Travel: Paris, odds and ends we liked

Today was our next to the last day in Paris.  Our walk was over 6-1/2 miles mostly in the Northeast part of the city.  It was full of discoveries.  Monuments, a Passage of Indian restaurants, lots of shops and markets new to us and a new part of the City with modern high rise buildings, shops and massive modern transit hubs.

We like swans.
We like unique cafes with good food and interesting environments.
We like cheese shops and the wide variety of cheeses they offer.
We like flower markets.
We like the seemingly endless options for walking in green areas.
We like the well maintained elegant mansions.
We like discovering old churches and their treasures like the stained glass in St. Elizabeth Church.
We like finding the old iron water fountains while searching for fresh Pain du Chocolate.
We like discovering old monuments.
Speaking of monuments!

Travel: Four Days left in Paris

It was another interesting day in Paris.  The weather has cooled into the low 50s demanding an additional layer, something light but warm…

Today we decided on a walk in the 8th Arr. that included several new surprises along with some old familiar places.  After a seafood lunch we decided to squeeze in another movie, enough for a new review post.  Stay tuned in the next day or so.

We stumbled upon a small but quality farmers market steps away from the Metro.
Beautiful fresh seafood was the inspiration for our lunch later in the day.
As always, beautiful flowers waiting for a vase.
We stumbled upon the Cathedrale St. Alexandre Nevsky, a Russian Orthodox Church.
Traditional Onion Domes.
A discrete photo during Mass.


The beautiful gated entrance to Park Monceau.
The back of a mansion facing the Park.
A mid day look at the always impressive Arc de Triomphe.

Travel: Paris, one more week.

We are back in Paris for a second week after our two week tour to Eastern Europe that included the Czech Republic, Slovakia, a tiny corner of Austria and Hungary.  We traveled over 600 miles on our bus.  We walked over 120 miles in total averaging 4.2 miles per day.

Now back in Paris, our first day included a much needed visit to the local laundry, a quick trip to the corner store for food and provisions.  And a long walk to a movie complex to catch a much needed (English) language movie just to stay current.

John as Vana White practicing for a commercial.
A cat coffee house in our block where folks enjoy a rest with beverages and cats!
Building detail dating to the late 1800s.
Dating back to 1896, Chartier has been a popular Paris landmark for traditional French fare.
A simple salad of endive and Roquefort dressing.
Main course is roasted chicken and French fries.
Desert of chocolate mousse.
The restaurant is very popular with locals and visitors alike. It’s an institution in Paris.

Travel: Lucerne, Switzerland 3

Today was our last day in Lucerne.  We spent most of the day with our long time friends who live here.  This morning’s weather included heavy overcast so we decided to stay close to home and explore nearby areas.

We decided to explore some of the city’s old fortified walls dating back centuries. Next was a leisurely traditional lunch at a local restaurant and another city walk before saying bon voyage.  Tomorrow it’s back to Paris.

The Holiday season starts early at the Globus Department Store.
Another cheerful window.
The trees are changing quickly now.
More lovely fall color.
Afternoon light over the old town.
The old city walls date back centuries.


Travel: Lucerne, Switzerland 2

Today was another day to explore the charming and diverse city of Lucerne.  It’s a compact city on a series of lakes with a walkable old town with lots of restaurants and seemingly endless activities.

We started our morning at the local Farmers Market, followed by a visit to an exceptional museum featuring Picasso, Paul Klee and several impressionists.  (We unexpectedly ran into the owner of the Rosengart collection and museum whose portraits by Picasso hang in the museum.)  We are sorry, photography was not permitted.

Chapel Bridge considered to be Europe’s oldest covered bridge from the 14th century with a water tower behind.
View across the river.
Alpenhorns greeted us to the farmers market.
Charming fountain near the cathedral.
Numerous painted buildings some dating back centuries.
Alter in the local cathedral.
Evening on the lake.

Travel: Lucerne, Switzerland

Yesterday was a long travel day.  An early morning wake up call, followed by an hour ride to the Budapest airport.  It was a pleasant 1-1/2 hour flight to Zurich, Switzerland.  And then a one hour train ride brought us to Lucerne and a visit with long time friends.

The afternoon included a wonderful lake boat ride followed by a delightful dinner.  All and all a long, but fun, day.

A few neighbors overlooking the lake.
Farms and villages along the shore.
A bucolic setting.
Lucerne city center.
Harbor view from our boat.
Lake view of the nearby Alps.
Sailboat harbor and the Alps.

Travel: Budapest by day

We enjoyed a full day touring the fascinating city of Budapest.  It’s a big sprawling city with a thriving economy and arguably too many tourists.

The sightseeing is abundant and satisfying.  Dining options are plentiful, often unique and quite reasonable.

Overall, its a wonderful city and worthy of a few days visit.

City Hall on Castle Hill
Cathedral spires on Castle Hill.
Neo-Gothic Parliament built in 1896 along the banks of the Danube River.
The dome of a popular thermal bathhouse with exceptional mosaic tile ceilings.
The Great Synagogue, a UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest Jewish temple in Europe with a mix of Byzantine, Moorish and Romantic styles.


Travel: Carnuntum, Austria and Gyor, Hungary

As we drove from Bratislava to Budapest we stopped at the Roman city of Carnuntum and later for lunch in the ancient city of Gyor.

Sample of an ancient Roman floor at extensive ruins in the countryside.
An original Roman Street in good shape.
Two rows of foundations that were individual houses. Doorways and remnants of mosaic flooring are often intact.
This marble water fountain serves water to visitors.
A beautifully restored Roman bath.
Artifacts are scattered on the extensive grounds. There’s an impressive museum on the site.
This was once a four sided Roman monument at the entrance of the site.

Gyor, Hungary is a baroque and neoclassical City.

A charming city on the way to Budapest.
A lovely moat and medieval walls protected the City.
The Basilica of the Assumption is spectacular.
This huge Ferris wheel is a popular attraction.

Travel: Bratislava, Slovakia

Yesterday was spent exploring the capital city Bratislava, both old and new.  The old area is compact, with many embassies, historic and cultural sights.
The newer areas are filled with Soviet style apartment blocks.

There is a massive modern shopping complex along the Danube River where we discovered a state of the art cinema complex where we saw the film Joker. (More on that later…)

The view from our hotel room overlooking the Danube River. Note the Soviet built bridge with restaurant in the tower.
The Opera House
Bratislava Castle overlooking the City.
The last surviving city gate into the old quarter.