Friday, June 30, 2023

Passing Through Paris

We stop in Paris for a day on our way to Montpellier, France, where we have an apartment rented for two weeks and plan side trips up and down the Mediterranean coast.  Our hotel room in Paris offers great views across the city and of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe

Views of Paris

As we start to walk through the city, we see that many of the restaurants are decorated with lots of flowers.  We never discover why, but it is really pretty.

Restaurant decoration

We pass the Grand Palais exhibition hall and follow the Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde, where the plants in Jardin des Ambassadeurs (across from the US Embassy) are in full bloom.

Grand Palais, Champs-Elysées

Jardin des Ambassadeurs

Insect hotel (hôtel à insectes)

We cross Place de la Concorde and enter the Tuilleries Gardens, which stretch to the Louvre, finding more fabulous floral beds, this time roses and accompanying plants

Jardin des Tuileries

Rose gardens

We stroll through the Tuileries, past the courtyards, gardens, and decorative sculptures, heading toward the Louvre, where we will turn left and walk towards the opera.

Sights of the Tuileries, approaching the Louvre

Passsng by the Opera, we reach Boulevard Hausseman, home to the two great department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.  We first walk up the street to check out the store windows.

 Windows at Galeries Lafayette

We wander through Galeries Lafayette to view the temporary warpping of the dome (by Korean artist Kimsooja) with a diffractive film that transforms the dome into a iridescent landscape that changes colors throughout the day.   And, of course, for a quick look at the new colors and fashions throughout the store.

The dome

The fashions

Wandering back out to the street, we pass the windows at Printemps.

Windows of Printemps

Returning to our room, we admire the view across the rooftops of Paris, which get even more spectacular as the sun sets.

Day view

Night view

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

A Stop at Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market in Seattle opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest continuously-operated public farmers' markets in the United States.  Overlooking Puget Sound, the market is named for its central street, Pike Place, and is Seattle's most poular tourist destination.

Pike Place Market

We first peer in a window and see that they are making cheese - it looks good and we make a note to come back for a cheese-sandwich lunch.

Cheese in process

We walk past stalls of fabulous-looking fruit, vegetables, fish, and meat.  Not to mention all the tempting food for consumption on site.


Food for here

Across the street, a fish market is doing a great business, with a large and tempting selection of fresh fish.  And, if you buy it, they will fillet it while you wait.

Serous fish counter

Walking down to the sound, we find more markets and restaurants, along with a ferris wheel, caroussel, and the ferry terminal.

Along the sound

Returning to the market, we go back to Beecher's Homemade Cheese for cheese sandwiches and more viewing of the the cheese-making process.

Back at the market

That's a grilled cheese sandwich!

Watching the making of cheese

Walking back toward our car, we pass florists, french bakeries (Le Panier), and other great shops.

More temptation

We've had a great tour of the areas around Seattle and a small experience of Seattle itself.  What a wonderful place!