Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

A WALK AMONG THE DEAD

Visiting cemeteries is not something that I do very often.
Oh, I know that these places are often very interesting with all the old gravestones.
Actually I much prefer the pretty little graveyards so often found surrounding old English churches.
Huge acreages packed with tombs stretching as far as you can see seem like a terrible waste of space to me and they are usually situated on prime real estate.

However this was the famous Pere Lachaire cemetery of Paris so yesterday we set off to see it.
We are visiting some of the outer areas of Paris this trip and are really enjoying this peek into the lives of real Parisians.


The cemetery is absolutely packed with graves and monuments that look like old fashioned phone boxes !


Throughout there are large Horse Chestnut trees which are very pretty and some are absolutely huge.



Everything is neat and tidy.
Some graves have little gardens where flowers are in bloom and some have pretty fresh flowers.


There are well marked roads crisscrossing the entire cemetery and you need to buy a map if you are looking for something in particular.

There are many famous people buried here as well as ordinary families.

One of the graves we were looking for was the grave of James Morrison.


Here it is attracting quite a few other people. It is not as it was originally due to vandalism.


What remains is fenced off a little way from people loving it to death.

Next we set off up to the top of the hill to find Oscar Wilde's grave....
and here it is !


A very strange headstone I thought.


Can you see the red sploggy marks on the end? 
Here's a closer view.


Yes, they're lip marks ! People have been kissing the stone !
Yuck !
Previously it was so bad and caused such damage to the stone removing it, that a glass cage now protects the lower parts.


( photo from the internet)


Aren't people weird ?

The last grave we sought out was the grave of the legendary lovers Abelard and Heloise.
You can read their amazing story here :

www.abelardandheloise.com/Story.html 

This is their tomb. They were removed from their original separate graves and placed here together.



Reunited in their tomb after spending most of their lives apart.



One of the great love stories .




And so our fantastic holiday comes to an end.
In a few hours we head off to Charles De Gaulle airport for the 24 hour flight home.
On the way we lose a day, departing here on 31st May and arriving home on 2nd June.
It is Winter time back home but the forecast temperature is 26 degrees on Monday -warmer than anything we have had since we came over to Europe ! 

Au revoir mes amis.
A bientot !

Thursday, May 29, 2014

EMPEROR NAPOLEON III

One of our activities today involved a revisit to the Louvre.
Last time we attempted to visit was on the free entrance Sunday that happens once a month and the whole of Paris was there.

Today was much quieter and we entered downstairs  through the Carousel shopping complex. This entrance is often much easier than the main entrance and we walked straight in without any line at all.

Our main target today was Napoleon III's apartments which have been preserved in one wing of the Louvre.


We knew we were in for a treat when we entered through this passageway.


Such opulence. 


All golden trims and sparkling chandeliers.







The ceilings were a sight to behold too.


Just loved this seating arrangement.


Then came the dining room.


Certainly fit for an emperor.

Cheers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I LOVE PARIS !

This is our third visit to Paris. 
Each visit we have spent a week here so we feel very comfortable here.
Each time we have stayed in an apartment in the Marais district. It is so close to everything like the Louvre and Notre Dame and the streets are filled with caf├ęs and restaurants making eating out just a trip down the street.



The weather is cool and cloudy but by the time we went out today the rain had cleared.

Not too many people around either which is always nice though there are lots of school groups.
School kids sure get it good these days with school trips to Paris and Rome. What a terrific responsibility for the teachers.


Even on a cloudy day it looks lovely.



We revisited the Pont des Artes  but couldn't find the padlock that we put here last year.


They are so crowded now you would have a lot of trouble putting another one I there.
Apparently there is some concern about the weight of all these padlocks making the bridge unsafe ? ? 



And of course no visit to Paris would be the same if I didn't rave about French food.


We returned to our favourite restaurant, Equinox, and they didn't disappoint.
I'm a very happy customer tonight !



Sea scallops for me......


Chicken in fill for Tony ........



And a Tarte Tattin for dessert.

Cheers.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

RUNNING OUT OF SUPERLATIVES

A final tribute to a very beautiful place -  Bellagio .

So lovely that you have to search your vocabulary for new ways to sing its praises.


What could be better than lunch in a delightful spot like this  ?


Or a cruise along Lake Como drinking in a sight like this ?


where small villages cling to the shores.



Or a visit to the beautiful Villa del Balbianello ?




Looking at old stonework walls and staircases




Or just the view through flowers and trees


You can even cruise past George Clooney's villa and hope to catch a glimpse!



Perhaps contemplate renting  Richard Branston's villa at 160 000 pounds a week ?


It's all here and plenty more

Farewell Beautiful Bellagio.

Cheers.



Friday, May 23, 2014

BELLA BELLAGIO

We are settled into the final Italian stopover of our holiday - Bellagio on Lake Como.

Getting there was an epic day of train to Milan, another train to a Varenna, ferry across the lake to Bellagio then the final stretch, a long pull up the hill and 40 stairs up to our apartment.


At least this time we didn't attempt the stairs through the town !
Once again the apartment is a winner and our hostess, a lovely lady called Maria, a real gem.



We've had thunder storms all night but this was the view from our bedroom window this morning.


As the sun began to come out around midday we set out to explore our surroundings.
Several of these cobbled stairs wind down and down, lined all the way with little restaurants, bars and clothing shops.


Scarves and ties seem to be featured here a lot along with expensive jewellery, clothes , shoes and handbags.
Down at the lake front beautiful vistas open up before you.



And it's easy to see why this is the playground of the rich and famous.


Places like this gem -


a pool with a view like this would be hard to take wouldn't it?




Or perhaps you'd prefer lunch here ?


Tomorrow we're going on a boat tour and I'll be on the lookout for gorgeous George Clooney.

Keep your fingers crossed !

Cheers.