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

 

The Maid of Orleans

 

Loire River also known as The Royal River because royalty would sail to Paris along this route.

The Loire River is known as The Royal River because royalty would sail to Paris along its banks.

Located about an hour and half south of Paris, is an old royal town named Orléans. Situated on the northernmost arc of the Loire River, Orléans is a historically royal city still holding its medieval and renaissance facades. At every turn, you’ll discover half-timbered houses from the medieval times in the historic centre of the city.

EAT HERE! La Petite Folie Restaurant et tres bien!

EAT HERE! La Petite Folie Restaurant.

Painted to help rehabilitate the historic centre of Orleans.

Painted to help rehabilitate the historic centre of Orléans.

Like walking? Enjoy a long scenic walk along the Loire River. For those who love history, take in the stained glass beauty in the Sainte Croix Cathedral where every window tells a story of The Maid of Orléans

Sainte Croix Cathedral, 13th Century

Sainte Croix Cathedral, 13th Century

Once home to The Maid of Orléans or the famously named Jeanne de Arc (Joan of Arc)  Jeanne proclaimed to have heard a voice from God advising her to meet with Charles VII when the English laid siege to Orléans in October 1428. There she helped fight against the English before her capture and subsequent trial where she was found guilty of heresy and immediately burned at the stake at the age of 19 years old.

Jeanne de Arc in front of the Office de Toursim.

Jeanne de Arc in front of the Office de tourism.

Orléans pays tribute to the memory of Jeanne de Arc because of the bravery of her character.  In 1920 Joan of Arc was canonised and proclaimed the second patron saint of France in 1922. Joan of Arc would come to represent a symbol of resistance to occupying forces.

Take in City Centre.

Take in City Centre.

This city pays homage to her life with a yearly festival and keeping several statutes depicting Jeanne de Arc around the city and also turning her previous residence into a museum despite the original house being burnt down during the 1940 bombings. The house was eventually rebuilt between in 1961 and 1965 and is widely visited today.

Maison de Joan de Arc

Maison de Joan de Arc

The town of Orléans was in part, a perfect quick get-a-away this past weekend from Paris, easily discoverable and enjoyed within a day. Stay tuned and I’ll relay some must-knows about the charming city of Blois!