Into The Park

I usually walk with a friend two or three times a week in a beautiful park not too far from where we live. This being Spring, it is especially beautiful.

Warm days and cool nights means mist on the lake.

There is a little stream we pass.

Boats for rent.

I made a quick stop at my friend’s place for some tea. She had these lovely ranunculas on this cute table cloth.

Her kitchen has a great view and great light.

She is very into tea, not the tea in tea bags from Lipton’s or even the loose tea from Marriages Freres, but newly picked tea from just bloomed tea plants in china that a lady’s Chinese husband brings directly from there. For tea lovers who know what they are talking about there is nothing better. It’s like the difference between an expensive bottle of Bordeaux wine and a three Euro bottle of rosé from the grocery store. You have to develop a sort of palate for it like with wine. She takes classes about it from an expert. So we had a special green tea that morning and I felt very healthy especially since we had just walked.

A Search for Flowers

Every year I make a trek out to the Eiffel Tower to get photos of flowering bushes or trees in front of the Eiffel Tower. I don’t know if I was too early or too late or if it’s just an off year but I found very little. I was leaving for the States the next day and wanted to find some beautiful flowers. (After arriving in the States I saw all sorts of photos of pink flowering trees in Paris so I guess I was too early.)

I only found one magnolia or tulip tree and it was a bit puny.

A bit of a flowering bush.

It had rained the day before leaving puddles here and there and I found a reflection of the Eiffel Tower.

 So I headed towards Notre Dame where there were flowers last year passing the Conciergerie on the way, once used as a prison.

I passed this clock to created in 1370 and still working!

Last year this restaurant was covered with wisteria blooms. Not this year. They had some pretty potted flowers though.

Windmills

While in Holland we went to a little village called Zaanse Schans known for its windmills which were moved from elsewhere to preserve them. It was delightful.

This little shop sold tourist wares. I’m not sure what it was before.

Love the shape of buildings in Holland.

A lot of the windmills were painted this nice green color.

Six in a row lining the water. Some of them worked but with electric engines, not wind.

This was in a window of a bed and breakfast there. Very elegant I thought.

Tulips

Maurice and I decided to do a quick trip recently. We were talking about various options when I mentioned I’d love to see the tulips in bloom in Holland and off we went. It turns out we were two to three weeks too early for the tulips but we still had a great time. Tulips originally came from the middle East and became crazy expensive in Holland and made many people a fortune. They were like gold. I heard that the ones we buy now for our homes as cut flowers come from green houses not fields. Holland is the center of the cut flowers world. Many are flown in from Holland all over the world. The florist at the George V Hotel in Paris goes there to pick out flowers in person. We found the Dutch to be a very welcoming people and everyone seemed to be fluent in English. When I listened to the radio I found the cadence very American like even though I didn’t understand one word and when they used an English word it was done in a perfect American accent unlike in France where an English word has that strong French accent. Just interesting to me.

We first went to the Keukenhof Gardens where there are over 7 million tulip bulbs planted. It is only open two months a year. Most of the tulips blooming on the grounds on the day we arrived were forced as they say but a few had started. Mostly there were daffodils and hyacinths.

Here are some tulips blooming with some purple hyacinths and there is a huge field of red tulips in the back ground.

The grounds were stunning. Here is the flowering branch of a tree hanging over some water. We were there on a Saturday and by the afternoon it was packed with people. The grounds are perfect, rather like Disneyland, and the crowds were Disneyland-like too.

Unusual, and beautiful, tulips.

They had little gardens around and this one had pots made of the famous Delft pottery topped with these two cuties.

Some of the people selling food there wore Dutch costumes.

A look at the perfect grounds with hyacinths with tulips to come.

This and That

This and that seen in the Marais.

I’m very attracted to this small shop in the Marais selling a variety of food. I always stop in just to smell the fresh spices for sale.

It’s called Israel. It also sells these condiments. After I took this photo I was told no photos were allowed. I’m always puzzled by this. I would think they would like the free advertisement.

The elegant Place des Vosges.

There are often artists selling their art here, sometimes musicians and, as you might see at the end there, someone has set up a tent.

A water color in progress.

Three ladies on a bench checking their email. I’m guessing they were American.

A Walk

I do a lot of walking in Paris. It’s the best way to see a city I think. On this day I took an Internet friend, Susan, and her husband around the Marais. They both like photography and this area of Paris is full of photo ops.

Rain was in the forecast  but we never got any as you can see by the blue sky and light.

An ancient sculpted sign advertising a business that was luckily not covered up.

This painted door has been in the Village Saint Paul for years. I’m so glad it has escaped graffiti damage. It was one of the first things to catch my eye when I walked in the Marais many years ago.

You can find this little antique shop on a small street outside the Village Saint Paul.

The shop had a little cat on the premises which got outside to drink water from the street. Why drink clean water from a bowl when you can get it in a dirty gutter? My cat was the same, drinking water from my plants rather than from his water dish.