.  First, a primary mode of transportation:  bicycles, including specialized versions with weather-proof cabins for smaller folks and pets

Bicycle cabin

We pass through the Maschpark, across from the New Town Hall and find the art class from the Landesmuseum painting in the rain.

Maschpark

Art school

Entering old town, we view great examples of medieval brick gothic design using local materials

Hannover architecture

A block into old town, we wander into the Hannover Market Hall, built in 1954 to replace the building erected in 1892 and destroyed in the war.  Originally, agricultural products were brought into the city by farmers and sold in the square opposite the old town hall (where some vendors still gather).

Vendors in the old square

At the end of the 19th century, the population of Hannover had grown to over 100,000 people and the demand for better hygiene and an effort to prevent the obstruction of traffic caused by the large number of dealers and carts led to the construction of the indoor Market Hall.



Markthalle

Leaving the Market Hall, we pass the Old Town Hall, where a wedding is taking place in the rain.

Wedding at the Old Town Hall

From the Old Town Hall, we pass through the scenic streets of Old Town, on our way back to the hotel.


Streets of Old Town

It's been another delightful trip to Hannover (with side trip to Hamburg), but it's time to move on to our next stop before returning home.