Le Petit Tour de France: Nantes

 

 

 

My final stop on ‘Le Petit Tour de France’ was the mid-sized city of Nantes, about four hours southwest of Paris. I spent two days there, wandering the streets with Beirut’s song, “Nantes,” playing on a continuous loop in my head. (It’s a good thing I like it!)

 

 

It was mostly gray and rainy during my stay, but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying this charming city and wishing for more time there. From the adorable historic neighborhood of Le Bouffay, to the lovely Chatêau des ducs de Bretagne and the fantastic Les Machines de l’Île, I always found something to admire. (I also ate some of my best meals throughout my entire time in France there)…

 

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l’Erdre River…

 

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The lovely Japanese garden on l’Île de Versailles, where I found the beautiful Autumn leaves…

 

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An incredible building that I loved (unfortunately, I can’t remember what it is now)…

 

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A large and beautiful promenade…

 

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The historic neighborhood, “Le Bouffay”…

 

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And an antiques sale I stumbled upon there…

 

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One of the city’s most well-known landmarks, the Chatêau des ducs de Bretagne…

 

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Inside the ramparts of the Chatêau

 

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And looking down from the ramparts…

 

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la Basilique Saint-Nicolas de Nantes…

 

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Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes…

 

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I loved the contemporary stained glass I found in the cathedral…

 

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le Lieu Unique (“The Unique Place”) is a wonderful art and culture space housed in the former factory of France’s famous “Petit-Beurre” cookies.  It was fun exploring this interesting place, and I ate an incredible lunch in their restaurant…

 

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Visitors can go to the very top of the tower to see a view of the city, which was great, even though it was raining that day…

 

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Turn the yellow wheel and the small platform spins so you get a 360 view…

 

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Le Passage Pommeraye is a covered promenade / small shopping mall that links two streets.  It was built in the mid-1800′s, and is quite beautiful…

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le Marché de Talensac – yet another amazing covered food market (France is just full of them!)…

 

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The Loire river…

 

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Cross the Loire over to the Île de Nantes and you’ll find “Les Machines de l’Île” on the site of post-industrial shipyards.  An incredible group of artists, mechanics, performers, and all around makers-of-things have made their home there.  They’ve built a marine animal themed carousel, an enormous mechanical elephant, and are currently in the process of producing the ambitious “Heron Tree” project.  The Marine Carousel…  

 

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(And another great ragtag band discovery by the carousel – listen and watch a bit HERE)…

 

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The carousel looks even more amazing at night.  I wish I was able to take a ride and see the incredible mechanical sea creatures inside, but alas, the line was just WAY too long…

 

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“The Great Elephant” emerging from the warehouse and embarking on it’s 1.5 hour-long tour around the shipyards (complete with passangers aboard the top)…  It’s three times the size of a real elephant (12 x 8 x 21 meters), took three months to build, uses the leather from five cowhides for the ears alone, and is set in motion using 62 cylinders (hydraulic, pneumatic, and gas)…   

 

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Be sure to check out my VIDEOS of this big guy in action HERE and HERE

 

 

 

Their third project is still in progress: “The Heron Tree,” an enormous tree full of bugs, plants, and, of course, a large mechanical heron.  They’ve built a prototype branch that you can walk about on, and in their Machine Gallery, you can take a tour of all the little critters they’re creating to inhabit the finished tree (its projected size is 55 meters in diameter and 35 meters tall, by the way!)…

 

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The model for the final product…

 

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…And the great Heron, of course.  It can carry passengers in the baskets at its feet…

 

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And other creatures will live in this imaginary habitat as well…

 

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The warehouse and workshops where all the magic happens…

 

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What an amazing place to visit!  I highly recommend it if you are ever in Nantes…

 

 

 

And before I wrap up the post, here are a few more things I stumbled upon in Nantes – a protest march against the blockade in Gaza…

 

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And one of the cutest, most clever pieces of street art EVER…

 

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And that’s about it!  With my wonderful few days in Nantes, ‘Le Petit Tour de France’ came to an end. Just a few days before Thanksgiving, I returned to Paris for my flight back to the States. Even though I was extremely sad to be leaving France – the country I’d grown to love over the previous three months – I was also looking forward to some time back home. I’d been out of the country for five months at that point, and was learning how exhausting the life of a foreigner can be. And I took comfort in the fact that I would be back to my beloved France in three month’s time – it wasn’t goodbye, just “à bientôt!” (“See you soon!”)

