All posts tagged: Paris

From My Holiday – Searching for Quasimodo

On my very last morning in Paris, I woke up feeling sad that I had to leave but happy that in a few short hours I’d be on the Eurostar to London. But before I left I had one more VERY important thing to do – visit Notre Dame Cathedral. So after a hurried breakfast I made my way down to the Seine and over to the Cathedral. If you’re ever in Paris I can highly recommend staying at the Hotel Abbatial in Saint-Germain – the Seine is roughly a 5 minute walk and all of the other major attractions are no more than a 45 minute walk away. And in my opinion, walking really is the best way to see the city. Although I visited Notre Dame on my last trip to Paris, I really wanted to go again as it’s so magnificent. It’s probably one of my most favourite places I’ve ever been to. Last time I was there I lined up at the entrance with all the other tourists, had a walk through and then …

From My Holiday: Visiting the Musée de Cluny

After wandering around the Musée d’Orsay for a couple of hours, Nat and I hopped on a bus and headed down Boulevard Saint-Germain to the the Musée de Cluny. This is one place I was really excited to visit, as it’s all medieval stuff. It’s also one of the few museums in Paris that Nat hadn’t been to so it was great to see it for the first time with her. This place was a proper looking castle and is formed by two buildings – the Thermes Gallo-Roman baths that were built at the end of the 1st century (yes, 1st CENTURY) and the Hôtel des Abbés de Cluny that was built at the end of the 15th century. The jewel in the crown of this collection is the series of six tapestries known as ‘The Lady and the Unicorn’. You probably think you haven’t seen it before, but it’s one of things that you’ve probably seen or read about without even realising. It was really amazing to see the tapestries and they are just as beautiful in real life as in pictures. …

From My Holiday: Visiting the Musée d’Orsay

After some very much needed sleep (after the Louvre and being hungover the next day), I met up with Nat again and we hit a couple of museums – the Musee d’Orsay and Musée de Cluny (I’ll write about Musée de Cluny in another post). We had a really great day together and it was nice just to hang out and do some more catching up. It was the most perfect weather as well, and after walking through the dimness of the Musée de Cluny, we grabbed some iced beverages and pastries, and sat in the sunshine in a little garden near the museum. Then I waited with Nat for her bus and we said our goodbyes. I was heading to London the next day and we wouldn’t be able to catch up again before I left. It was sad to say goodbye – but I know I’ll see her again in the near future because I actually can’t stay away from Paris! In terms of the actual building itself, the Musée d’Orsay is really beautiful. It has a …

From My Holiday: The Rodin Museum

After my big day at the Louvre (you can read about it here and here if you missed it), I met up with my friend Nat (hi Nat if you’re reading!) who is lucky enough to live in Paris. We decided to have a couple of drinks to catch up (we hadn’t seen each other since I was in Paris two years ago, so we had lots of catching up to do) and ended up at a bar that had super cheap drinks. It’s important to note at this point that I hadn’t eaten much that day, so going out for drinks probably wasn’t the smartest idea but people don’t always make smart ideas when they’re on holiday.  A ‘couple of drinks’ turned into a proper session including lots of wine, a couple of very strong mojitos, briefly getting caught in the rain, and, after walking Nat to the metro, a 40 minute solo walk back to my hotel at 1am that took me along the Seine. It was kind of like ‘Midnight in Paris’ except I …

From My Holiday: The Louvre – Decorative Arts and Napoleon’s Apartments.

The Decorative Arts galleries and Napoleon’s (the III – not THE Napoleon) Apartments were probably my favourite parts of the Louvre. Not having a lot of money to spend on furniture, I’ve never really thought of it as art – I generally consider it firstly based on price, then functionality, then how it looks (unless it’s something I really REALLY want, like my cosy red armchair). Needless to say after wandering through these galleries my mind has been completely changed and I now have a greater appreciation for the beauty of furniture.Words such as sumptuous, decadent, luxurious, and opulent are the only apt ones to describe these rooms. Decorative Arts Furnishings While the Louvre is perhaps most famous for its paintings, the Decorative Arts galleries are no less amazing. The collection is made up of a wide variety of objects such as “jewellery, silverware, enamels, ivories, bronzes, semi-precious stone work, ceramics, glassware, stained glass, furniture, and rugs, and spanning the period from the early Middle Ages to the first half of the 19th century” (louvre.fr). While …

From My Holiday: Inside the Louvre

Last time I was in Paris, I saw the outside of The Louvre. If you’re into buildings that alone is almost enough, as the home to perhaps the most famous art collection in the world is a piece of art in itself. The Louvre Palace dates back to the late 12th century and was originally built as a fortress; the original foundations of the fortress are still visible in the lower ground of the palace which was pretty amazing to walk through. Over time it was extended to become the palace that we know today. It was the home of many French kings, perhaps the most notable – for me anyway, purely for literary reasons – being Louis XIII and his son, Louis XIV (the rulers of France in the Alexandre Dumas novels The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask respectively) and was the royal residence until the latter Louis moved his court to Versailles in 1682. From that point the palace began its transformation from palace to museum, but its status …

From My Holiday: Exploring the Panthéon

On my first full day in Paris, I took a walk to the Panthéon. It takes about a day to travel from Australia to Europe (actually, it takes forever to get just about anywhere from Australia, even other parts of Australia), so thankfully it wasn’t too far from my hotel as I was pretty tired from the flight. I’d walked past the Panthéon when I was in Paris last time, but from memory it was closed for renovations so I didn’t get to go in. I made the most of it this time around, and I was in there for at least 2 hours. I can highly recommend getting the audio guide if you ever visit (I got audio guides just about everywhere) as you can learn a little bit more about pieces of art and the building itself. And now, a little history lesson courtesy of some scribbled notes and the souvenir guidebook I picked up: With foundations dating all the way back to 496 (yes, that’s a year with only THREE digits), the Panthéon has a very …

My Holiday In Watercolour

I’m still not quite ready to let go of my holiday yet, so I want to do one more post about it. Just one. I promise. I recently discovered this cool app called Waterlogue. I have it on my iPhone and iPad (not sure if it’s available on Android) and it gives photos a very realistic and very beautiful watercolour look. I bought a couple of watercolour paintings in Florence and I just love them, so I wanted to see what the rest of my holiday would look like if I had bought watercolours everywhere else. So here are my favourite photos from my holiday, in watercolour. I’m so artistic!

Paris! Part Deux.

We woke up the next morning after our first wanderings through Paris feeling a bit tired but very excited about everything else we would be seeing that day. We arranged to meet Natat about 11am underneath the Eiffel Tower (how romantic) and I worked out it would take us about 45 minutes to walk there from our hotel (or an hour if we stopped to look at things, which we probably would!) but we still had plenty of time to take it easy this morning. We headed down to have some breakfast at about 9am. We got breakfast as part of a package at our hotel, so we decided to see what it was like and if it was no good, we’d eat out the next morning. But we needn’t have bothered even thinking about that – I had the most amazing croissant (ok I had three) I have ever had in my life and they had a great selection of little cheeses and meats to eat, along with some fresh fruit. Mum and I were …

Paris! Part One

After a super early start to the day, we left our last hotel in Rome and made our way to Rome airport. As we were only going to be in Paris for a couple of days and had to come back to Rome to get our flight back to Sydney (long story), we decided to just take a little carry on bag each and leave our suitcases at the luggage storage. Honestly the best decision I have ever made. It was so convenient not having to worry about our luggage when we landed in Paris and we could instead just focus on trying to get into Paris from the airport. My friend Nat lives in Paris (lucky girl) and she said it was easiest for us to take the train from the airport. So after carefully studying which station was closest to our hotel and working out how to buy a ticket, we hopped on a train and we were standing on Boulevard Saint Germain within the hour. We managed to find our way to …