Playing In Paris’ Park Monceau

 

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Situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, the beautiful Parc Monceau dates back to the 17th Century. Once an English styled garden, later during the 18th century landscape architect Thomas Blaikie was hired to redesign the once private garden and created a more traditional French formal garden for the public. Parc Monceau contains many picturesque features including: a Roman colonnade, a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Tartar tent, a Dutch windmill, a water lily pond, an enchanted grotto, a temple of Mars, and an Italian vineyard with numerous antique statues. For the kiddos, there is a playground and circus inspired merry-go-round.

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An interesting tidbit (for you and only because we recently visited the French Impressionist Claude Monet House), between 1876 and 1878, Monet created 5 paintings of the park, all of which are quite well-known among his fans.IMG_0796

Classically styled Roman Collonade were constructed in the late 17th Century.

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Our statuesque Lafayette dates back sometime in the 21st century. Hahahaha. Parc Monceau is one of a handful of parks which allow dogs giving Lafayette some romp time before visiting his veterinarian near by.IMG_0773One can see many flower gardens throughout the park making for a pleasantly fragrant and visually vibrant stroll.

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Parc Monceau is a charming park which has changed throughout the years from its original landscape. It is secluded and off the beaten path from many who visit Paris.

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Where the Main meets the Rhein

Guten Morgen, Guten Tag or Guten Abend!

I’m starting off with something funny…or at least what I thought sounded funny. Frankfurt is where the Main (pronounced, mine) meets the Rhein (pronounced, rhine) Say it out loud? “Where the “mine” meets the “rhine!” This is exactly how our tour guide introduced his first sentence. His unintentional rhyming definitely introduced the first of many laughs while his cheerful humour kept our interests afloat during my tour with  ETS Frankfourt City Tours

Last week, I spent 3 nights and 4 days in Frankfurt, Germany. Although this trip was a more of a tag-a-long trip while Justin worked out of the Frankfurt office, I was happy to come along. I had planned on lounging around the Radisson Blu Hotel, watching movies, ordering room-service, swimming and working out, which I did for the most part. But on day two, I wanted to see something! I figured I wouldn’t really have much to do in the city other than shopping so a friend suggested that I visit the river Rhein. How about some castels? Yes! But just how was my lazy, seul self going to do that? BOAT CRUISE! And it was perfect.

I booked my trip here and selected Tour 1. The day tour to the Rhine Valley  included an English speaking guide, a bus ride, (5 euro sur-charge to be dropped off at your hotel at trips end) a 2 hour Rhine boat ride, lunch and wine tasting and all for just 81.00 euro per person. Our bus departed at 11:15, and drove us along the no-speed limit Autoban for about an hour until we reached the village of Rudesheim.

Rudesheim cable lift

Rudesheim cable lift

From there, we descended the mountain top by cable car (5 euro extra) until reaching the village below where we ate lunch at the plum coloured and artificially decorated restaurant “Zum Anker.” Everyone had the choice between a chicken or vegetarian entree that included french fries and a type of cole slaw. I wished I opted for the chicken because my vegetarian pancake was…well…flat. I skipped out on the wine tasting event next door so that I had time to explore the bed & breakfast village of Rudesheim. I think I spent more  time gawking at some of my tour group counterparts taking selfie videos of themselves standing next to everything and anything while imagining those images and videos being proudly displayed on every socially media platform available. Think of selfie sticks, video cameras and iphones capturing every single movement and self-sight. Oh gosh, it got to be really annoying. Maybe I was more annoyed because I was alone? Yeah. Pretty sure. I’m not a selfie picture and snap happy hog am I? Not even remotely close right? Anyways, I really took this opportunity for myself to admire the Germanic architecture and greenery surrounding me.  Boy was I craving a really good German beer and more pictures. SMILE.

Our group met back at 2:15 and headed towards the Rhine river where we boarded our 3 tiered cruiser the Bingen-Rudesheimer. The steamer ship sped with perfect pace so that we could all visually enjoy (from afar) the Medieval castles, charming villages and vineyards and of course that deliciously tall glass of Maisels Weisse beer. My first!

There are so many castels to be seen along this part of the Rhein from Frankfurt, but as I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t very snap happy, nor was I equipped with my zoom lens so several photos and my picturesque memory will just have to do. Pictured below are some of my favorites from the tour I would definitely venture back again.  Enjoy!

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Rudesheim Village

Mausetum Castle just across from where we lunched.

Mausetum Castle just across from where we lunched.

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Somewhere along the Rhein before Reichenstein

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Reichenstein village

Bacharach Castle

Bacharach Castle

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Burg Katz village

Castel Stahleck

Castel Stahleck

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Pfalzgrafenstein Toll Station on the island with Castle Gutenfels on the mountain side of Kaub.

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St. Goar village

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Some where along the Rhein…

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St Goarshausen

 

Beached At Cassis

Cassis Harbours

Looking towards Quai Saint-Pierre

Cassis Harbour

Cassis Harbour

Along the Quai des Baux

Along the Quai des Baux

Cassis La Ciotat Mountain Top View

Cassis is a charming village by the sea with merchants offering an array of beach wear and everyday fashions, souvenirs and plenty of delicious sea food. Durade! Durade! Durade! Most notably, Cassis is best known for its white wine. The beautiful turquoise waters offers an opportunity to enjoy a bit of the Mediterranean by boat for day trips to the Calanques, rentals for kayaking along the rocky shore lines or just taking casual dips in the water. Cold at first but once you’re in, its hard getting out from a sea swim with the ease of a rolling tide. Like to hike? There’s plenty of that. There are miles and miles of guided trials. For a stunning view drive or walk up to Cap Canaille, the highest coastal cliff in France.

I had the opportunity of visiting this bustling village for 4 days during the last week in August. Yes, its taken me months to update my blog. But I’ve been out of touch and then I just got really busy and then tired from being busy. 1st off, I didn’t have internet for over a month when moving into a new apartment. Just the internet I had on my iPhone. (Thank you instagram! You’ve been my photography outlet!) Then I started a job in the evenings and then school started and is every weekday for 5 hours each day and yada, yada, yada.. excuses, excuses. I mean, how long does it take to upload a post? For those that have a blog… you understand it takes nearly an hour at least! Include your editing of photos and formatting, it can’t take hours. Frankly, after an 1/2 of constructing a post, I need a break. But with my 4 day weekend and a cold virus to fight through, I’m updating my web journal now…finally. Next post? Aix En Province BABY!