 

 

Next up on the blog, a few more posts of favorite pictures from those first three months in France, and then pictures from my snowy month in Santa Fe, New Mexico! Until then, au revoir!

 

 

Le Petit Tour de France: La Rochelle

 

 

 

After saying goodbye to Lyon, I took the train northwest to the beautiful city of La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast. I stayed with a family there – friends who recently moved back to France from Philadelphia – and passed several lovely days with them. I explored the city on my own during school and work hours, and returned in the evenings for family dinners, games of Connect Four, and much-needed French tutoring from my ‘professeurs’ – the 6, 8, and 10 year old boys of the family. (I think they enjoyed the role reversal – it’s not often that kids get to be the teachers!)

 

La Rochelle is a gorgeous town, and I was happy to be there in the calmer days of Autumn (apparently it’s mobbed with tourists in the summer months). With beautiful architecture, arcaded sidewalks lined with businesses, an abundance of fresh seafood, and a gorgeous “Old Port” with three historic towers, it’s not hard to imagine why! What a lovely place to do a bit of wandering…

 

 

 

In the heart of town, you’ll find the port…

 

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There are three historic towers here – the Chaîne, the Lanterne, and St. Nicolas.  The Chaîne (left) and St. Nicolas (right) are pictured here…

 

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And the Lanterne Tower is a bit further down the path…

 

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I took a tour of the Lanterne Tower and loved the beautiful spiral staircase that runs through its center…

 

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On each level, there are circular rooms that stand empty now, but were once full of prisoners.  The tower had several uses since its construction in the 12th century, including being used as a lighthouse, but it was most notably used as a prison for sailors and privateers in the 17th and 18th centuries…

 

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The most intriguing things about these rooms are the remnants left behind by the prisoners – chess boards carved into the floor and some 600 graffiti inscriptions and carvings in the soft stone walls…

 

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And on the highest level of the tower…

 

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And of course, you can see beautiful views of the city from the top…

 

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Walking down the narrow road to the other two towers…

 

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The Chaîne…

 

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Views of the port from the ramparts of the Chaîne…

 

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And the St. Nicolas Tower just across the entrance to the port…

 

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Shots from my wanderings around town…

 

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The gorgeous Hôtel de Ville was unfortunately under construction while I was there…

 

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I discovered that this lovely building houses an international artist residency.  Hmmmmm, note to self!

 

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Cathédrale Saint-Louis de la Rochelle – I wasn’t terribly impressed by the exterior, but was happy to find amazing art inside…

 

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More shots from around town…

 

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The market around the corner from where I stayed was lively and full of amazing food, like just about every other market in France, it seems.  There was both an interior and exterior section…

 

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Pig head or cow tongue anyone?  (Yikes).

 

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A charming and oh-so-very-French café where I stopped for an afternoon tea…

 

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By the canal…

 

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I was lucky to stumble into l’Eglise Notre Dame at just the right time – the light from the stained glass windows was gorgeous…

 

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Walking through the lovely Parc Charruyer…

 

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And pictures from our day trip to the nearby Île de Ré – we picniced on the beach and watched the boys throw rocks into the surf…

 

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Then we headed to the island’s quiet town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré to park the car and ride our bikes to a beautiful biking and walking path along the coast…

 

 

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On part of the path, you ride between the ocean and marshland…

 

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Here I am riding along (on a bike that is admittedly two times too small, but hey – whatever works!)…

 

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And that’s about it for my lovely visit to La Rochelle.  Next and last stop on this Petit Tour de France: Nantes!  Until then, à bientôt…

 

 

 

 

Le Petit Tour de France: Musée Miniature et Cinéma and Pérouges

 

 

 

Before we move on from my time in Lyon, I want to share some pictures from my day trip to the nearby village of Pérouges, as well as my visit to the wonderful Musée Miniature et Cinéma.

 

The museum is housed in la Maison des Avocats in Vieux Lyon, and has two collections – movie props and special effects artifacts and a collection of over 120 miniature scenes and artworks, many of them created by the amazing artist and museum founder, Dan Ohlmann. As my artistic ‘pièce de résistance’ of the year was a large embroidery depicting a doll’s house, this seemed like the perfect museum for me to visit…

 

 

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The collection of movie props was mildly entertaining, and brought out the inner nerd in me at some moments (I admit I was excited to see props from the Harry Potter movies – ridiculous, but true)…

 

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Plaster casts of celebrities’ faces used to make masks for various films – can you guess who they are?  I think these are beautiful objects, famous faces or not…

 

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YES! Gremlins! (I date myself, I know)…

