June 29, 2016

More wandering about Milan. Some photos, some words

We were greeted, as we are every morning, by the Courtyard Tortoise coming running to greet us:

 It is always good to see him.

Then we went to the local church, St Ambrose, which was founded in 376, but most of the building comes from the 12th century.

The loggia was designed by Bramanti:
 It's nice.

St Ambrose and his two martyred friends are still there:

For lunch we went to a farmer's market. There was a little restaurant called Un Posto de Milano. Great, inexpensive food. (a 15 euro set lunch) We have been taking the trams all over town.

For dinner, we went back to Navigli. I had a bowl of risotto (Milanese, of course!) and Doreen had eggplants, which were delicious!

We ended up back at the Duomo square.

and then gave our little buddy a treat, too!

June 28, 2016

The Navigli Canal, The Prada Foundation, and dinner at Ratanà

I had heard about an area of Milan called the Navigli Canal, where old transportation canals are still exposed. No longer used for barges, of course, but the tow paths are now lined with nice little coffee shops, restaurants, and art stores. It was a pleasant place to wander about.

After Navigli, we took a streetcar to the Fondazioni Prada, which is an old distillery that is being converted into art spaces. The place is fantastic.

They have gold leafed one of the buildings:

They had exhibitions from Robert Gober and Louise Bourgeois in the distillation tower, and an amazing exhibit called "Stolen Images" by Thomas Demand in one of the other buildings. (It was really called L’Image Voleé). "Stolen" was used loosely, including photographs, collages, and stories about stolen art work.

and the art is interspersed among them,

 I love this sign, which warns of "insurmountable danger"

For dinner we metroed up to Ratanà, a local sort of farm to table place in a newly redeveloped part of town.

Those are apartment buildings with many, many, plants coming down their sides:

It was getting dark, but you get the idea:
We ate outside
 It was an old train depot

 Doreen had her favorite, a Kir Royale!

 I tell you, those Milanese are stylin'! A white linen suit with short pants!
 It was a great meal.

June 26, 2016

In Milan

Flying is never really "fun" although it can at times seem miraculous.

Leaving Houston at 10:00 AM from your house and landing in Milan at 8:30 the next morning (1:30 am body clock time) seems to be something we really take fro granted.

Especially when you wake up and see things like this out the window:

We were met by a driver from the apartment we rented, who had our name down as "Dorsen". Not sure where that came from, but it worked.

The place is nice, large and very quiet. The owner upgraded us because hi didn't have the bigger place rented out. There are a few problems. which I may expound upon later.

We are close to the historic center of Milan, though. You can walk to the Duomo and surrounding area in under 15 minutes.

We had a nice simple lunch at a little bakery on the way. Great quiche and salad.

And you can see the Duomo peeking around the corner.

and then right in front of you. It took 400 years to build this wedding cake!

The Vittorio Emanuel Galleria is right around the corner:

and the Carabinieri were there showing off their old cars:

We did make it to the Sforza castle

 Before we came back to our own courtyard:

Our courtyard has its own tortoise.

She runs up to see you as soon as you open the door. It is sort of cute:

Google loves to make little movies. Here's one:

March 26, 2016


We love Paris in the spring. Well, we love Paris in general.

We were staying on the Isle St Louis. It is the little three window wide place below, on the third floor.

This was our view:

You had to walk around to see this part.

Don't feed the birds, and don't walk your dog jauntily.

Doreen standing on the Center of the World.

The clock on the Conciergerie.

On the tip of the Isle de la Cite.

Both Directions.


This is an ecclesiastical clock that was originally constructed in the 14th century, destroyed in the 16th century, reconstructed in the 17th century.

It is card to see in this photo, but it shows what church readings will be used on any given Sunday.  The little hand below shows the readings.
IT was vandalized in the 1960s. People are horrible.

It is in the Lyon Cathedral:

After that visit, we stepped through a few more traboules:

and went to the Miniatures Museum. I didn't take many photos, as I found the place so darned odd.

Here is the Budapest Hotel (from the movie):

We also went to the Beaux Arts museum.

It had a Phrygian Cap! A real Phrygain Cap. I have always wanted one.

They also had some posters from the Revolution.

They also had a guillotine blade. Yes, a real guillotine blade. It had been used by the people who built it to intimidate the masses.

Be careful what you build.

A Salad Lyonnaise.

We had lunch at a local cafe.

It was probably the least delicious meal we had the whole trip.

Brother Matthew has a photo of this butcher's sign as well.

My theory is that if a cow had a meat cleaver, he wouldn't be chopping up other cows:

Another odd museums was the Automaton Museum. I have videos of this that I will post later;
 A jacquard loom:
 A swan. This is not an automaton.

We took a boat ride from the Soane to the Rhone:

This is the original wall to the city

The Confluence:

OH! Another swan.

That is our apartment building

It was nice.

That is our place.

We liked Lyon.