Plethora of Pelicans

I had no idea there were so many pelicans in Wascana Park…

plethora of pelicans

pelicans wascana lake

The pictures above were taken a couple of weeks ago, so then I had to go into my photo library and have a look at the other pelican pictures I’ve taken, mostly near the Albert Street Bridge. The last two are my favourite, a happy coincidence of good timing and just the right light.

pelicanx3-2Wascana Waterfowl Park 4Wascana Waterfowl Park 3

Pelican profilepelican profile 2

ceilings of the Louvre

“Remember to look at the ceilings in the Louvre!”

That’s the advice I took to heart in Paris.  The Louvre is intimidating – it’s the biggest and most visited museum in the world, so not only is there so much to see (over 35 000 works of art), you are often jockeying for a prime position to view a piece of art.  My advice to both beat the line-ups and to navigate through the crowds is to book a skip the line tour.  I booked an Express Tour through Viator, and with our guide, our group breezed through the line, and we were provided with a good overview of the collection. By no means did we see it all (that would take months!), but it was a solid introduction.

And, honestly, mostly I took pictures of the ceilings! Amazing!

Louvre Ceiling 6Louvre ceiling 3Louvre Ceiling 5Louvre ceiling 2Louvre ceiling 7 (1)Louvre Ceiing 4Louvre ceiling

Walking Along the Seine

One of my favourite parts of Paris was being near the Seine River. After a long, cold winter, the real purpose of the trip was not to visit the museums, eat the food, and drink the wine (okay that was part of it, too!!),  but to be outside and explore the city on foot.

Every day, and night, included a walk along the river.

spring afternoon by the seineNotre Dame at night

 

 

In Paris….around every corner…

…is something delightful to discover! The Stravinsky Fountain was on my list….and we happened on it accidentally after a wine tasting lunch while walking through the historical Beaubourg District.

Stravinsky Fountain 9Stravinsky Fountain 8Stravinsky Fountain 3Stravinsky Fountain 1Stravinsky Fountain 4Stravinsky Fountain 7

I love this mural by Jef Aerosol called Chuuutttt!

Stravinsky Fountain 5 and muralStravinsky Fountain 6Jef Aerosol mural 2Jef Aerosol Muralchuuutttt!

A few days into the trip, after lucking out and just coming upon the Fountain, the guidebook was left behind, and the list of carefully chosen restaurants and cafes (after much research on the internet and consulting guidebooks) was deleted from my phone.  There is so much to discover in Paris if you just open your eyes and look around. Plus you don’t need a guidebook to tell you where to eat!  Read the posted menu outside the restaurant and decide if it sounds appealing – the only advice I followed was choosing restaurants that were at least a few blocks away from a major tourist attraction as the food is generally better (and less expensive – you’re not paying the tourist prices). I read that advice in a guidebook, and it made sense to me.

Travel is meant to be fun and eye-opening.  You miss out on experiencing what a place is really like if you’re constantly consulting a guidebook or Google Maps on your phone to find directions to that “perfect” restaurant.

 

Paris in the Spring

Paris is always a good idea. -Audrey Hepburn

After two weeks in Paris, it’s back to work and back to the real world.  Paris was everything I imagined it would be and more.  It sparked my imagination, and I wanted to check off the “study” box on my customs form on the return to Canada instead of “personal” because I really felt like I was just there to soak it up all up and study the Parisian way of life!

I’ll share more photos over the coming weeks, but for now, here’s a picture of the Paris skyline from the Towers of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Paris from Notre Dame Towers on a Sunday Afternoon

Sunday Night in Paris

It was a rainy first day in Paris, but the rain made for some pretty picture taking opportunities…this is at the end of the bridge (Pont Saint-Louis) which links the two islands in Paris – Ile Saint Louis and Ile de la Cite.