 

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But the real excitement came when I entered the museum’s upper floors, and found the collection of miniatures. I spent close to two hours there, marveling at the incredible craftsmanship of many talented artists – a very inspiring experience for me, indeed…

 

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Amazing paper cut-outs by German artist, Engelhard Schmitt.  None of the pieces here are larger than 6 x 4 inches or so, but most are even smaller than that.  Incredible work…

 

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Schmitt’s nighttime scene of Lyon during the annual Festival of Lights…

 

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Amazing carved eggs by Gilbert and Caroline Timsit…

 

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A large part of the miniatures collection is housed in large display boxes like this – viewers move from window to window, peeking in on these dollhouse-sized scenes…

 

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Scenes by Françoise Andres…

 

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By Ronan-Jim Sevellec…

 

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Work by the museum’s founder, Dan Ohlmann…

 

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My favorite, miniature abandoned spaces by Laurie Chareyre – absolutely gorgeous…

 

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Bedroom by Michel Perez…

 

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I love how photographic all of these miniature scenes are – the lighting is brilliant and the compositions are lovely…

 

 

 

A miniature cabinet dollhouse by Mary Vega – a miniature of a miniature!

 

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Dollhouse chairs by Michel Teilhet…

 

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Beyond the furniture, it’s the tiny details that make this work so impressive to me – I loved these kinds of objects as a child, and I still do!

 

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By Billa Kaeppelin…

 

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Tiny tiles by Elisabeth Causeret-Bettler…

 

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These tiny hand-painted plates by Elisabeth Causeret-Bettler are about the size of a dime!

 

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By Emmanuelle Martinot and Neil Dyde…

 

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And I couldn’t resist including this little vignette by Pierre Dessert – it’s like Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel all rolled into one…

 

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In addition to visiting the museum and strolling the streets of Lyon during my stay, I took an afternoon away from the city and headed northeast to the tiny medieval village of Pérouges. Fortified behind stone walls, it sits atop a small hill a short walk from the train station in Meximieux…

 

 

The village as seen from below…

 

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And the view from the top of the hill…

 

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Historically a village of craftsman and farmers, it’s main industry now is tourism. During the 19th century, the population dropped from 1,500 people to 8 (yes, EIGHT!), and the village was almost demolished. However in 1911, after a campaign for its preservation, it was listed on various French historic registries and was slowly restored/conserved (about 1,200 people live there now).

 

Stone covers just about every inch of this quaint village – buildings, walls, and streets all blend together. As I was there in mid-November (“off-season”), the town was nearly deserted and blissfully calm. I enjoyed a delicious lunch and a quiet afternoon of wandering the tiny streets alone…

 

 

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The village’s main square, “Place du Tilleul”…

 

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I was surprised to find corn hanging from the ceiling here – it reminded me of trekking in Nepal…

 

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Near the main gate you’ll find “The Fortress Church” – simple, cold, and dark inside, but beautiful in its way…

 

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And with that, I’ve covered all of my time in the Lyon area here on the blog… Next, we’ll head over to the Atlantic side of France to visit La Rochelle and Nantes.  À bientôt!

 

 

 

 

Le Petit Tour de France: Lyon

 

 

 

After leaving the Côte d’Azur, I took the train north to Lyon. The second largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, Lyon is a truly wonderful city with much to explore. After spending a week there, I’ve only scratched the surface!

 

 

The heart of the city sits between two rivers, the Rhône and the Saône, on a narrow peninsula called “Presqu’île” (literal translation: “Almost Island”). There are two major hills, one to the west and the other to the north. On the western hill, Fourvière ( also known as “The Hill That Prays”), you’ll find the lovely Basilique de Notre Dame and some fascinating Roman ruins. On the northern hill, la Croix-Rousse (“The Hill That Works”), you’ll find vibrant residential neighborhoods packed with shops and cafés. Traditionally, this area was home to the silk-making/weaving industry and its workers, and is where I stayed with friends during my visit.

 

 

I spent my days wandering through the neighborhoods of la Croix-Rousse, walking down the hill into the bustling Presqu’île area, strolling along the two beautiful rivers, and exploring the cobblestoned streets of Vieux Lyon. It was the second week of November, and the leaves were changing – Autumn had finally arrived in France! (Or rather, I was finally in a place to see it – the Blue Coast isn’t exactly the place to find Fall colors). What a great week it was!

