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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Europe Trip 2017. Part 11: 14th to 18th June THE END

We are now on our own. Well not really, we had breakfast with Jan and Brian (from Team Daniel) and we had a dinner with some others from the boat but everyone is doing there own thing. We didn't even see Roland after we had dinner with him on the first night. Wednesday's planned optional tour was cancelled, due to lack of interest, and we didn't go to the optional Moulin Rouge Dinner Show, so that another reason we didn't see people again that we knew..
So on Wednesday it was a lot of walking, hopping of and on a sightseeing bus and a river cruise. Thursday was spent at Monet's Garden and the Palace of Versailles, and another walk in the late afternoon.
Friday, our last day, was more walking in the morning then it was in a taxi to the airport and home.

Videos have to be watched on this page 
 click / tap on photos to enlarge.

(PbL) Photo by Lynn    

I love Paris - Avalon Jazz Band   (Cole Porter)

Watching the fun at Arc de Triumph

River Cruise

Big Bus from River Cruise

 Bus to Monet's Garden


Grey Wagtail

Taxi to Airport

We had booked the Select bus tour for today (we must have been crazy, weren't we sick of bus tours by now) to Montmartre plus a River Seine cruise but found out at dinner, last night with Roland, that it had been cancelled due to lack of interest, thank God for that.  So, what to do? We set off on foot to Notre-Dame Cathedral and see what happens from there. After Notre-Dame we decide to catch the Paris 'Big hop-on-hop-of Bus' as the same ticket includes a cruise on the River Seine............so, off we go.

                 The view from the hotel in the morning.             

The photos on the door caught my eye.

The trouble with 'Wind' instruments.

Yes, solid, life-size chocolate.

.........makes the heart grow fonder.   Also does strange things to your head.
' The names on this wall belong to men and women to whom the title of righteous has been bestowed in recognition of their action to save Jews in France during the Second World War, at the risk of their own lives.......................'

' The names on this wall belong to men and women to whom the title of righteous has been bestowed in recognition of their action to save Jews in France during the Second World War, at the risk of their own lives.......................'

Old door of the Hotel De Chalons,  1625.

A moment in time.

The Seine, with Notre-Dame Cathedral in the background.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

The people we were told to look out for.......gypsies with petitions. 
While one has your attention the other picks your pocket or handbag.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Gargoyles on Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

         Notre-Dame Cathedral       

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral.
 I was 'churched out' by now and didn't want to join the queue.

           Notre-Dame Cathedral.             

I only noticed this very tall fellow in the background of the previous photo when I was editing. 
He can't be standing on a box, check the length of his arms.     

In the forecourt of Notre Dame.

Notre-Dame Cathedral from the Double Bridge.

Now we hop on the bus.

Fontaine Saint Michel (Saint Michel Fountain). 
Monumental stone fountain created in 1860, depicting sculpted figures of St Michel slaying a dragon.

French architecture.

The Institut de France (The Institute of France) is a French learned society,
grouping five académies, the most famous of which is the Académie française.

The Musée d’Orsay, located on Paris’s Left Bank, originated as the Gare d’Orsay,
a Beaux Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900.           

Alexandre III Bridge, Ornate, late 19th-century arched bridge in a Beaux Arts
style & named after a Russian czar.   
                The Grand Palais. from Bridge of the Concorde.           

Assemblée Nationale  (National Assembly).

At first I thought they were just catching flies, but then she
indicated to something over the road, it was................

.........the statue of Henri François d'Aguesseau climbing out of the
top of a bus (as can be seen in 2 photos back)

             Fountain of the Seas                   

             Arc de Triomphe (Triumphal Arch)               

But first, a coffee in this funny set up.

They had a funny dog as well.

        They were a distraction.               

I liked this lamp post...................

.........so I took another one. 
The fellow with sun-glasses thought she was his sister. 
The fellow with the backpack is demonstrating how to cross the road in Paris.

The Arc de Triomphe, east side. Left:  Le Départ de 1792 (or La Marseillaise), by François Rude. This sculptural group celebrates the cause of the French First Republic during the 10 August uprising. 
Right:  Le Triomphe de 1810, by Jean-Pierre Cortot celebrates the Treaty of Schönbrunn. This group features Napoleon, crowned by the goddess of Victory.

There are 12 roads that enter the Charles de Gaulle Place roundabout at the top of Avenue des Champs-Elysees.
This is how you cross safely.

           Been there.             

          French architecture.             

French wedding.


                   People on top of the Arc de Triomphe.                       

The Arc de Triomphe

Avenue des Champs-Elysees.

The Grand Palais is an art nouveau hall with domed glass roof,
 built in 1900, hosting exhibitions and cultural events.

Flamme de la Liberté - Paris.

Place du Trocadero

Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine (City of Architecture and Heritage) building.

From the Place du Trocadero.

Lynn had herself covered in gold paint, can you pick her out?

Monument aux morts. Trocadero (War Memorial)  "
To the glory of the French Army 1914-1918 "

You can buy anything in Paris.

Trocadéro Gardens
and the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine (City of Architecture and Heritage) building

And now it's onto the boat for a river cruise.


   Debilly Footbridge   

Accommodation on the river Seine.

I liked the cycling shoes.

'Nymphs of the Neva' on the decorative Alexandre III Bridge,
the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city.           

Just like in Rome, a pedestrian-crossing doesn't mean they will always stop.
 I'd also keep my eye on the horse, 2nd from left, when he closes his mouth.

Accommodation on the river Seine.

Alexandre III Bridge, Ornate, late 19th-century arched bridge in a
Beaux Arts style & named after a Russian czar.

               The Louvre Palace             

The Musée d’Orsay, located on Paris’s Left Bank, originated as the Gare d’Orsay,
a Beaux Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900.

            The Louvre Palace               

The Louvre Palace. Originally a fortress built in the medieval period, it became
a royal palace in the fourteenth century under Charles V and was used from
time to time by the kings of France as their main Paris residence.

The Pont Neuf (New Bridge) is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris.
                  Arched stone bridge, opened in 1607. with 2 spans & a bronze, equine statue of King Henri IV.               

I liked the way they covered the construction scaffolding. 
he Pont Neuf (New Bridge).

Scaffolding covers.
The Pont Neuf (New Bridge) with equine statue of King Henri IV.

A solid wall of 'love padlocks'.   
Equine statue of King Henri IV.

           Notre-Dame Cathedral   

Tribunal Correctionnel building. Part of the French court system.

        Notre-Dame Cathedral   


Back through the Little Bridge to Saint Michael's Bridge.

         Notre-Dame Cathedral   

Double Bridge, elegant cast iron bridge, built in 1882.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Roof-top garden, Paris.

Art along the River Seine, both man-made and natural.

Passing under the Sully Bridge and looking back to the
Tournelle Bridge and the Archbishop's Bridge.

The southern section of the Sully Bridge, rebuilt by Baron Haussmann in 1876 after the French Revolution.

2 trees and a white T-shirt.

    Bridges:   Pont des Arts,   Alexandre III Bridge,    Sully Bridge.

The mobile 'Juice Shop'.

3 trees and blue slacks.

Accommodation on the river Seine

Should look good with a tidy up.  A room on the floating accommodation.

Accommodation on the river Seine

Canal boat decorations.

Decorative Alexandre III Bridge.

Alexandre III Bridge
Gilt-bronze statues of Fames watch over the bridge.

The Pont de Bir-Hakeim is a two-level bridge built in the early 20th century.
The upper level is used by the metro , while the lower level is for motor vehicles,
with a bicycle path in the centre.  Further down is the Rouelle Bridge.


Off the boat near the Eiffel Tower, it's 3:30PM, ice cream time. We hop on another bus to get us closer to the hotel but the traffic is so heavy and the inside wall of the bus is too hot to touch (we are downstairs as the sun was to hot to be on the open top deck) we get off and start walking again. It's now around 5PM and we haven't had lunch (hey, so much to see, no time to eat) so we go into a little cafe and have apple crepes and iced-tea, they closed up after we left. Lynn buys some souvenirs and then we head for the hotel, where ever that is. This is where the hotel's smart phone I'm carrying, and Dr Google, comes in handy.

Madeleine Church, more formally, L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, completed in 1828.

I think he's lucky it's not a Kookaburra.

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel  (The Carrousel Triumph Arch) was built
between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon's military victories of the previous year.

Louvre Pyramid

Paris scene

Walking back to the hotel.

Police on motor scooters, Paris.

Not for all the tea in China.

We saw a couple of these 6 & 7 police van convoys in Paris.

Hôtel de Ville

LE BHV MARAIS is the new lively place to have a great time and to go shopping. 
See the red & white 'No Entry' road sign, well............

........how to turn them into an art piece.
 The insert (David) I took in Florence.

I don't think the bamboo will get out of hand up there.

Now I know what they are.

'Missing You'

Noty Aroz are a duo of young urban artists.

Nearly finished.

I thought I had caught the perpetrator but then noticed that it had been done by Noty Aroz.

The waitress from Les Petites Canailles (The Small Scoundrels) restaurant (right), where we have dinner, doing a bit of sanding.

Isn't that what pedestrian crossings are for?

Dinner again at The Small Scoundrels restaurant. 
 I had the Poulet (chicken).

Thursday 15th    Today we have a pre-booked tour to Monet's Garden, lunch at Le Moulin de Fourges, at Fourges (near Giverny) and then a tour of the Palace of Versailles. Because of the early start and distance to the pickup point the hotel booked us a cab. That was another new experience. No, nothing wrong with the cab or driver, very pleasant, no, it was sitting in the rear on the right-hand side and not having a driver in front of me.

Place de la Concorde, scene of executions, well not recently.

                  We past through the village of Vernon.   

The old bridge at Vernon was built in the 12th century and the old
Timber Mill (right), probably from the 16th century. 
             Insert: 'Houses on the Old Bridge at Vernon' by Claude Monet 1883.     



Boat with Bamboo  (by Bill)


Cleaning up the lily pond.



Willows Reflected   (by Bill)



        A thorn between the roses.   


       Monet's home.   

Top left is  Asclepias curassavica (Tropical milkweed, Mexican milkweed) . One of the top most invasive plants in south-eastern Queensland, where it is known as Red-head Cotton Bush.   
         Don't tell anyone but I have one growing at home.   

Claude Monet's house in Giverny.

The blue sitting room.

        View from a window.     

      In Claude Monet's bedroom   

    Alice Monet's bedroom.   

      Monet's dining-room.   

Through Monet's eyes.

Some of Monet's works.

I had lost Lynn, saw her briefly here in the kitchen, then lost her again.

Some of my works 'Kitchen Chairs'.     (by Bill)

Let sleeping cats lie.



Reflected Grass    (by Bill)

The Lily Pond   (by Bill)

On Golden Pond      (by Bill)

Just reflections, no alterations.

Just reflections, no alterations.

                            We had lunch at Le Moulin de Fourges, at Fourges (near Giverny)                   

Le Moulin de Fourges            (PbL)

                Le Moulin de Fourges           

He said he was't Monet, but I think he was.

Le Moulin de Fourges  (The Mill of Fourges) is situated on the banks of the river Epte.
Built in the late eighteenth century, it as inspired by the architecture of Queen Marie- Antoinette’s hamlet at Versailles.       

Le Moulin de Fourges      (cabins?)

A mole hole.

Depending on where the truck was he could do 60, 80 or 90 kph.       
Going by the sign, to the right of the truck, looks like 'boomerangs' not allowed.
We join the big crowds at the Palace of Versailles.

Nearly as fancy as our place.

The opulence of this place was unbelievable.

"If the pizza's aren't here in 3 minutes we get them for free".

(top right) A  bust of Louis XIV crafted by the great Italian sculptor, Bernini.
We nearly had to pay for the bottom 3 when someone thought that we had dropped them.


                    No Louis, that wallpaper is horrid.             

"We're not talking"

The Diana Room. 
In Ancient Greek mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the sister of Apollo, the sun god.

(fellows on the left)         "Quick, while he's distracted, where's your car?

Early model security-camera dome.


Not sure what their painter was taking at the time but I want some.

              The view from one of the windows.             

Must have been when Mumford &Sons visited.

        The War Room         

The War Room

Looks like some people weren't happy with the 6-nil win to Paris over Versailles.

I'm pretty sure that's Lynn on the left.

I think that's where he kept her ashes.
"Call the plumber, I think the filter on the pool has sh..t itself again"
(sounds like he was a very vulgar king)

The Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in the Palace.

                   We were thinking of getting these to go beside the bed at home.               

                The King’s Bedchamber.             

The King’s Bedchamber. 
Very fine brocade decor of gold and silver on a crimson background.

Add caption

"Pretty quiet today"               "Yeah, I might go in and watch the cricket"

Her Majesty descends the staircase.

The Palace of Versailles.       
         A long way to take the bins out on Sunday night.             

The Palace of Versailles

" Who won?"       "Aussie, by an innings and 41 runs"

Oh no, gates closed, we can't get out.

The Palace of Versailles garden.

Looks like they were just in the process of planting the garden after winter.

Gardens of the Château (Les Jardins)

The Palace of Versailles

The planting only looked new.

                We were able to get out.   (let you in on a secret, the key is under the mat)           

Back to the 'big smoke'.

Crossing the Seine

Something going on.

Joan of Arc, nicknamed 'The Maid of Orléans'.
She is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War.

Although we caught a taxi to the tour office in the morning, we walked back to the hotel after being dropped in the evening as you can see more (read that as graffiti/art) that way. The atmosphere is so much better as well.

Gaspard de Coligny, Seigneur de Châtillon was a
French nobleman and admiral, best remembered as a
disciplined Huguenot leader in the French Wars of Religion. 
 I best remember him as a pretty mean dominoes player.

Paris scene.

Just my luck, we're leaving tomorrow (15th), oh well, you can't win them all.

Toyota Land Cruiser tow truck In Paris.

