March 27, 2014

The Bells of Notre Dame

Since 1856, the Bells of Notre Dame have been out of tune with each other. This has been pretty well known, and there was a move a while back to raise money to replace them (all but the biggest one - called The Bourdon Emmanuel) so that they sound better.

But of course, since these bells were very old, they kept them and put them on display behind the cathedral:

Doreen felt sorry for the bells, so we took their photos.

I always understood that church bells were used to stockpile brass that could be melted down to use in cannons in times of war. If you are familiar with Wikipedia, this is where they would have a little (citation needed) indicator.

Here are the bells in action:

and again:

and ringing in noon:

Some of you may recall that Doreen has a degree in Art History. One of the artists she studied was name Thomas Shotter-Boys, and back when we were on the Grand Tour she had wanted to find some of his prints. As luck would have it, and as some of you know, she found one:

and back when we bought that print, we also took a photo of the real Red Door:

That was back in May of 2000. (While it seems like Yesterday, it was almost 14 years ago!)

Here is the photo we took of the Red Door on this past trip:

While it might be hard to tell with the photos, the damaged trefoil was repaired sometime in the past 14 years.

I sort of have mixed emotions about that. I always like to think that it was damaged in the Revolution, and the damage itself was part of the history of the cathedral.

But none the less, Notre Dame is my favorite building in Paris.

Make that simply my favorite building.

March 26, 2014

Marche aux Puce

We love going to the Paris Flea Market if we are in Paris on a Saturday.

Not that we buy much (though a couple of years ago I saw the coolest stuffed monkey in a glass case that I dearly wanted) but the trip is always fun.

We saw this phenomenal fur vest that we wanted to get for my Sister in Law Becky:

Otherwise, just some nice wandering:

and other wandered, too.


This trip in Paris seems to have had a watery theme.

We have always wanted to take the Batobus - or water bus on the Seine while in Paris as well.

So this  trip we finally did it.

We killed two stones with one bird on this trip. The tickets for the Batobus are good for one (calendar) day, so we took one from around St Sulpice to the Eiffel Tower, took it back home, and then took it later that day over to dinner. It was nice!

Doreen likes to get in the back of the bus. It gives you a better view:

This is us going under the Pont Alexander. Here is an interesting Paris fact: Czar Alexander gave this bridge to Napoleon shortly before Napoleon invaded Russia/

Appeasement doesn't work.

The Eiffel Tower! What would be more Parisian?

Back under the Pont Alexander

My favorite building for a museum - the d'Orsey. But I don't understand why they don't call it the Museum Paris-Orleans. That was the name of the building when it was a train station:
(notice the Dore Puss in Boots!)

That's the bus!

I just liked this photo. So I included it.

Canal St Martin

Almost every time we have been to Paris we have discussed visiting the Canal St Martin. It is a canal that goes underground for part of its route, and has had some nice development around it over the past many years.

This year, we decided to take the walk. 

So we started at the Plaza of the Republic, where we were greeted with a huge sow in a crate:

We don't like birthing crates any more than anyone else, so we were very sympathetic.

But we did stop to look at the monument to the revolution:

Then we walked over to the canal.

It was a very nice walk, and a very nice view: 
There were many locks - but we didn't see any barges of boats going through them.

Plenty of romantic bridges, too:

It was a very nice walk 

Here is the route:

A day in Paris

We are home, but I wanted to go back and talk about a couple of things we did while on this past vacation.

Picasa is no longer "blogger friendly" which makes me rather sad. I actually pay for extra storage, so I have at least a little right to complain. But it sure looks like Google is going to be evil again (Reader, Outlook Calendar Sync, more...) and regret out Picasa, and maybe even Blogger.

OK, so onto better things.

While we were in the St Sulpice church, we noticed a chapel for St Genevieve. But they misspelled it!

Here is Doreen trying to fix it:
 and a close up:
That is, of course, for J. Noel - our lovely grand niece.

It was a beautiful day in Paris, despite the smog. The smog had an upside, though - free Metro!

The French are more law abiding than you think. Look at the lawn in the above photo: No people.

Look at the one below:
 Plenty of people!

The little sign said: People Allowed!

And the Daffodils (or are then jonquils?) were all in bloom.

and something for our family in Wyoming:

March 12, 2014

Remains of the Day...

After we left Notre Dame, we wandered over to the Isle St Louis, where we had stayed years ago after running away from home.

We saw this interesting modification to a "do not enter" sign:
 I thought it was clever.

We enjoy wandering about the small streets of the Isle. But most stores are now boutiques selling soap, olive oil, or fancy footwear. It is no longer a real neighborhood. This is where Madame Curie lived while in Paris.

They did have a butcher shop left. You will notice that they sell Pau-Piettes. I think we have an old relative named Pau...

Then we walked over to St Eustache, a sort of hybrid Gothic/Renaissance cathedral not really too far from Notre Dame.

It is seldom crowded.

And it doesn't have as many stained glass windows at ND, but we enjoy it none the less.

They have a couple of sundials on the exterior of the church.

They also used to have a fiber optic sundial, but we couldn't find it after the plaza was renovated. I hope that they didn't rip it up.

The cathedral is right across the square from the Bourse, or Stock Exchange.

and around the corner from Dehillerin. The best cooking supply store in the world. Always worth a visit, even if you don't buy anything.

We had dinner that night at Spring.

I won't go into a great amount of detail, but the food was outstanding (we had eaten here a couple of years ago), the wine parings perfect, and the service impeccable, and very friendly.

Then we walked home, lingering on the Pont des Arts long enough to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle for five minutes at the top of the hour. 

March 11, 2014

More from the day in Paris

It is always fun to see these big pigeons we always call Matt's Pigeons because he was the first person to distinguish them as a unique pigeon species.

But Notre Dame is a beautiful place:

No matter from what direction you look

Even in a strange elongated panorama:

Or with us trying to keep our eyes open in the sun:

This is the last view before we leave the island: