Two Weeks between PARIS and LA MANCHE (the English Channel)

France is on my mind after the events of last week. I flew home from Paris only three weeks ago. After a peaceful trip with some lovely people, it’s hard to imagine the horrors of the terrorist attack last week. I’ll focus on the former in honor of the world’s most beloved culture and le joie de la vie française.   WP_20150929_21_02_02_Pro

My friend Sue asked me to share an apartment with her for a week in Paris.  Not wanting to fly all the way to Europe for only a week, I looked for something else a single traveler could do. I hit upon a four night cruise down the Seine and back with a French cruise line which was reasonably priced and had a very low single supplement fare.

We started in Paris in the evening, which is where all my pictures from this previous post came from:

hotel de ville i thnk_41_06 psThe 95% of the cruisers were French and the rest were Europeans and Canadians, while only three were Americans. This gave me an excellent chance to practice my French, although twice I got lost in one on one conversations that went on for another ten or more minutes. I had a vague idea of the topic, (at that time the main topic of conversation was the refugees), but I was too embarrassed to tell the man at that stage that I had no idea what point he was trying to make!

Croisieuro boat en Rouen ps

The itinerary stated we would “pass through the town of Vernon…. arriving in Les Andelys.” Now wouldn’t you think that would mean that we could get off in Les Andelys? No, not allowed! Only those who were going on the rather expensive excursion by bus could get off, but they didn’t get to walk around the charming town of Les Andelys either. I had not signed up for the excursion because I didn’t want to spend 6-7 hours on a bus (especially since I had jet lag).

Les Andelys

Les Andelys

The bus folks met us that night in Rouen, the former capital of Normandy and home of Joan of Arc.

church Rouen

Rouen Cathedral – difficult to photograph as other buildings prevent you from stepping back to get the whole edifice in your view finder.

church Rouen detail_ps_10_12_13_Pro

A close up of the intricate details and in slightly different lighting.









William the Conqueror was present for the original consecration of Rouen Cathedral in 1063.  It later destroyed but rebuilt over the centuries in the Gothic style so admired by Claude Monet who created some 30 paintings of the facade in a variety of lighting.

Next time: Honfleur, Giverny and Rouen. …and there will be a quiz 😉


Paris monuments are beautifully illuminated at night – well worth a separate tour by taxi, bus 69 or…does anyone know if the Batobus (boat) operates after dark? All of these photographs were taken on or along the Seine.  Once the tallest structure on the world (1050 feet/320 meters), the iconic Eiffel Tower was built as the entrance to the world’s fair in 1889.  Visitors can climb up stairs to the first two levels or take a lift all the way to the third and highest level.

I don’t remember the flashing light show years ago, but you can see it all across the city at night.

tour eiffel fr below 15_46_psAnd above is another angle of the tower: taken from below, looking up.

Musee d’Orsay – originally a Beaux-Arts railroad station (Gare d’Orsay) built in 1900.  It was converted into the fabulous French art museum in the 1970’s and houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin and Van Gogh.

De Orsay i thnk_49_15_Ps


Below is the dome of the Pantheon.  Marie Curie, Victor Hugo and other notables are buried here in the building which used to be a church.

Pantheon_45_58 ps_


The entrance to the Louvre at night – the largest museum in the world.  The Louvre was begun as a fortress in the 12th century and added onto over the next 500 years to become the Palais Louvre of the French kings.  It began its young life as an art gallery as early as 1750 and after the French Revolution was officially transformed into a museum.




La Rive Droite under a full moon.

Rive droit under full moon_50_33ps


Everyone knows the Statue of liberty in NYC (first photo below) was a gift from France.. but here is a model (second photo below)  installed on the Seine.

The Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry, NYC.

The Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry, NYC.

statue lbrty model seine_10_00_ps

Model of the Statue of Liberty with the Eiffel Tower behind –which looks closer than it actually is because the tower is large and the statue is relatively small.


Frenchmen-francophiles who can identify this landmark building below?

hotel de ville i thnk_41_06 psThese pictures were all taken with my cell phone; for some gorgeous shots of Paris at night (esp. the bridges) by a professional see: http://ianmacdonaldphotography/paris night

The Winner of the Short Story Give-away

The Winner of the Short Story Give-away for November is Jan aka jttwissel for her clever and supportive comments.
The story, Life in A Flash, is about a multi-national, dysfunctional family told through the eyes of daughter Sandra, now an adult; it is set in Paris and Costa Rica.

Congratulations and thanks to Jan!

6. july 09120px-Super_G_ConstellationMy sister Carolin at the entrance