Friday, May 17, 2024

Mittelland Canal in Hannover

We arrive in Hannover and check into our hotel located in a former pen factory on a bank of the Mittelland Canal through northern Hannover.  Looking out the window of our room, we watch the barge traffic travelling up and down the canal, which is a major waterway in central Germany, providing the principal east-west inland connection and linking France, Switzerland, and the Benelux countries with Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic Sea.

Peering out at the canal

Intrigued by the canal, we head out for a walk along the path on its banks (both sides).  The path is used by walkers (like us), hikers, bikers, and runners and is a beautiful oasis from the city around it.

Along the canal
We pass a small marina (Yachthafen Hannover), alongside of which are restaurants on ships more permanently moored than those in the marina.



Office buildings alternate with new apartments and older residential housing on the banks of the canal.

Office space with canal view


We are passed by more ships and boats moving down the canal and walk by others moored on its banks.

Continuing down the path

Boat launch with police boat

Periodic steps back up to city streets

Traffic on the canal

Soon, the sun begins to set and it's time to turn around and return along the canal to our hotel in the former pen factory.

Heading back as the sun sets

We're in Hannover for a few days and it'll be fun to once again visit this beautiful city.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Dining in Paris

We're only in Paris for a long weekend, but we get to enjoy dining at some of our favorite places.  Our first dinner is southwestern France cuisine at Il était une Oie dans le Sud-ouest, where we start with Le Torchon (duck foie gras cooked with a torch), followed by margret de canard and duck confit.

Le Torchon

Margret de canard

Duck confit

We return to our hotel after dinner for a glass of wine and desert, finding that all the lights have been turned off and the hotel and restaurant are illuminated by candles for Earth Hour, a worldwide movement to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour as a symbol of commitment and call to action to protect the planet and its people.

Wine and ice cream by canndlelight

We have one lunch on Avenue des Champs-Élysées, a croque monsieur (ham and cheese sandwich with béchamel sauce toasted in the oven), the next at Paul, the fabulous boulangerie chain at which we've purchased sandwices all over France


Our final dinner is at another old favorite, La Mascot, near our hotel.  We start with escargot and French onion soup, followed by duck confit (served very differently from the night before) and chevre (goat cheese) salad.


Duck confit

Chevre salad

A weekend in Paris is not enought to fully satisfy our craving for the fabulous food here, but it offers a tantalizing experience, with the promise of much more over the next few years as we return.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Petit Palais

The Petit Palais was built (across the street from the Grand Palais) for the 1900 Exposition Universelle and now houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris).  In addition to hosting exhibitions, the museum's permanent collection, donated by "enthusiastic and eclectic collectors" consists of a variety of artefacts of the main artistic movements from Ancient Greece up to the First World War.

The exhibits are divided into sections:  the Dutuit Collection of medieval and Renaissance paintings, drawings, and objets d'art, the Tuck Collection of 18th century furniture, and the City of Paris collection of paintings, featuring works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Delacrois Courbet, Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Cézanne, Modigliani, and Rodin.  There is also a small collection of ancient Greek and Roman art and of Christian icons acquired up to 2019.

Petit Palais

Grand Palais across the street

Exhibition entrance (sold out)

Tickets to the exhibition Le Paris de La Modernite 1905-1925 are sold out and we turn instead to the works of the permanent collection, many of which we recognize.

The permanent collection

We admire, then head back out to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, continuing our exploration.