02 September 2015

Neighborhoods and seasons

It's been very busy here and I haven't been very good about responding to comments. I'm reading them, however, and appreciate them. We are here, just watching the summer wind down. This morning, it really feels like the dark is closing in on us. What a great summer we've had, though.

Looking down into the Rue de Rennes from the Tour Montparnasse

Why have we been busy? Well, after my short trip to Paris to see French and American friends, we had company — a house guest — for five days. She's a friend who came over from England and who lived in the Loire Valley area for many years before moving back across the Channel three years ago. We got to be friends with her during our early days in Saint-Aignan.

Above, Paris buildings and neighborhoods — Paris is the most densely populated city in the European Union.

A different kind of neighborhood — La Défense

So I think things are begining to settle down now. I'm still processing photos I took in Paris, and especially the ones I took from the top of the Tour Montparnasse. We are also processing a lot of vegetables from the garden, including (guess what) zucchini but also tomatoes — a bumper crop. My collard greens are looking really good too, and I can't wait to start harvesting them. I'll try to wait until after the first frost to do so, however.

01 September 2015

Three domes

Dans l'ordre : l'Eglise du Dôme à l'Hôtel des Invalides, le Panthéon (which as been en travaux recently), and la Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (with the Stade de France in the background). Paris. I was there last week.

As always, you can see the photos at full size by tapping or clicking on them.

31 August 2015

Two tall Paris landmarks

One of the things I wanted  — and managed — to do while I was in Paris last week was to go up to the top of a major landmark called the Tour Montparnasse. It's a 1970s-era "skyscraper" or gratte-ciel that many people wish had never been built. It's a blot on the city, they say. That's it on the left.

The fact is, though, that you can get some of the best views of Paris and all its other, more admired monuments from on top of the 689-foot-tall Montparnasse tower. One monument that you can see from up there is the one that you can't see if you go up to the top of the other tall Paris landmark: La Tour Eiffel. For that view alone, people should be glad the Tour Montparnasse was built.

Of course, a lot of people in Paris thought that the Tour Eiffel was a blot on the city when it was built in the late 1800s. Now it's the symbol of the city and known world-wide.

I was lucky to get a fairly clear if very windy day for my outing. I wanted to take panoramic and long telephoto shots with my two recently acquired 30x zoom cameras, one a Panasonic and the other a Canon. My friends Evelyn and Lewis went up to the Montparnasse Tower's 56th-floor observation deck with me.

Above is the famous view. At the bottom of the photo you see the Ecole Militaire and then the parade grounds called Le Champs de Mars. Then there's the Eiffel Tower, with the Palais de Chaillot and the Place du Trocadéro just behind it, on the other side of the Seine. In the distance is the modern quartier d'affaires or financial district called La Défense, with it's 1970s- and 1980s-vintage high rise buildings.