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.

 

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.

Just go!

Posts have been few and far between for a number of different reasons, but quietly in the background, a trip to Paris has been planned! It’s getting very close to lift off, and I hope to have many pictures to share in the weeks to come.

somewhere over Minnesota, March 2016

Everyone I’ve talked to about Paris seems to have a strong opinion. It’s beautiful! The food was amazing! Wine is cheap! Paris in the Spring! You’ll love it! People are rude! Dog poop is everywhere! I would never go back!  I’ve tried to take those opinions with a grain of salt because travel is very personal, What one person thinks is an amazing destination, is on another person’s “I would never go there!” list.  (Jamaica is on that list for me.) My only travel advice is if you want to go somewhere, just go!

I thought it would be fun to pick just one photo from each of the last few trips to capture what I liked the most about each one.

Elk Island National Park, near Edmonton Alberta, Summer 2017 (one of the best places to watch a sunset!)

 

Puerto Vallarta, Banderas Bay, March 2017

 

Island Lake Lodge, August 2016 for a classic Canadian wilderness scene.

Prince Albert National Park, June 2016 (another classic Canadian wilderness scene)

New Orleans, March 2016. This was a hard one because I pretty much love everything about New Orleans. But one of my favourite things was walking along Royal Street at night in the French Quarter to take pictures of the window displays. This was in the window of the Red Truck Gallery.

Jasper National Park, July 2015. I love talking animal pictures.

Watching surfers, Maui, March 2105

This is not far from home at all…near Regina, summer 2015

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC, June 2014

…and still one of my favourite pictures I’ve ever taken…Great Bear Rainforest, June 2013

All of these pictures make me realize I’m very lucky to be able to travel and to see and experience many different places.