Blogs from Île-de-France, France, Europe


Europe » France » Île-de-France July 16th 2020

Though I rarely feel self-conscious when I travel, I am certain some people do. I figure it is fairly obvious what I am to natives, so I don't really worry about it. But people do seem to ask about my ethnic heritage, when they see me, and hear perfect English. The question becomes, "What are you?" When I say I am an American, they ask further, "No, what are you, really?" Invariably, I have to ask them what an American looks like. Then I further confuse them by saying that they look like an American! Whether I am in Europe, Africa, or South America, I tell them that Americans look like just about anyone. But are we that obvious when we visit some of these countries? There might be some stereotypes among us. (Some ... read more
Backwards bb cap
Cell phone face

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris March 16th 2020

Tag 7 – 16.3. Wo ist Corona & Desinfektionsaktion Wir standen auf mein Plädieren hin um Viertel nach fünf auf. Unser Zug nach Lyon sollte um 6.19 Uhr fahren. Wir waren um Viertel vor sechs da, wie geplant. An der Anzeigetafel stand der Zug nicht, den wir nehmen wollten. Glücklicherweise lief gerade ein Bahnmitarbeiter vorbei. Ich fragte ihn und er meinte, der Zug führe nicht. Wir könnten später einen anderen Regionalzug nehmen, und von dort aus nach Lyon fahren, oder über Paris fahren. Er wollte mal bei dem TGV für uns nachfragen, da der wohl voll sei. Richtig nett. Aber leider kam er nie wieder. Wir fassten die Entscheidung, nach Paris zu fahren. Keine Experimente mehr, am Ende fuhren die anderen Regionalzüge auch nicht. Man konnte tatsächlich noch den Paris-Zug um 6.40 Uhr online buchen. Allerdings ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France January 6th 2020

It sounds rather strange to say 2020, as in vision, the ABC News show, or calendar year. Perhaps we can see clearly now, the rain has come? It is the start of a new decade. Maybe it will be my last, it does not matter. The world has changed, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. My generation has ruined the environment, all in the name of progress, technology, and greed. Our elected officials on both sides of the aisle are shameless, greedy, self-centered media mongers. But there are many good things we have now, in the name of progress. Maybe I should list a few? Solar panels on homes-we now have 17 on our roof, and it has helped with our monthly budget, as well as our carbon offset. Lexi, our mini Labradoodle-who ever knew I ... read more
Words of St Augustine
Best Buddies
See 2020 Clearly

Europe » France » Île-de-France November 28th 2019

The next overnight train is to Paris, FRANCE and we are able to have a cabin together. Once again it is a rocky 14 hour trip in our bunk beds. It is difficult even to brush ones teeth. There is an hour wait in Hendaye, FRANCE. This is where Franco and Hitler met at the train station in 1940 to discuss Spain’s part in WWII. Continuing on, the countryside is dotted with villages of white washed homes, coloured shutters, and red tiled rooftops. They are all beautiful. Makes you want to stop and stay awhile. Through the famous Bordeaux wine area bordered by of course, grape vines. Several acres have been flooded right up to the roadside. Suddenly, there is a huge colourful rainbow which only lasts seconds. Many dark brown deer are roaming the fields. ... read more
The “Train Hotel”......overnight from Lisbon to Hendaya France
Bunk Buddy, all tucked in for the journey!
We wake up to the rolling fields in France

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 4th 2019

We have been away now for a week and we have had an eventful time. Our first four days were spent in Paris . Our apartment was small but adequate for us and in a very good location where we could travel to the places we wanted to go either by train, bus or Metro. We arrived in CDG at 12:10 PM and took the train into Paris and walked to our apartment. We had some difficulty contacting the lady who was to meet us and give us the key but with a little help from two friendly Parisien ladies we got hold of her and she arrived quickly. Unfortunately she spoke little to no English so as far as explaining much to us it was useless. All she was interested in was getting the 400€ ... read more
The Hall of Mirrors
The Gardens of Versailles
Beautiful Gardens of Versailles

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 1st 2019

Invader Art in Paris Not all art in Paris is exhibited in the Louvre or D’Orsay or L’Orangerie, or within the walls of any museum. Although unnoticed by most tourists, Invader Art is displayed in plain view on the outside of nearly 1,200 buildings across Paris. If a person aims their eyes up a little while strolling Parisian cobblestones, he or she will eventually encounter the mosaics that an incognito artist has been installing throughout Paris since 1998. The artist’s identity is a secret and is known only as “Invader.” He has said his purpose in exhibiting his creations on outside walls is so that ordinary, working-class people can enjoy art. Invader Art’s genesis is the once-popular 1970s’ arcade game Space Invaders, and the mosaics vary in size and theme. Although many pieces portray Space Invaders ... read more
An Anonymous Young Parisian participating in the Flash Invaders smartphone game
Closeup of Her Prey

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris September 29th 2019

The last Day in Paris for Tim and Natalia started in rain, and finished in rain. They had to be on the 20.40 train back to Luxembourg, so we popped the umbrellas and nothing stopped us. We had a late breakfast, well, a croissant and a coffee, and were carrying some rolls and quiches to eat at the Jardin de Tuileries near the Louvre later on. There were crowds everywhere, always is in Paris, but with Jacque Chirac’s funeral and Paris Fashion Week locking horns , the gardens were a peaceful place to hide. It’s springtime in Paris and the gardens are beautiful. Parisian gardens are designed to be perfectly symmetrical rows of flowers and shrubs, colour coordinated to blend without detracting from the surroundings, in which this case were lakes and groves of trees. We ... read more
Coffee In Marais, Paris
Equal Opportunity Crossings
Lovely Garden Along The Seine

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris September 28th 2019

Well let’s get the Grand Final thing out of the way first. My team wasn’t in it, so the care factor was very low, but we still watched it at breakfast at 6.30 in Luxembourg, and continued on the train to Paris until the end. I have mixed feelings about the hiding that was served up to Greater Western Sydney, but they were beaten fairly and soundly, they are from NSW, so it’s a good result. And a close friend is a Tigers tragic, so I’m thrilled for her. Our train travelled at 308kph, and I think the Tigers would have beaten it today. The debutant starred and his was a great story of redemption from a chequered past. It’ll have to be the Hawks next year. Our train ride to Paris was uneventful. As I ... read more
Hardware Société
Sacré Coeur, Montmartre

Europe » France » Île-de-France September 26th 2019

We arrived early and waited in a line at Border Control for just a bit. Could have been worse and there was no follow-up customs interviews. Much less than Australia. We found a bus that would take us to the Gare Montparnasse train station close to our hotel. Very roomy, not crowded, and easier/cheaper than an Uber/Taxi. It was supposed to be a little over an hour trip but the Paris rush hour traffic was horrific and we spent over two hours in it. There must have been accidents all over as we saw 20-30 police, ambulances and what not shooting by. We got very acquainted with the Neeee-Neer-Neee-Neer sounds of their sirens. Brian managed to grab a few ZZZs in the midst of it all. We were dropped off at the train station which was ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France September 25th 2019

Left Edge and Ecco in the care of Anita, our wonderful Petsitter, and headed to Dulles to start our trip to France. No problems with the flight and we must have had a good tailwind as we arrived an hour earlier than planned. We both tried to sleep and managed a few hours. Arriving in the early morning will still feel like the middle of the night to us but we'll try and stay awake to get in sync with Paris time. Looking forward to a great trip!... read more

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