 

 

In la Croix-Rousse…

 

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A ragtag group of musicians I found performing in the streets of la Croix-Rousse… Check out this VIDEO of them playing…

 

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A carnival around the corner from where I was staying…

 

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Popular autumn fair food in France – roasted chestnuts…

 

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Views of the city from la Croix-Rousse…

 

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Walking down the hill towards la Presqu’île

 

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There’s some great street art on “la Montée de la Grande Côte,” this hillside pedestrian path…

 

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And on another path down the hill…

 

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In la Presqu’île, Place des Terreaux and the Hôtel de Ville…

 

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The lovely courtyard at the Musée des Beaux-Arts…

 

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On rue de la publique and in other various parts of la Presqu’île…

 

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I noticed that many of the buildings in Lyon have statues of Mary and Jesus on the corners…

 

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Église Saint-Nizier…

 

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Place Bellecour…

 

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Basilique Saint Martin-d’Ainay…

 

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“La Fresque des Lyonnais Célèbres,” an enormous mural depicting famous people from Lyon throughout history…

 

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Some street art found around town…

 

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An open-air market along the banks of the Saône river…

 

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The Saône is sandwhiched between la Presqu’île and Vieux Lyon (“Old Lyon”).  There are several beautiful bridges and of course, the gorgeous views – I couldn’t stop taking pictures!

 

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The Rhône river runs along the east side of la Presqu’île – its banks have a distinctly more modern feel than those of the Saône

 

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In the charming streets of Vieux Lyon…

 

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I took a tour of the “traboules” in Vieux Lyon – hidden passageways that connect buildings and streets together.  They were originally built for the transport of products (primarily those from the silk industry), and were also used by the French Resistance during WWII.  Now these passageways and hidden courtyards mostly function as entrances to private residences – many of them are still open to the public, though…

 

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In one courtyard, our tour group was lucky to run into the proprietor of this stange little place.  Unfortunately, everything was discussed in French, so I didn’t quite catch what it was exactly.  Oh, well…  It was a fun little adventure anyway!

 

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The famous Cathédrale Saint-Jean in Vieux Lyon…

 

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The Cathedral’s famous mechanical astronomical clock – one of the oldest like this in Europe, it indicates the time and date as well as the position of the earth, sun, moon, and stars over Lyon.  Ringing four times a day, spectators are treated to a little show of its mechanical moving parts at the top…

 

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The back of the Cathedral where there are ruins of part of the original structure…

 

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And down the road, l’Église Saint-Georges…

 

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Climbing up the hill Fourvière from Vieux Lyon…

 

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Heading to the very top to see the Basilique Notre Dame…

 

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Unfortunately, the interior was covered in scaffolding when I was there…

 

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…but I still managed to get a good look at the incredible mosiacs…

 

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In the lower level of the Basilica…

 

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Views of the city from the backside of the Basilica grounds…

 

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Just down the road from the Basilica, you’ll find the ruins of a Roman theater that date back to 15 B.C. …

 

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A model depicting what the theather looked like when it was first built…

 

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Back down the hill on the northeastern side of town, there’s the lovely Parc de la Tête d’Or (“The Golden Head Park”) with its wonderful greenhouses and botanical gardens, beautiful lake, and free zoo.  A nice place to pass an afternoon, indeed!

 

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And some scenes from evening strolls through the city…

 

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And one last little note about Lyon before I end this post:  If you ever go there, be sure to try the Lyonnaise specialties, “tarte aux pralines” and “brioche aux pralines.”  Yes, their color looks frighteningly artificial, but don’t let that throw you – they are soooo very tasty!

 

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And that about wraps it up for my lovely week in Lyon. I do have a bit more to share with you in the next post, however – images from my visit to the weird and wonderful Musée Miniature et Cinéma in Vieux Lyon and a small day-trip to the nearby village of Pérouges… Coming soon!  À bientôt!

 

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Le Petit Tour de France: Cote d’Azur (Le Sentir du Littoral, Monaco, and Menton)

 

 

 

My last day on the Côte d’Azur was a busy one: I took the bus from Nice to Cap d’Ail and walked along le Sentir du Littoral (“The Coastal Path”) all the way to Monaco, and then bused to the adorable border town of Menton from there. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of it all!