Who said you only see this creative transportation in Asia?

Shop with red chair.

"Wasn't me!"

                  Dinner at Le Bailly.  White wine and a Heineken.               

Andouillette Sausage. An ancient French regional sausage made from the
large intestines of the noble pig. Crisped under a grill and served with a
smooth, velvety potato puree and a creamy mustard sauce. All I
understood on the menu was 'sausage', what could be wrong with a sausage?
Actually it was all right, I think it might have been the yummy sauce.

Watching the passing parade from Le Bailly.


A series of photos taken through two sheets of glass while having dinner.


I just liked the buildings.

Cirque d'Hiver (Winter Circus) was opened by Emperor Napoleon III on
11 December 1852 as the Cirque Napoléon.

Did someone mention hay? Horses from the Cirque d'Hiver (Winter Circus).

Walking a horse from the Cirque d'Hiver (Winter Circus).

Walking a horse from the Cirque d'Hiver (Winter Circus).

Stairs to the Paris Metro.

The local gang.

We changed our clothes in a spare bathroom at the hotel (this was very handy). Travelmarvel have our transfer to the airport covered and the hotel have organised a taxi, life is sweet.  This ride to the airport another experience. We have become use to the traffic and the driving behaviours and temperament of the drivers to each other. If this was Sydney every car would be stopped, the doors open and the drivers trying to  rearrange each other's head with a wheel wrench.  But when our taxi mounted the footpath,  travelled about 50 meters, pass cars stopped on the road we were on, and then came back onto the road we were on, at right angles, at the next street making use of their green light, well that took the cake. I think he was just making sure we got to our plane on time.

( I don't agree with all that I photograph)

Window display.

The July Column (Colonne de Juillet) monument rises above Place de la Bastille,
former site of the Bastille prison.

Austerlitz Viaduct, completed in 1904, is a single-deck, steel arch,
rail bridge that crosses the Seine in Paris.

Pigeon Man.
There was only one man, I've blended two photos together.

Yes, there were some old doors in Paris.

Outside the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy.

Met somebody we knew,
outside the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy.

              Outside the Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy.             

Jardin des Plantes (Botanical Garden)

Grande Galerie de l'Évolution (Natural History Museum)

Two species of bees seen in the gardens.

Ornamental onion (Allium schubertii).
Now I know where they got the idea for those sculptures we saw just after we crossed the border into France.

Lunch at La Baleine   
BORA-BORA Cocktail 24cl    Jus de goyave, jus d’ananas, sirop de grenadine, jus de citron.  Yummo! 
Plus a CLASSIC BURGER: Steak haché de bœuf, compotée d’oignons, tomate, salade, frites fraîches.             
AND, crust bread and Paris Water

Met some locals in the Enclos des Wallabies (Wallabies enclosure) but we couldn't communicate,
they only spoke French.

Hotel a Abeilles (Bee Hotels) in the Ecological Garden.

River Seine view.

We weren't invited. 
A party going on below. I was thinking of dropping in on them, but I might have broken a leg.

Port de Plaisance de l'Arsenal  (Marina Arsenal) and the Passerelle Mornay footbridge.

Port wildlife and accommodation.

The July Column (Colonne de Juillet) monument rises above Place de la Bastille,
former site of the Bastille prison. From the Passerelle Mornay footbridge.

NO:  'Walking The Dog'    'Disco'  or  'Moon Walking'     
2 covered park signs.

Port de l'Arsenal Garden.  Hollyhocks and (I think) 2 Gum Trees.

Yes, there were drain covers in Paris.

French pétanque (French bowling)   
The ball/bowl is harder to see in the left photo.

2 wheeled Peugeots.

We had to 'Get Kraken' as there's a taxi coming to take us to the airport.

Top right c/w:         Black-headed Gull,   Carrion Crow,   Moorehen,   Wood Pigeon,   Magpie,    Grey Wagtail.

Taken from the taxi on the way to the airport.

Waste not.

If you needed to sit down you would use the middle toilet.

Passing scenery.

Electric bike

Coffee time.   
I think the fellow on the right, behind the pole, has sighted my camera.

Magpies must be a problem in Paris as well.

I missed the sign asking for money this lady was carrying.

Our transport home

           A vibrating plane can give good effects.               

       The only time we saw the lights on in Paris .
                 Yes, there's the Eiffel Tower.  10:29PM                 

Leaving Dubai

Leaving Dubai

Leaving Dubai

Somewhere between there and here.

Sydney Town, we're home.

The good times, at amazing places, with wonderful people. (there were more but I have to get this finished)


  Click here to go to Part 1

Cameras:  Canon PowerShot SX60 HS,   Sony DSC-W690  and  Samsung S5 (phone)

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