Aug 8, 2012

Photo Diary of My Trip to Paris & Provence

 Even though Paris is more close from NJ than Japan, the flight is still expensive so my husband kindly let me stay another week for vacation after our climbing trip in Fontainebleau.  Since I thought it would be more fun with someone than alone, I had my Mother come over from Japan!

First visited Louvre Museum, the one you must go when you're in Paris!!
Everyone photo shooting "Mona Lisa" and the famous pyramide that shows in the movie "The Da Vinci Code".

Venus Milo, gosh how much I drew her in my school days!!
And "Mona Lisa", now I know how tiny you are!

Audio guides were 3DS!!

 Yes, Paris is a place for artists. (in front of Louvre Museum)
Rain made us jump into a cafe for lunch and had omelet and sandwich.

 Orsay Museum, you can see that this used to be a station from this view.

Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur); 
we used the cable car to the top!!

Beer is soooo good after tons of walking!

To my surprise, there were some Japanese artists at the hill of Montmartre!

 Walls of Concorde Station was covered with alphabet tiles!

'Love Locks' on the Pont Des Arts Bridge;
Couples fasten padlocks and toss the keys into the Seine river below to symbolize their eternal love.

Rental bicycles; very convenient when you know where the rental stations are!

For dinner we had Salmon Tartar and Beef Stew at L'Imperial, a restaurant that was on the Japanese guide book. (Japanese guide books never fail!)

Off to Marseille! 
but need to get breakfast first!
First time getting on TGV!  So exciting!

Joined a 1.5 hour sightseeing bus tour.
Fort St-Nicolas from the bus.

You can see the beautiful Mediterranean Sea from the longest bench in the world.

Got off the bus and walked to Le Panier, an area that used to be the fisherman's residence to buy Marseille soap.

Dinner at Fon Fon, a famous Bouillabaisse restaurant that a good friend introduced to me.  Lucky to have a seat cause it was packed with reservations!

Heading to Aix-en-Provence.  Nearly missed the train because of the heavy traffic and rude drivers. (the movie "Taxi" was taken in Marseille and it can be true!!)

Starting the cross-Luberon guide tour from Gordes.
Houses and fences are made of limestone.  The limestones are only piled up but within years, they start holding together.
Cobblestone lane

Senanque Abbey.  Too bad that it wasn't the lavender season, but it smelled so good in the shop!

Roussillon, a scenic village with colorful houses and shops.  Originally, the buildings are made with red soil.
Luckily, it was a market day and had fun looking at stuff, too!

Pont Julien, most oldest bridge in France.  Built 2000 years ago.

Had lunch at a cute restaurant in Lourmarin.  Couldn't read or speak French, so I ordered a pre-fixed dish and came with dessert!
Didn't have time to look inside the castle, but it was still beautiful from a distant.

Fountains of Aix-en-Provence
Never seen a dove taking a bath!

Avignon is a town surrounded with a castle wall.

Back to Paris!  It took 1.5 hour more because of the delay and waited more than 30 minutes in the line for a taxi at 1:30am!  Thank god, SNCF gave us a free ride!

I love how they have a theme at each Metro Stations!

Never forget to have crepe in Paris!

Found a very good wine shop!  The owners were American and Australian.  Best to have real English speakers when you need advice for wine!

Passage Cour du Commerce St-Andre; a little shopping street

Found a handmade leather shop and bought Yusuke a notebook with his initials.
This handsome gentleman is the artist of these leather goods.

Yes, this is Paris!  Playing piano in an open space!

And another round of Eiffel tower.  Can't let Mom go home without seeing this!

Tried another Alsace restaurant that was on the Japanese guidebook, but it seemed more like German food.

Even though I couldn't climb for a week, it was worth having a great mother-daughter time with good food, drinks and lots of walking!!!

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