 

 

 

I didn’t see much of Cap d’Ail – just the lovely residential neighborhood I walked through to reach the Coastal Path…

 

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After unsuccessfully trying to reach the path from Plage Mala thanks to a downed tree, I found a different entrance through a lovely terraced park on the side of the hill…

 

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View from Plage Mala…

 

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The park…

 

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When I reached the path itself, I was absolutely giddy… It’s just so gorgeous, and it was wonderful to be so close to the sea. The wind howls and the waves crash against the rocks and even up onto the path itself in some spots (signage on the path suggests not walking there on days with “rough seas”)… Check out this VIDEO where I almost get soaked by an incoming wave…

 

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Joggers run by, and people walk their dogs – like with the bus commute along the coast, I can’t imagine having such amazing scenery be a part of my daily routine. How lucky the are! (Although if the houses along the path are any indication, these people aren’t only lucky – they’re quite wealthy too)…

 

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After a little over a mile, the path ends, leaving you in a parking lot in Monaco (Definitely a bit anti-climactic – perhaps it would be better to walk the path in the opposite direction so you end up on the beautiful Plage Mala at the end instead? Oh well, next time!)…

 

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I found Monaco pretty unimpressive compared to the rest of the Côte d’Azur. Everything feels oddly modern for such an old part of the world – it’s like a big outdoor shopping mall, yachts and high-end boutiques abound. Although beauty can certainly be found there, Katherine Hepburn once called it “a pimple on the chin of the south of France,” and I have to agree with her. I walked through Monaco-Ville and la Condamine briefly, where I visited a traveling carnival (appropriate for this ‘carnival’ of a place), and saw Princess Grace Kelly’s palace sitting atop a cliff…

 

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The palace…

 

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The carnival…

 

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After that, I took a quick bus ride to Monte Carlo, mostly just so I could say I’d been there and laugh about it later. I’m sure those of you who know me well can see the humor of ME in a place like Monte Carlo – not exactly the most natural fit in the world, that’s for sure!

 

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The (in)famous Casino de Monte Carlo…

 

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Still, though, Monaco’s got some beautiful views…

 

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After about only two hours in Monaco, I decided I needn’t waste any more time there, so I hopped back on the bus and headed east to Menton – a lovely town just 2 miles from the border with Italy, where you hear almost as much Italian spoken in the streets as you do French…

 

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Wandering the narrow passages in la Vieille Ville (“Old City”) atop the hill is wonderful – it’s like playing hide and seek with the city itself. You go through tunnels, up and down staircases, along narrow corridors, not sure where you’ll end up or what you’ll find. I wrote in my journal that if the small hilltop village of Eze and the coastal town of Villefrance-sur-Mer had a baby, it would be Vieux Menton – the bright colors of Villefranche-sur-Mer combine with the tiny maze-like pathways of Eze to create this delightful part of town. I wish I had more time to explore there…

 

 

La Vieille Ville, as seen from the beach…

 

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And in the thick of it…

 

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The courtyard of la Basilique St. Michel (left) and la Chapelle de Pénitents Blancs (right)…

 

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The basilica as seen from the beach…

 

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The fantastic stairs leading up the hill to the basilica…

 

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… and a view of those stairs from the top…

 

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La Chapelle de Pénitents Blancs…

 

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La Basilique St. Michel…

 

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Like in Nice, an old cemetery sits at the top of the hill, providing a quiet place to appreciate the beautiful views…

 

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And of course, this being a coastal town, there are lovely beachs and a small port where you can see Italy in the distance…

 

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The port…

 

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And so we’ve come to the end of my time on the beautiful Blue Coast. How sad I was to leave it! This special corner of the world has carved a place in my heart, and I very much hope to find my way back there again one day…

 

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… mais c’est la vie! The travels must go on, and so they did…

 

 

Next stop on le Petit Tour de France: a week in the large and lovely city of Lyon! À bientôt!

 

 

 

 

Le Petit Tour de France: Cote d’Azur (Antibes)

 

 

 

My second day-trip during my stay on the Riviera was to Antibes, about 15 miles to the southwest of Nice. It was cloudy, but luckily not raining, so I spent the day walking around the Vieille Ville (“Old City”), and the beautiful ‘promenade’ along the coast. I also visited a wonderful open-air produce market and the Picasso Museum – not a bad way to spend a day!

 

 

 

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There are some pretty great door stylings in la Vieille Ville…

 

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The Antibes Picasso Museum… Unfortunately, photography was prohibited inside, so I only have shots of the exterior of the building (which is admittedly impressive in and of itself – a remodeled Roman fort).  Many of the works in the museum where made by Picasso when he had a studio in this building for a month in 1946 – 23 paintings and 44 drawings!  All in one month!  If only we could all be so productive…

 

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The open-air market with its delicous food and gorgeous displays…

 

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The South of France is where I learned to truly love olives…

 

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The Vieux Port (“Old Port”)…

 

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Old ramparts by the port are now a pedestrian walkway where I found this interesting sculpture by Jaume Plensa, entitled “Nomade”…

 

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The view from the ramparts…

 

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La Plage de la Gravette, where I had a picnic lunch with food from the market…

 

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Kid sand-art… it’s the best!

