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.

Art in Architecture

I really love architecture when done well and have discovered a treasure trove in Long Beach where my friend lives. There was a very bad earthquake in Long Beach in 1933 and many buildings were destroyed but this was the era of Art Nouveau and many buildings were rebuilt in this one of my favorite styles.

Most of the architecture like this was in the old downtown section of Long Beach.

I liked the colors on this one too.

I’m not sure if this is Art Nouveau but I found it in the art district.

At the end of The Promenade.

Isn’t this great?

This was in the art district too.

la Cigale

Have you ever heard of a city in France called Nantes? I hadn’t either until we got our beach place here on the Atlantic coast and then I would see directional signs for Nantes as we drove here and there. I saw something on the morning news-which I am posting about next-and wanted to see it in person so off we went. It’s two hours from our place. The old section of Nantes limits the amount of traffic in the old section and we had to have a code to enter to get our car up to our hotel to park. Our hotel turned out to be really great-the Oceania-on a gorgeous square and we happened upon la Cigale when it was time for lunch just a few steps from our hotel. The food was okay but the interior was fabulous. I’m a huge fan of Art Nouveau and this was built in 1895 right when it was becoming popular.

The view from our hotel view. That’s a theatre to the right.

One of the ceilings.

The view into the dining room.

Lots of stained glass.

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Over the door into the kitchen.

I liked this portrait of a lady.

The symbol of the bistro. This place would have been torn down if it hadn’t been registered as a historic site.

A Beautiful City

I spent the day in la Rochelle the other day. It’s just ten minutes away from our beach place. It’s nice to have a place near by to visit that’s so interesting and beautiful.

There are two light houses there. This is the first one you see as you enter the city. From a boat as you line up the two light houses to enter the horbor.

These two towers guard the inner harbor.

The second light house.

I always like some Art Nouveau.

They were having a demonstration of this device in the harbor. Looks like fun.

My Favorite

Not too far from the Eiffel Tower is a beautiful Art Nouveau apartment building by architect Jules Lavirotte in 1901. It’s found at 20 Rue de Rapp. It’s one of the show stoppers with artistic renderings all over it.

The front door.

The lady over the door is wearing a fox stole with a head on it.

Lizard door handle.

A lady came out the door and I zipped inside to take a look. It’s rather bare but there is still some great rod iron.

The door from inside.

This is a small square next to the building, interesting in its self.

More Orsay

There is more at the Orsay Museum than the Impressionists. They also have a very interesting display-on three floors-of Art Nouveau furniture.

But first, a famous sculpture by Degas. He spent a lot of time painting and sculpting ballet dancers.

I liked these green chairs against the gray wall.

I wouldn’t mind a bed like this if I had the room.

You can see how large this sculpture is by looking at the man next to it. I took the photo from a platform on the second floor.