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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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May 27, 2012

Sunday - a beautiful day!

I've decided that this post will be my report on my day with non-Tower pictures.  Then I'll do another post which will be below this one and it will be my homage to the Eiffel Tower. :)  So here we go.

As  promised myself that if the weather was nice and it was, I got myself to the Eiffel Tower today.   I kind of loafed around getting ready to leave though and worried that I wouldn't be able to get near it.  Had my longest metro ride yet and all on one line and all from the station that's about one block away from me at most.  So that was a nice beginning.  After looking at the metro map I decided that I would get off across the river from the tower because it looked like it would give a perfect view and, in fact, I imagine it's intended for that..

My planning paid off.  It turned out that it was crowded on both sides, but not as crowded on my side at the time of day I got there.  As I walked towards the center of the Place Tracadero, the center of which is precisely across from the center of the Tower,  I was very careful not to turn my head until I reached the center.  And oh, my - it does bring a smile to your face.  It's beautiful, astounding, huge, and all the other superlatives, but it is also so totally Paris in the minds of most everyone in the world and there it stands - not serving any purpose at all - never the home of a king, or the seat of a government, or an ancient cathedral where people have worshiped for centuries -  just put there to be there.  I found it kind of sweetly amusing if that makes any sense.  And if my camera battery hadn't wilted on me, I might be there yet. 

Since I'm putting non-Tower pictures here, I'll start with Place Trocadero which is in the center of two huge curved buildings that are called the Palais de Chaillot. It isn't a palace at all - it's a exhibition/exposition/convention type building and if I'm remembering correctly is the third one to be built here.  It's just sort of a modernistic gigantic complex - not particularly beautiful or anything but the garden area I walked through when I tore myself away from taking photos of the Tower was very nice - peaceful, green, pretty...

 It was nice that all these hundreds of people didn't go into the garden area.  I got some nice pictures of the Tower from there too and the only people I came across didn't seem to be paying any attention at all to what was across the river.
 I don't know what the words at the top say and I don't know what this man signifies.  He's holding a lyre though.

 See how pretty? 
 with a little stream and pretty log fencing (which reminded me of a couple pictures I took in the Biltmore Mansion grounds.
 a little waterfall which goes under the little bridge and becomes the little stream. :)
 Trying to get artsy here.

 And this is Paris's aquarium!  Which I somehow can't imagine gets visited too much what with number one being across from the Eiffel Tower, number two being kind of hidden away and number three it was closed for twenty years(!) for renovations.  That's got to be some kind of record.  Anyway, this is the entrance area, but apparently the aquarium is under the Palais Chaillot.
And this is much as I could get in a picture of the whole Palais Chaillot complex. The Place is in between the two buildings and the two buildings' curved wings extend quite a way beyond this picture. The very white area in front I'm sure is supposed to be a pool with various fountains. It's a shame that it's empty.

 Looking up the river to I think that rooftop I took a picture of yesterday and I still wonder what it is today
.This incredible houseboat is moored directly across the river from the Tower - can't imagine waking up to that every morning.  And see the Statue of Liberty on the front?  Would love to know what that's all about.


 Oops, a little sneak preview. :)
I guess for this apartment building, one would be likely to say "a nice place to visit and I could probably tolerate living there."  Well, at least the apartments on the other side of the building.
 I couldn't believe they brought this little girl three soft-boiled eggs for lunch.  She must have had them before because she tried to tap off the tops by herself.  But somehow, when it came to eating them,  it was pretty obvious they weren't her favorite thing.  But she liked tapping those tops. :)
 This is part of the Ecole Militaire and the area out in front (which affords great views of the Tower) used to be used as training grounds for maneuvers.
 And this was the beautiful sky outside my French doors late this afternoon and never have I been so happy to see clouds.  But very slowly they moved on and once again, tonight, the sky is perfectly clear.

So, once I managed to leave the vicinity of the Tower, I went in search of lunch.  Ended up on Rue Cler which is a pedestrian shopping street.  Even on Sunday, it was pretty much crammed.  Most of the stores though are food, wine, cheese, and cafes.  I was very happy with my choice today - had a delicious sort of crostini that was covered with a layer of ratatouille and then tuna on top (not raw tuna - the canned kind but it was a very good one).  The bread was good bread of course and had been toasted so it was pretty wonderful.  Had a nice glass of cold white wine with it and the name of the wine (not the brand though) was Esprit d'Joy which I thought was pretty appropriate.  And that delicious little repast cost one euro less that the pretty much awful lunch I had at the place I chose yesterday.  Sure wish there was some way to know before you sit and order.

After that I headed off to the metro station I wanted and, as usual, turned the wrong direction.  But I didn't go very far before I figured out there was something wrong here.  I had been in the sun off and on all day so by the time I got home I was very hot.  Took a cool shower which was delicious and almost managed to get out of hot apartment before I started getting warm again.  And, really, the rest of the day I spent time in the park, reading and writing most of this, downloading my bucketload of pictures, wandering here and there and staying in the shade where there is almost always a breeze and it's quite pleasant.  I debated buying sandwich here and taking it back over to the park area, eating in sight of the Tower, but I couldn't quite talk myself into it.  Being Sunday, I had a hard time finding a sandwich but I finally did and came back here to eat it - that's when the big cloud had covered the sun, so I sat right in front of the balcony with the fan turned on low and that was nice too.  And then, I got really smart and figured out how to what I've been wanting to do which is have a little wine in the park area across from my building.  I doubt really if there's any law against it but I've not seen anyone doing it.  I hadn't had any wine with dinner and so I wanted my bit of wine, darn it and it suddenly dawned on me I could rinse out one of the tiny little Coke cans they sell here and pour some wine in it, and Bob's your uncle!  So that's just what I did.  It was just a delicious evening outside - hated to come back in but even though it doesn't get truly dark until after 10:00, it was getting too dark to read.

So here I am with another post under my belt and it's not even midnight yet.  There will be little writing involved with the Tower photos - they pretty much speak for themselves.  So, just scroll down to the next post to join me on my very happy day at the Eiffel Tower.

Bon soir!

7 comments:

Lisa in WV said...

Mary Lynne, I am so loving your adventures. I adore your pictures of the Eiffel Tower and am so glad you did not crop them. I love the perspective of all the people and your angles are not the ones in the typical pictures. I hope it cools down for you. We are having a beastly hot weekend in WV - up in the 90's.

Lisa

Mary Lynne said...

Wow, thanks Lisa for such nice comments. A very nice way to start my morning which is another beautiful one, by the way. I noticed last night as I waited for some cool air to find its way into my room that it was 90 degrees in Huntington and have to admit that made me feel a little better. :)

Another basilica today and it's on the very outskirts of the city.

Mary Lynne said...

Marlene in CA wrote: From level 1, is the only way to the top by elevator, or can stairs be taken to the top, too? All good photos, Mary Lynne, and I especially liked the one of you and the Tower! Marlene

They do go all the way to the top but like I told her, there are a thousand something of them and even without a hurting hip, I think that would be more than I'd want to take on.:

Mary Lynne said...

Elga posted a comment which I seem to have lost in the "publishing" process - good old Blogger... She wrote:

The Tower is beautiful, love all your photos. And of course Gustave Eiffel was the structural engineer for the Statue of Liberty in NY just before he designed the Eiffel tower.

And you're absolutely right Elga - in fact I wondered if an American owned the houseboat with that Statue of Liberty on it and put it there to remind people that we have a bit of Eiffel at home. :) Doubtful, probably...

Jamie said...

Love the gardens. Love the houseboat. Love the artsy photos. The bridge did remind me of your photos from the biltmore. Sorry to hear your hip still bothering you. Hope the knee is better.

Christopher said...

That bridge and creek is sort of a surprising, delightful little find...! And I love the shot of the Eiffel peeking over that grand apartment building... wow---a garret there would be lovely, too! :) And I really like the seemingly very happy fish, atop the fountain sculpture at the aquarium!

January said...

I had so much catching up to do after the weekend that I haven't commented on every post since Friday, but WOW! It sure does seem like you are having one heck of a great trip. I'm so glad the Eiffel Tower lives up to the "hype" for you and that you're having such a nice time. xoxo

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