 

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Something I’d never seen before: Shower faucets for rinsing off in the surf… huh?

 

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La Promenade Amiral de Grasse and its scenic views…

 

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Along the promenade the sea is on one side and houses are on the other – how wonderful would it be to live there?!

 

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Walking on the promenade away from la Vieille Ville, you pass the gendarmerie and enter a park, “Square Albert the 1st,” in a more modern section of town…

 

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Does this street art make anyone else think of Elton John in the opening scenes of his video for “I’m Still Standing?” or is it just me? (I know, I know – I date myself).  The video was filmed in Cannes and Nice – hmmmm…

 

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Views from the park – la Vieille Ville sits atop the hill in the distance…

 

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And one last random note:  I always laugh here in the States when I see businesses using French language in their names because they think it adds prestige to their image – like it somehow makes them ‘fancy.’  You know, business that call themselves things like “Le Nails,” etc. … I was delighted to see that this happens in France with English as well… at least, it does here at this store in Antibes…. Ha! Ha!

 

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And that wraps up my time in Antibes!  Next and final stop on the Côte d’Azur: Walking from Cap d’Ail to Monaco and the border town of Menton… À bientôt!

 

 

 

Le Petit Tour de France: Cote d’Azur (Eze and Villefranche-sur-Mer)

 

 

 

My first day-trip on the Riviera was to the medieval hilltop village of Eze and then down the road to the lovely town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. The Côte d’Azur has a remarkable bus system, connecting all of the towns and cities along the coast – all for one euro per ride! I took full advantage of this during my stay, along with other tourists and locals alike. I encountered many people commuting to and from work, and kept thinking how lucky they are – can you imagine your daily commute looking anything like this?!

 

 

 

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The tiny village of Eze dates back to 2000 B.C. and was occupied by Romans, Moors, and all kinds of folks until being officially designated as part of France in the mid-1800′s. It sits atop a high cliff, and is now mostly a tourist destination. Lucky for me, I was there early on a November morning, so it wasn’t overrun (but by the time I left at 11a.m. it was beginning to be – I can’t imagine what it’s like there in June!) The tiny streets – well, paths actually – are made of stone and brick, and it’s charming to walk along them, past the small shops and cafés, through narrow passages and small tunnels…

 

 

 

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l’Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption…

 

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A graffitied plant tucked away in a corner… I saw this kind of thing several times in the South of France – a strange hybrid of provincial and urban culture…

 

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At the very top of the hill, you’ll find the Jardin Exotique with all kinds of wonderful cacti and succulents, as well as some lovely sculptures by Jean-Philippe Richard…

 

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Also in the garden, at the very top of the cliff, you’ll find the ruins of a castle…

 

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And of course, the views from the garden are incredible…

 

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After exploring the village, I walked down the famous “Chemin de Nietzsche,” a hiking trail that runs along the cliff to the seaside town of Eze-Bord-de-Mer. It is said that Friedrich Nietzsche walked this trail everyday when he lived in Eze in the late 1800′s, inspiring some chapters of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” The wooded area of the path was lovely and cool, and when it cleared, the view was gorgeous…

 

 

At the entry of the path, looking up at the village…

 

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Check out this VIDEO to get a better sense of the amazing view…

 

 

 

When I reached the bottom, I made a quick stop at the beach before getting on the bus to Villefranche-sur-Mer…

 

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Villefranche-sur-Mer is a great little town – I roamed the tiny pedestrian streets of its Vieille Ville for hours, admiring the bright colors and many potted plants…

 

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The entrance to la rue Obscure, an underground street that is equal parts interesting and creepy…

 

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On the coastline, you’ll find the small Port de la Santé, where I had a lovely lunch…

 

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Typical of the region, a salade Niçoise.. fresh and delicious!

 

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Walking northeast along the Quai, you’ll find the bay “la Rade,” and a small beach…

 

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Walking in the other direction you’ll pass la Vieille Ville atop a small hill and an old citadel…

 

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… and then into a more modern section of town by Port Royal de la Darse…

 

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And that’s about it from Eze and Villefranche-sur-Mer. Next stop on our tour of The Blue Coast: Antibes… À bientôt!