Jardin du Luxembourg on Bastille Day

Jardin du Luxembourg was my favourite space when I was in Paris in 1994. I was hitch-hiking around Europe and hadn’t even planned to visit but the wind blew and I arrived. The nearby Vietnamese student hostel, where I stayed back then, was great and having no money, the gardens were a perfect place to read my book and watch the world go by.

Seventeen years later, my kids seem to love the gardens too.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 

The little boats they saw a few days ago kept being mentioned so we returned today for some sailing, after a stop at a lovely patisserie for picnic supplies. There were many kids running around with sticks, pushing their boats happily, with parents (sometimes) watching.  It was good fun

Unfortunately, as one would expect, blood has been spilled on Bastille Day. Poor old Sarah fell over, just as we were leaving, and grazed her knee. The First Aid station in the park did a good job patching her up. I was not allowed to photograph the wound for posterity. Sarah thought it in poor taste and looked at me, when I asked, like I had contravened the Geneva Convention and was so unethical that my camera should be impounded by the gendarme who assisted us to find First Aid.

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Notre Dame and the Pont de L’ Archevêché

The crowds are phenomenal in Paris, especially around the most popular tourist attractions. I am an early-riser and as we are staying so close to Notre Dame, have observed it in different weather conditions and with no tourists cluttering the square. We will do the tours – to the crypt and towers – just before we depart for Naples. It seemed smart to save such a close attratction to last.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

On my wanders around and too Notre Dame, there is much, epic and ordinary, to see. An eye-catching number of padlocks are attached to the rails of the Pont de L’ Archevêché in Paris by lovers enjoying the traditional practice of putting a lock on a bridge then throwing the key in the river to symbolically seal their relationship for eternity.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

I know my techie, chocoholic friends and colleagues, would enjoy this establishment nearby:


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

This is my favourite street art, 20 metres from our door. It is paradoxical and striking:


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

July 13th 2011

We spent all day at the Louvre, dined early, on traditional French fare, at Chartier, before taking in the new final Harry Potter film for what was pretty much a perfect family day.

The kids are totally trained. We have worked on this for ages now, how to get every one on the same wavelength about how to have a good time, share experiences and be aware of how compromise helps us all. I have not heard Lucy and Sarah complain about walking since we left Australia. Pretty good considering we walk over 10 kilometres every day.

Our Paris Pass worked a treat (and we were very happy with the London one too). When we arrived at the Louvre, the lines stretched for hundreds and hundreds of metres. We jumped the queue, by flashing the museum pass, which made it gold.

We looked at a ridiculously large number of paintings. I particularly enjoyed seeing some of my favourite artists, including Guiseppe Archimboldo.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

The girls wanted to see the Mona Lisa and this is as close as we could realistically and comfortably get.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

The Egyptian collections are particularly extensive and I was surprised at how superior they are to the British Museum. I guess there was plenty of looting during Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 

I managed to take some black and white shots of everyone today, with nice light through a window at the Louvre, as they were resting.

You’ll note, from the pic above, that Sarah continues to be obsessively interested in audio guides. She liked the stylus, a new experience, with this PDA.

I should say that we all needed a rest after a day like this so a meal and movie were a good option. It seemed to me that this last Harry Potter film was not too long and is pretty much the best of all of them.

Now I need to sleep in preparation for Bastille Day tomorrow.

Paris…

exceeds expectations for most travellers and arriving, at our excellent apartment – 19, quai Saint Michel on the Left Bank, in the heart of the Latin Quarter and a stone’s throw to Notre Dame – filled my heart with light. We had been unaware that Henri Matisse lived and painted at this address for many years, until Stephen Collis generously translated the plaque in the hallway:

“Number 19, St. Michel Quay (whose stairs Matisse and Marquet climbed together so many times) was bustling with artists. On every level, wherever you looked, there were bright or shadowy studios opening onto landings, endless winding stairs, branching, opening out onto the Quay, the courtyard and onto Huchette Road.”

Studio, quai Saint-Michel (1917) Henri Matisse

Lucy can attest to the ‘endless winding stairs’ as she counted 90 steps to our apartment (with wifi) overlooking the Theatre De La Huchette.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore