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Decompressing and Planning

After Africa


View 2015 Grenada (and 2013) & 2018 Tanzania on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Decompressing

After my trip to Tanzania with J. my youngest grandchild, I was discussing with her mother (my daughter) a riverboat cruise that I thought I would like to take on the Rhone. I wanted to revisit the places in Provence that I had been to in 1964. These were the photos from that visit.

===August 1964, Thursday===

Today we visited Avignon, Arles, Les Baux, and Aix en Provence.

Cliffs along the road to Avignon

Cliffs along the road to Avignon

Plane trees along the road

Plane trees along the road

When we visited the Riviera and Provence, I had a Michelin guide book. The guide to the sites to visit was only available in French, which I can read a little bit.
Statue on top of Pope's Palace

Statue on top of Pope's Palace


This is the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe. It was built in the 14th century and was completed in only 20 years by popes Benedict XII and Clement VI when Avignon was the seat of the papacy.

At the time we visited, Avignon was not very well known and was off the normal tourist track. Thirty-some years after our visit, UNESCO designated it a "World Heritage for Humanity" site. Now, the Popes’ Palace is one of the most visited monuments in all of France. The walls of the Popes’ Palace are flanked by four towers - some of which are 170 feet tall
Entrance

Entrance


Walls of the palace

Walls of the palace


Doorway

Doorway

From the Great Chapel there is an entrance to the loggia where through the large Fenêtre de l'Indulgence (Window of Indulgence)
Indulgence Window

Indulgence Window


there is a view of the Great Courtyard. From this window the Pope used to give his blessing to the assembled faithful.
Courtyard

Courtyard


Now, the visitor can see over 20 rooms, scenes of historic events, in particular the pope’s private chambers and the frescoes painted by the Italian artist Matteo Giovannetti.
Jardin des Doms near the Pope's Palace

Jardin des Doms near the Pope's Palace

Grotto in garden

Grotto in garden

Bob eating lunch

Bob eating lunch

Looking over town

Looking over town


Sur le pont d'Avignon, L'on y danse, l'on y danse,

Sur le pont d'Avignon, L'on y danse, l'on y danse,


In English: On the bridge of Avignon, One dances there, one dances there,

[I always thought that it was under the bridge but three people have told me that it is On the bridge]
The song was popularised by Adolphe Adam who included it within his operetta "Le Sourd ou l’Auberge pleine" (1853). The above photo, which I took in 1964, still shows some of the little islands under the bridge.
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According to legend, this bridge belongs to St. Benezet. As a young goatherd, Benezet heard a heavenly voice ordering him to go to Avignon. He crossed the Rhone by ferry, and in midstream announced that he was going to build a bridge. This was distressing news for the ferryman, who, bent on eliminating unfair competition, tried to toss Benezet overboard.

Undaunted, he marched in to the Avignon cathedral and again announced in a voice loud enough to be heard over the Mass, his intention of building a bridge. He was ejected.

He waited outside, repeating his story to the faithful, until the bishop, determined to prove that Benezet was an evil lying child, pointed to a huge rock, and asked the boy to pick it up. Benezet did so - lifting it as if it were a pebble.

Convinced of the truth of the miracle, the city built the bridge. Over its second pier is the little Romanesque and Gothic chapel dedicated to St. Benezet, who later became a priest.
Bridge from Promenade du Rocher de Doms in 1964

Bridge from Promenade du Rocher de Doms in 1964

The bridge was built between 1171 and 1185 (first in wood and then in stone). It was finally put out of use by a catastrophic flood in 1668. It was not destroyed by either one of the World Wars.
Looking down river

Looking down river

Walls of town

Walls of town

Looking across river to the Fort Saint-André in the town of  Villeneuve-les-Avignon

Looking across river to the Fort Saint-André in the town of Villeneuve-les-Avignon

Looking across the river

Looking across the river

Roof tops of Avignon

Roof tops of Avignon

Walls of Avignon

Walls of Avignon

King Rene's Castle in Tarascon

King Rene's Castle in Tarascon

Castle moat

Castle moat

Castle

Castle

Collegiate Church of Saint Martha

Collegiate Church of Saint Martha

2130-00420019.JPGLooking across road to road to Van Gogh's insane asylum in Saint-Remy

Looking across road to road to Van Gogh's insane asylum in Saint-Remy


We visited the "Antiques of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence".
The Mausoleum of the Julii

The Mausoleum of the Julii


The mausoleum of Glanum is a cenotaph erected in memory of Caius and Lucius Caesar , grandsons of the emperor Augustus 1 . Gallo-Roman monument erected between -30 and -20 .
Arc de triomphe de Glanum

Arc de triomphe de Glanum


The Municipal Arc of Glanum is a Roman arch located in the municipality of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the Bouches-du-Rhône. It is one of the oldest arches in France

Overlooking Les Baux

Overlooking Les Baux


Les Baux looking across the parking lot

Les Baux looking across the parking lot


I was interested in Les Baux because bauxite, the ore from which aluminum was extracted was discovered here in 1822 by the geologist Pierre Berthier (who named it for the city). Charles Martin Hall invented a process to extract aluminum from bauxite at Oberlin in Ohio in 1886. That's where I went to school and we had an aluminum statue of Charles Martin Hall in the vestibule of our Chemistry building.

Unfortunately for France, the ore has been completely worked out; France now imports most of its bauxite from west Africa although they might still have been mining it when we were there in 1964

I was told that Dante wrote his description of Hell based on the twists and turns of the rocks in the landscape of Les Baux.
Dante's Landscape

Dante's Landscape


Other artists and writers have also viewed the fantastic landscape and subsequently written or painted works where this landscape has figured.

Desolation of Dante

Desolation of Dante


«No one passes through Les Baux without a sense of true nostalgia, for here, more than anywhere else, the labours of time show what becomes of the most ambitious undertakings: ruined walls and breaches onto the void. The stones of man’s proud constructions devoured by the sun and wind. Only traces remain of their ambition, fears and solitude»
(T.Fréchier)
In the city in 1964

In the city in 1964


In early times, it was quite common to settle on a hilltop where a fort could be built to defend the town. But the fortifications could not stand against modern cannons.
Ruins

Ruins


In the words of Mistral, the Lords of Les Baux were "never vassals". He was correct, since they were among the most powerful feudal lords in France’s Midi who ruled 79 fiefs with an iron hand for five centuries, crushing all insubordinance. They claimed to be the descendants of one of the three Magi, Balthazar. The evening star (Saint Estelle) was the sixteen-pointed star on the coat of arms of the Lords of Baux.

We might look at some events that occurred before Les Baux was finally overcome by France. For nearly twenty years, Raymond des Baux waged the Baussenque wars (1145 to 1162), fighting the Count of Barcelona for the earldom of Provence. He was known as "the scourge of Provence" - he found throwing prisoners off the top of the castle to be an effective solution. At the same time, Les Baux was also the location of the famous Courts of Love where poetry and song were occupations for the inhabitants.
Cats over a doorway

Cats over a doorway


The castle was destroyed by Louis XI (in 1483). The most famous governor was Constable Anne de Montmorency, embarked on considerable restoration work, and the town saw a return to splendour. The Constable had the Treasury archives transferred to the citadel from Aix, where they were under threat from Charles V’s troops.

However, the castle and city walls were eventually destroyed under Richelieu’s orders because of the rebellious Protestantism of the Manville family who managed what had by now become just a barony. The ramparts were defended for 27 days but in the end they surrendered. Less than two hundred years later, Les Baux at last became the marquisate of the Grimaldi royal family of Monaco.

