Views and Food

I met a friend up on Montmartre for breakfast one day at a place called the Hardware Société, owned and run by Australians from Melbourne. It was really good.

It was right around the corner and down a hill a bit from Sacre Coeur.

Where there was a very good harp player with speakers and taped background music.

The nice interior.

Beautiful and delicious french toast. I had yummy scrambled eggs.

I sat next to the window.

We had a beautiful day.

Isn’t this something? I saw it on Instagram and wondered how in the world they did it. I was standing below Sacre Couer and looked to my right and recognised the building, took the photo and then turned it so the hill looked flat. An optical illusion of sorts.

 

The Neighborhood of Notre Dame

The area around Notre Dame is called the Latin Quarter and it is interesting to walk around and look.

Notre Dame from behind where you can see the famous flying buttresses. No blue skies on this day.

A bouquiniste selling mostly things for tourists but magazines and books too. The sellers have an interesting life being outside all of the time.

A nearby hotel as you can tell by the name. I’m just a fan of the door.

Further down the Seine, another view of Notre Dame with a statue of Saint Genevieve, the patron Saint of Paris who saved Paris from an invasion of Atilla and his huns with her prayers.

This rather uninteresting building is along the Seine with the view in the photo above. It is made to look like a police station in a French TV show called Profilage. I just wanted to have a look at it since I watch the show about a rather crazy, emotionally fragile woman who helps the police solve crimes. I’ve seen it in a movie or two as well.

Paradise

There was very little to do on Meeru, our island in the Maldives. They had some live music some nights but no loud music with dancing, no nightclub type action. We sat and had a drink every night to watch the sun set and ate more than we should have. They had an enormous buffet for each meal and it was hard not to try everything. There wasn’t fish every day as I thought there would be. They always had something which the English would like such as lamb or beef with potatoes and steamed veggies. There was always Indian food which was too spicy for me and I ate a lot of Chinese food. I should never have passed by the desserts because I discovered that they made a fantastic smooth and silky mousse which I had twice a day. Dessert twice a day is not a good thing for the waist line.

Our room was on stilts right on the water and there were lights illuminating the water each night. I was very surprised to look down and see a shark. It, and the others I saw, turned out to be Black Tipped Sharks, reef sharks, which aren’t dangerous. I saw sharks all of the time along raised walkways. When we snorkelled I always looked for them but never saw one.

We saw this sting ray too but never up close while actually in the water. We snorkelled every say, sometimes off a boat by a reef and sometimes right by the spa which was full of fish.

I was surprised to see this egret on the shore. I thought they hung out in still water. There were actually very few birds on the island. I heard one at night in the trees, I saw three rather large bats fly overhead as the sun set, and only one sandpiper. I expected lots of birds and wondered why there were so few. We never saw dogs or cats either.

It only rained once while we were there, and only for the morning. November is their most rainy month, monsoon type rains from what I read.

Of course, there were those tropical sunsets. This one is actually the glow on the other side of the island on the east side.

The Maldives

Maurice took me to the Maldives for my birthday.  It’s a really long flight from France with a change of planes in Dubai which, it turns out, is very spectacular airport, very new and all of the shops are open 24/7 and planes fly at all hours in the morning. We were taken by boat to our island after we landed in Malé, the capitol, a ride of 45 minutes, and what a beautiful place it was. The Maldives is composed of over 1000 islands situated in a lagoon southwest of India. The sand was white and the water turquoise. It was paradise. Maldives has a bad human rights record, especially with women, but, being paying tourists, we saw nothing of this. The people who worked at our resort, the Meeru, were friendly and seemed happy. The population is Muslim and there were also women in the spa from Bali and some Chinese employees. We met a couple of ladies who had been coming there for six years. I only met one American and he was there because he lived in China, so not such a great distance to travel. We heard a lot of English accents and Russian as well.

The sign greeting us when we arrived. Just look at that white sand.

We had some of the staff come out to say hello with drums. They even had a French speaking lady for us. The staff, by the way, lives on the island in special housing. I wondered if they had their own units or if they had to share in dorm like situations.

This building was the spa with nice ladies from Bali doing massages and facials. I had a facial, the first one I’ve ever had. Rather special. The lady who did it said to get some cranberry extract to help prevent ageing skin.

We came back from lunch on my birthday to find this. I received a little cake and a half bottle of champagne too.

I drank a whole lot of pina coladas. Maurice had this blue tropical drink one evening as the sun set.

 

 

Paris Shots

Not doing much writing about Paris these days but I always take photos.

On a door in the Marais. If this doesn’t keep away evil spirits, I don’t know what will.

The boulangerie in our neighborhood sells these delicious looking quiches along with those sandwiches seen below and also some meals you can microwave at home. There are always tons of people in line at lunchtime to buy lunch.

And, of course, desserts are always available. I manage not to buy any for the most part.

This is an old map showing India, and to the south next to the ship, the Maldives. Maurice is taking me there for my birthday for one week. Photos show it to be one of those beautiful places with turquoise water and white sand. We will be there a week. Many photos to follow, I’m sure.

Here and There

A mix of photos here and there in Paris:

A famous restaurant in the les Halles areas for many years called Au Pied de Cochon, sort of translated as at the foot of the pig. They are known for their onion soup which I have had and it was really good.

As you can see these rats were caught-and stuffed-in 1925 in the les Halles area. There was a huge outdoor market there years ago and one of the reasons it was closed and moved elsewhere was because of the garbage and rat problem. They put a mall in its place unfortunately. These rats are in the window of an exterminator.

Sometimes you see a huge truck delivering flour via a hose (sort of like a gas or oil truck) into the kitchen of a boulangerie. This one had sacks delivered.

Seen one night in the window of a shop lit by only a lamp.