Another Wet Day

It has been raining a lot here in Paris. When you finally see a patch of blue sky and a bit of sun, there is rejoicing. I had a friend and her husband visiting here in Paris and gave them a walk around the Marais. I actually went to nursing school with my friend many years ago. She left that field and went on to become a travel agent and has traveled the world. We had to wait until the afternoon to walk to avoid pouring rain but had a relatively dry walk with a bit of sun.

This “artist” has this form of graffiti all over Paris using his face in plaster. This is another near the hotel of my friend with the artist sticking out his tongue and including hands this time.

Another type of graffiti rather fitting with all of the rain lately.

This shop had a long line waiting to go in. I think the interiors of these cakes are all meringue as we saw them assembling a cake using layers of meringue held together with whipped cream.

This ancient building is actually a youth hostel.

Two of the oldest buildings in Paris.

The rain may be annoying but it sure makes the streets beautiful when a bit of sun comes out.

 

The Marais

On Wednesday I walked all the way from our apartment to the Marais, about four miles. It’s been windy and I hate the wind, so I decided to make up for missing my early morning walk. I wore my jogging shoes with my jeans and off I went. There were still gusts but it wasn’t too horrible.

Mimosa have started blooming in Provence and you can find them for sale at florists.

Interior of the florist shop with a great selection of beautiful flowers.

I reached the Bastille area and saw the reflection of the column there in the windows of the Bastille Opera House.

I then reached the Marais with the fantastic architecture of the Place des Vosges.

A colorful corner.

Inviting seating but a bit to chilly for me.

Book Store

While in Porto I read of a famous bookstore called the Livraria Lello, one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. I  love old bookstores. It’s known for its beauty but also for the fact that J.K. Rowling sat upstairs while writing some of her Harry Potter books and apparently there is a library in the series based on this bookstore. This fact has made the place extremely popular. I never could get into Harry Potter. I’m not that much a fan of science fiction and the first movie bored me silly. It is so popular that you have to go up the street a bit and buy a 4 Euro entry ticket. If you bought a book, and I did, you get a discount with the entry ticket. My 13 Euro book was 11 Euros thanks to that. It’s a small place and it was packed. It was, indeed, beautiful.

The exterior.

As you enter.

Underneath the lovely staircase.

The concrete stairs are red. I’m not sure if they have always been so.

I liked this curve of the stairs.

The stained glass up above.

Looking down from the second floor.

Porto


 As it was getting close to New Year’s Eve Maurice suggested going somewhere as we had no plans for that evening. Maurice suggested Portugal and asked the guardienne who takes care of the buildings where we live for suggestions as she is Portuguese and she said Porto so we quickly booked a trip for three days. Porto turned out to be a really beautiful and interesting city, full of hills like San Francisco and beautiful architecture, a lot of it with embellished with blue and white tiles known as azulejos. It was started by the Moors who once ruled this area. We found the Portuguese people to be very friendly and warm.

The first thing I saw when we got out of the metro stop when we arrived was this beautiful chapel.

A closer view. This was more recent tile done in the early 1900’s.

Another decorated church. Note the gray skies. We got rained on a couple of times. The sun came out the day we left.

I think this church was closed but I loved the door and window.

Here’s another one.

There was some Art Nouveau too.

They put up two huge umbrellas which blocked the beautiful Café Majestic. It has a gorgeous interior which is worth buying a overpriced drink to see just don’t, please, eat there. I did and I’m sorry. We had the crummiest seats in there too.

The pretty bar there. Over crowded with tourists. It’s listed in every book and article you read about what to see in Porto.

Museum

On a cold day with some rain and even a little snow, Maurice and I decided to visit the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac Museum as neither of us have ever been. In fact, it’s in an area of Paris that I seldom visit near the Princess Diana memorial and not too far from the Eiffel Tower. Arts & Civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas are what you see here, archeology type things which I love. They also had an exhibit of items from Peru.

 

The architecture of the building was incredible. This giant sculpture greets you as you enter.

You can see a bit of the architecture here.

As we walked up a winding path inside heading toward the exhibits, there was a sort of moving river of words and locations from all over the world. Once you reached the main exhibits there were curving walls and seating areas everywhere all covered with a smooth tan leather.

This art work, made of actual human skulls, was found in New Guinea. They were head hunters. They also treated women like property, often selling or stealing wives of other tribes. The men stayed in their own building where no women or children were allowed. They used shells and woven bird feathers for money. They had wooden flutes too for music. There were large carved columns placed on the tombs of the rulers, sort of like totem poles seen in Alaska and Canada.

This was in the Peru exhibit. The archeologists were surprised to find that many communities had women leaders such as this one. It was hard to find much in tombs and burial areas as the explorers from Spain took a lot, especially if it was made of gold. That’s sort of a large decorative ring on her nose which covers her mouth.

Rodin

The Rodin Museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the death of the famous artist, Rodin. The museum is in what was once his home and studio and it is lovely. Because of the celebration, the museum entrance was free and there were even fireworks. We got there at 5:30 in the evening as the lights were turned on and there was a very romantic feeling seeing the lighting outside. Inside they had live music.

The front of the museum with Rodin’s signature lit up.

A painting of Rodin in his later years. He wasn’t a popular artist when he began as his art was too real, not very Greek as was popular in those days. He was very influenced by Michaelangelo after a trip to Italy and I think you can see it. He never actually did the actual sculptures that you see. He did the art in clay and then it was sculptured by experts working with him. He also did a lot of bronze works.

The statue of Rodin seen outside in the garden called, The Thinker, probably his most well known work.

The Kiss is very well known too. This was inside.

Some of his paintings looking very Impressionistic to me.

A pretty chandelier through a window from outside.

Even prettier from a distance.

At the back of the garden was this sign where they had the fireworks. We should have stayed to watch but went for drinks instead.