Now the village has been painstakingly restored and several buildings in the village are classified as "Historic Monuments." When we were there, it was still in the original ruins.
Fortified City Falls to Canon

Fortified City Falls to Canon

large_2138-00420012.JPG
2a603a50-8b89-11e8-a8d3-953bfcef9678.jpgFields

Fields


Valley below Les Baux

Valley below Les Baux


Ruins on the hill

Ruins on the hill


The Alyscamps is a large Roman necropolis, a short distance outside the walls of Arles, France.
Entrance

Entrance


Bob walking between the tombs

Bob walking between the tombs


It was one of the most famous necropolises of the ancient world. Roman cities traditionally forbade burials within the city limits. It was therefore common for the roads immediately outside a city to be lined with tombs and mausoleums. In the case of Arles, there were five necropolises, situated on each of the main roads leading to this city. The Alyscamps was the most famous of the five and was Arles' main burial ground for nearly 1,500 years. It was the final segment of the Aurelian Way, a road that connected Rome to Arles and which lead up to the city gates. Alyscamps was used as a burial ground for well-off citizens, whose memorials ranged from simple sarcophagi to elaborate monuments.
Me being resurrected from a tomb

Me being resurrected from a tomb


At one time, Alyscamps would have been much larger. Originally it was the largest collection in western Europe of marble sarcophagi outside Rome. The best sarcophagi have been removed to various churches and museums of Arles. The small amount now visible is what is left after looting during the Renaissance, and the 19th century installations of railway lines and a water canal.

The Alyscamps was the subject of several Van Gogh paintings. We visited in 1964. In 1981, the Alyscamps was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group.
Bob walking along ahead of me

Bob walking along ahead of me

We got to Arles at the end of the day, parked and walked into the Roman Theater. Arles Roman Theatre, known as the Théâtre antique d'Arles, is an Ancient Roman theatre in the Provence town of Arles which would have been used for a variety of theatrical shows. When we were there, they were using the site for a photo shoot.

This theater was probably constructed in the late first century BC to early first century AD, during the reign of the Emperor Augustus (27 BC–14 AD). Quarried for its materials in the Middle Ages, Arles Roman Theatre was only really rediscovered in the nineteenth century. By this time, only a fraction of its steps remained together with the orchestra and two solitary columns.

Now one of Arles’ UNESCO World Heritage sites, Arles Roman Theatre is the venue of an annual festival.
Theatre from where we parked (our car on left)

Theatre from where we parked (our car on left)

Entrance

Entrance


Models in the theatre

Models in the theatre

Columns that remain

Columns that remain

Bob walking ahead of me

Bob walking ahead of me

large_7427707-Arles_a_la_Michelin_Arles.jpg
This picture is of the amphitheatre, which was built around AD 90. It ranks among the great amphitheatres and could hold 20,000 spectators. Gladiator fights and animal hunts took place here until the end of the 5th century.

We really had a rather good day altho the tours of the Pope's Palace etc. were exclusively in French and so not much of a success (Bob does not speak French). Otherwise we had a good stay.

----------------------

Planning

J.'s older sister A. said she would really like to go on that cruise because she had been studying French in HS was was interested in all things French. She wanted to speak French and hear people who were French speaking French. I knew that Bob wouldn't want to go, so I started making plans.

The river boat part of the cruise would be taken on an AmaWaterways ship called AmaCello. My normal cruise travel agent did not want to handle a river cruise, so I booked with Vacations To Go. By November 2018, I had the following plans
Pre-Tour Hotel Check in: June 24, 2019 (3 nights)
Hotel Name: Renaissance Arc de Triomphe
Tour Begins June 24, 2019
Tour Ends: July 7, 2019
Post-Tour Hotel Check in: July 4, 2019 (3 nights)
Hotel Name: Le Méridien Barcelona

These plans were subsequently modified somewhat. Since the family was gathering for a cruise from June 8th to the 14th 60th Anniversary Cruise we decided that A could stay with us instead of flying back to Houston with her family. Then we could fly out on the 19th of June

The cost for the trip was substantial. It included flying out the 19th of June, the 20th to the 24th in the hotel in Paris before the tour started, private tours of Paris, the cruise itself from the 24th of June to the 3rd of July, the post cruise hotel to the 7th of July. For each of us the cruise and pre and post hotels was $9,400.00

My granddaughter's air fare was $5,076.00 plus $178.00 to select her seats
My air fare was $3,117.00
Insurance $714.85

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:04 Archived in France Tagged barcelona paris france avignon les_baux dante aix_en_provence speaking_french popes_palace st_benezet antiques_st-remy alyscamps river_boat_cruise Comments (7)

First Time through Charles de Gaulle Airport

Last time I came By Train


View 2015 Grenada (and 2013) & 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona & 60th Wedding Anniversary Trip in 2019 on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

It was a very short turn-around between the Bermuda cruise which ended on the 13th and this trip which started on the 19th. Some of our children came down after the cruise and helped get things done around the house. Lynde came and vacuumed several days (to help with A's allergy to cats) and I got together a list of what I was taking and we got me packed.

I thought I would have the scooter charger in the suitcase so we left room for it. Then I thought that maybe the battery charger would set off the TSA and make them think the suitcase had a bomb.

Bob brought the charger up in the battery box so that if we had to carry the battery on the plane, we could put it in the battery box. This proved to be a bad idea. But I jettisoned all the things I usually carry in the computer bag except the computer and my medicine container (with the pills arranged by day) so that I could put the charger into the computer bag and it wouldn't be too heavy. I added the multi-national plug outlet and the power strip so that we could charge the scooter, between flights if we needed to. I also added the short extension cord to the suitcase, and took all the excess stuff from my pocketbook and put that in the suitcase too. The limit for a suitcase on BA is 70 lbs but I am sure my suitcase does not weigh that much. It may be a little over 50 lbs and that is heavy enough.

I had some €s from our trip last winter, and Bob got me some US cash too.

A had three suitcases and I was not sure that she could manage all three with my stuff so I suggested that she put all the Paris things in two of the suitcases and that Bob would ship the third one home to our daughter. And it was done. And it was good. I also gave her the camera J used for her to use on the trip, since while cell phones are good, a camera is really better.

On the night of the 18th, I had trouble sleeping, thinking of all the things I should do in the morning. In the morning, I
a) Called the credit card companies to tell them I was traveling
b) Called the GW hospital billing place to ask them if they had billed our secondary insurance. (And found that they had, and I didn't owe any money even though they sent me a bill)
c) Organized my pocketbook and computer bag and checked the packing list
d) Put the pills in the pill carrier
e) Did last minute computer emails etc
f) Took a shower dressed and got ready to leave.
Salt dome as we left town

Salt dome as we left town


We left the house a little before 5 and Bob dropped us off at Terminal C (American Airlines) when I told him it was Terminal E (British Airways) where we needed to be. He put together the scooter, put my pocketbook and computer bag on it and told me to go into the terminal and A followed pulling our two large suitcases with the backpack on her back. Then of course we had to walk down to terminal E.

We went to the priority check-in line and one of the ladies picked up the suitcases and she checked both of them in on my ticket. Then they tried to tell me that I had to check the scooter, but I resisted. Eventually they tagged it so that if the cabin crew would not take the scooter into the closet (which I knew they could do as I have done it many times before), that it could be gate checked.

Then we went through security. They had me walk through a magnetic door (and I didn't set off any alarms - they kept asking me if I had any metal parts or a pacemaker) and then they patted down the scooter and we retrieved our stuff.

We went to the lounge to wait and I got a smoked salmon sandwich, not remembering that I really don't like smoked salmon, and also some chicken noodle soup, which it was too bad that A couldn't eat because of the noodles. She has a gluten allergy and can't eat anything made of wheat flour, so she had a hard time finding anything. I also had some kind of mixed juice.
First class lounge

First class lounge


We left the lounge a little before the time boarding was to start, and found the gate and I parked us in the handicapped holding area.
Waiting at the Gate

Waiting at the Gate


Eventually I spoke to the gate agents, and one of them men looked at the scooter and took the battery out (everyone is completely spooked by the words LITHIUM ION) and took a photo of it with his cell phone. After some to and fro, I said we would fold up the scooter and he could take it down to the cabin crew if I could have a wheelchair to go down the ramp. So I commandeered a wheelchair and A folded the scooter to closet size and they took it away. And then they brought the battery back to me for me to carry. But I had no place to put it as there was not room in my computer bag for both the charger and the battery. Plus my computer bag was already pretty heavy.

The wheelchair guy took me down to the door of he plane and I tipped him $2. The cabin crew took my pocketbook, computer bag and cane and helped me to my seat. A was held up a little bit because she didn't realize that she had to show her passport again to get on.
A in the opposite seat

A in the opposite seat


The seats would lie flat, but there was no place to put anything. The seats on KLM were much better. The windows were auto-darkening (you pushed a button under each window to darken or lighten) but I really didn't see the difference between dark and not-dark because it was dark outside by this time. I don't know if it was raining or not, but there were raindrops on the window.
Raindrops on the window

Raindrops on the window


Taking off

Taking off


They took away my pocketbook and put it in the overhead and then they gave me a card to fill out about what I wanted for breakfast and I didn't have a pen. I didn't realize that the packet they gave me had a pen in it - they were all shut with a plastic cord over the zipper - the kind of thing that they put price tags on clothes in the store with.

We were late taking off - I don't know why. Maybe because of the rain. We were supposed to leave at 9:10 and we pushed away from the gate at 9:14 and did not take off until 10ish.

While I was waiting, I played trivia. If you got a certain number correct you could go to the next level. So I got to level 4 and I missed more than 2 questions (out of 20) so I had to stop there but I had a high score of 120,690 and the next highest was 36,000
Trivia scores

Trivia scores


After take-off they came and asked me what I wanted for dinner and I couldn't find the menu so I just said beef.
Butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup


And I got the butternut squash soup and the bread pudding.
Bread pudding

Bread pudding


Then I realized that my pills were all in the computer bag in the overhead. I got them and took the morning pills out too. I made a trip to the bathroom, and then got ready to sleep. Unfortunately I didn't get the bed completely flat and so I gradually slid down so that my feet were against the bulkhead and my dress and all the blankets were twisted around me.
Footrest

Footrest


So I got up and started over. I think we both slept a couple of hours.
Route screen

Route screen


They waked us up about a hour from landing and gave us breakfast.
Breakfast

Breakfast


I had a scrambled egg wrap, some yogurt with granola and some croissants. I changed my watch and both cameras to the new time zone. The cell phones changed themselves.
Landing Heathrow

Landing Heathrow


When we got to Heathrow (late - we landed close to 10), we waited until everyone was off and then A put the scooter together and put the battery in it and we put the computer bag and the pocket book and me on it and we started out to conquer Heathrow.

We followed the purple signs to "All gates". We had come in at an E gate and we were probably going to leave out of an A, or B gate. So we kept asking directions, and we went up and down elevators (in one case we got to the correct floor and then thought we had it wrong so we went back down and had to come back up again). At some point we went through an area where they investigated the scooter again. I told them that they could gate check the scooter if I could have a wheelchair to the plane. And that's what we decided to do. They said I could have the battery in the scooter or out of the scooter and I said IN. This proves that they could have left the battery in the scooter on the first flight too. They tagged the scooter with the gate check tags.

We had to get on a train to another section of Terminal 5 and then we had to go through security. This would have been quicker but we had put a coat on top of the computer so they made us wait for the computer to go through again. Then up another elevator to get to the Lounge.
From the heathrow lounge

From the heathrow lounge


Unfortunately the Lounge is not just for Club and First Class passengers - it is for all BA passengers. So it was very crowded and we could not find a seat in the area that had plugs where we could charge our electronics. We did find seats about 11:00 and we now had at least 2 hours to wait before our gate would be posted. I read my Kindle a bit and then I was too sleepy to read anymore and so both of us dozed while sitting there in the chairs for an hour or so.
Scooter in the bathroom

Scooter in the bathroom


I went to the bathroom and told A that there was lunch items now so she went and got herself something.

Finally they posted the gate. And we found our way there (another elevator but no train this time). A folded the scooter flat, and they took it away and gave me a wheelchair to get to the plane. Again we took off late. They said it was because they were loading cargo.

A had the window and took photos.
Taking off from Heathrow

Taking off from Heathrow

The arrow points to ?

The arrow points to ?


We had an empty seat between us with a table thing on it. They gave us food - they had a gluten free sandwiches for A. I got the tea sandwiches and tea. There was a scone with clotted cream.
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Landing at Charles de Gaulle

I had never been into France by air before. In 1964, I came both times by train. And I looked it up - Charles de Gaulle was President of France when I was there in 1964 and this airport was not built until 1974.

There was a wheelchair waiting for me with a tall black guy to push. A was practicing her French on him and he was helping her. We got our two suitcases and he put them on a luggage cart and then we had to go to a separate area to get the scooter. He just put it on the luggage cart folded and we went to find our driver - who was right there waiting. The wheelchair guy took me out to the car - it was a big Mercedes van with space for 6 people. I tipped the wheelchair guy €2

It took quite a while to drive in to the hotel which was the Renaissance La Parc Trocadero (a change from the original hotel)
Taking photos on the way from the airport

Taking photos on the way from the airport


A was taking photos of graffiti with the camera on the sport mode
A.s photo of Graffitti

A.s photo of Graffitti

Homer Simpson and graffitti

Homer Simpson and graffitti


The driver wasn't real chatty, but he did talk to us some. We got to the hotel and another car right in front of us parked in the place where one would unload people. So our driver had to unload us in the street, and the hotel people came out and helped me in. The van driver got away from us before I could give him a tip. A unfolded the scooter and then I could sit and register.

The guy registering us was really cute and spoke American English. I asked him and said he was American and French. Anyway I registered to get Marriott points (which I have not done until now as I rarely stay at a Marriott property) and we gave him our passports to scan, and then we were to go to the room. I had to get into a single chair lift to go down the three steps from the front desk level down to the street level
Single Chair lift

Single Chair lift


and there were two little steps to get off the left. The second one jolted the battery out of position and I had no more power. This caused a lot of confusion because the automatic door kept closing on me while I was trying to explain the problem.

There was a private party in the restaurant and bar which meant that we could not have dinner there as we had planned (since we did not think we would be in a frame of mind after the trip to go out), and we had to go through said private party in the garden area inside the hotel to get to our room. It was NOT a handicapped room. There is no place to turn the scooter around. I can drive the scooter in and that's it - I have to back out.
First room with scooter and my suitcase behind it

First room with scooter and my suitcase behind it


Normally this would not be a problem. But the room had a tub and there were no grab bars or place to sit and have a shower. And also there was no night stand or bedside table on one side of the bed and I really need as a minimum, a place to put my glasses at night. All we could find to serve the purpose of a nightstand was a square wastebasket, so we turned that upside down and I used the bottom of it to put things on. But that did not take care of the shower problem. There was also a very strange little shower attachment next to the toilet which I thought might be a bidet attachment, but I could not figure out how to use it. I thought I might have been able to use it to shower with but it would have been quite messy as there was no drain in the floor.

Anyway, we were there. I decided that I didn't want that much to eat, so we ordered a salad and strawberry sorbet
img_3921.jpg A.'s photos of our food

A.'s photos of our food


from room service and it was €55.
A,'s report on this day

Tips

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:01 Archived in USA Tagged paris airport packing heathrow first_class jet_lag bwi charles_de_gaulle speaking_french Comments (6)

Overview of Paris

History and Architecture


View 2015 Grenada (and 2013) & 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Today our travel agent (Lauren Betenbough with Vacations to Go) has arranged for us to have a 6 hour private tour of Paris. I had been to Paris twice before - once in 1950 and once in 1964, and I had photos which I took from the upper deck of the tour bus.
1964 Brochure_for_tour-Paris

1964 Brochure_for_tour-Paris


For those photos plus the comparison with the ones taken on this trip, go to the end of this post.

But A. had not been to Paris and even though AmaWaterways had scheduled a city tour, I knew from previous experience in Amsterdam that it would be short and less informative one. A. had made a list of the somewhat off the beaten track things that she would want to see.

We dressed to go out for the day on our tour and went down to have breakfast about 8. When we checked in they said free WI-fi and breakfast was included (and the wi-fi has been great).
A picking breakfast items

A picking breakfast items


A. brought me scrambled eggs a sausage, some cheese and a roll, and grapefruit sections cut up nicely in a glass.
Grapefruit sections

Grapefruit sections


They also brought me tea (which I thought might keep me awake although I was afraid it would also make me pee.)
Breakfast after I ate the scrambled eggs

Breakfast after I ate the scrambled eggs


I signed for the breakfast and the price was on the bill but it was zeroed out.
Breakfast charge slip

Breakfast charge slip


Map of Paris on the ceiling of the hotel restaurant

Map of Paris on the ceiling of the hotel restaurant


After breakfast I went out to confront the desk people about having a place to put my glasses and the shower problem. I said I didn't want to move rooms, but he persuaded me that there was a handicapped room on the ground floor that would have a shower instead of a tub and that the bell man would help me move. He also gave me some change for a €10 note. He said we could look at the room when we came back from the tour. He said they were fully booked on Thursday and that was why we couldn't have the room then.

He said the tour guide had called that he would be there and I noticed a man hanging around the lobby dressed in black but didn't know that he was the guide. So A got a paper and I went and sat in the chair in the lobby. About 9:15 the man came over and asked if I was Ms. Beasley and it was our guide Angelo.
A's report on this tour
He had a big black Mercedes SUV type vehicle like the driver from the airport - it would seat six. We put the scooter in the back and I suggested that A sit in front so she could take photos more easily, and we set off. Angelo turned out to be an Italian who lived in Luxembourg as a child so he spoke three languages and he went to the Sorbonne to be a teacher. But all the French teacher candidates got the best schools and he decided he would be better off using his history to be a tour guide.
Patissier as we started on our tour

Patissier as we started on our tour


He looked at A's list and my photos of Paris, but I don't really think he changed his normal tour much. It was a really nice tour and he went over the history of Paris and the architecture and the districts and pointed out all the famous places. At one point he said that if you could drive through the traffic circle at the Arc de Triomphe without having an accident then you were a good driver.
Arc de Triomphe from a car in the Place de l'Étoile

Arc de Triomphe from a car in the Place de l'Étoile


Unfortunately the only view we got of the Arc was from the Place de l'Étoile (now called the Place Charles de Gaulle) and we were too close to get a really good photo.

We went passed Les Invalides which was a place built for French soldiers to stay when they were injured, Opera Garnier, the Pantheon, Sainte Chapelle, The Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe.
DeGaule statue

DeGaule statue


Statue on Pont Alexandre III Bridge

Statue on Pont Alexandre III Bridge

Column with gilded sculpture on the Pont Alexandre III bridge

Column with gilded sculpture on the Pont Alexandre III bridge

Cherub and Lamp Sculpture Decorating the Pont Alexandre III Bridge

Cherub and Lamp Sculpture Decorating the Pont Alexandre III Bridge

Musee de L'Ordre de la Liberation

Musee de L'Ordre de la Liberation


Joseph Gallieni Statue

Joseph Gallieni Statue


I did not know the name of Joseph Simon Gallieni (24 April 1849 – 27 May 1916) but he was a French soldier, active for most of his career as a military commander and administrator in the French colonies. He was recalled from retirement at the outbreak of the First World War. As Military Governor of Paris he played an important role in the First Battle of the Marne, when Maunoury's Sixth Army, which was under his command, attacked the German west flank. A small portion of its strength was rushed to the front in commandeered Paris taxicabs. . He was made Marshal of France posthumously in 1921.
Marie Emile Fayolle statue

Marie Emile Fayolle statue


Marie Emile Foyolle was a World War I hero and eventually a Marshall of France. His statue faces Gallieni's on Place Vauban.
Grand Palais

Grand Palais

Obelisk

Obelisk

Maxim's restaurant

Maxim's restaurant

Umbrella installation

Umbrella installation


This is the entrance to the Village Royal nestled in the 8th arrondissement in one of the streets hidden behind the Madeleine church. Portuguese artist Patricia Cunha set up her world-famous project called “Umbrella Sky Project” here.
L'église de la Madeleine

L'église de la Madeleine

Entrance to the shop of the National Academy of Music

Entrance to the shop of the National Academy of Music

National Academy of Music

National Academy of Music

Emperor's entrance to the Garnier Opera House

Emperor's entrance to the Garnier Opera House

Iranian Bank

Iranian Bank


IMG_1039.JPGBase of the Colonne Vendome

Base of the Colonne Vendome


Police car and cement truck

Police car and cement truck

Sun king's symbol on a balcony

Sun king's symbol on a balcony

Gold fence - Place de la Concorde entrance to the Tuileries

Gold fence - Place de la Concorde entrance to the Tuileries


Angelo let us get out at the Tuileries Garden at the Place de la Concord end and we waited for him to park and then we walked (me on the scooter) up to the Arc de Triomphe de Carrousel. The paths were flat but not very scooter friendly as they were dirt with some gravel and occasional cobblestones.
Tuileries Garden ferris wheel

Tuileries Garden ferris wheel


Fountain in Tuileries Gardens

Fountain in Tuileries Gardens

Map of the Tuileries Garden

Map of the Tuileries Garden

Garden

Garden


Our guide Angelo on the right - Julius Caesar with a pigeon on his head on the left

Our guide Angelo on the right - Julius Caesar with a pigeon on his head on the left


Fountain in Tuileries Garden

Fountain in Tuileries Garden

Statue in the Tuileries Garden

Statue in the Tuileries Garden


Then we waited for him to go get the car from where he had parked it.
Dog walkers

Dog walkers

Clean up people

Clean up people

Souvenir seller

Souvenir seller

Tuk Tuk Ride sign

Tuk Tuk Ride sign

Louvre

Louvre


We waited quite a long time (more than 20 minutes), and I started to get worried about it so I called the number on the tour page and they answered, but he arrived within about 5 minutes of my call and said there was traffic. And there WAS traffic - quite a lot of it.
Accueil Zone Tampon sign

Accueil Zone Tampon sign


We spoke about lunch as it was now after 12 and he said we would go to lunch, but he didn't seem to be making any progress toward actually getting some place where we could eat. I was getting sleepy, and I was also worried about getting to the dinner at the Eiffel Tower on time because the tour was scheduled to be 9-3 and we had to switch rooms and I wanted to take a shower and have a nap.
Galleries Lafayette

Galleries Lafayette


We went by the Galleries Lafayette - I wanted to take A. there but we never got time, or rather I never had the energy
Police Station

Police Station

Univeriste de Paris

Univeriste de Paris


But we continued on. A was taking photos in the sport mode so she was firing off several shots at once. We got to Montmartre
Sex Toys

Sex Toys


and I should have gotten out to take photos from there, but I was very sleepy so I said I would just stay in the car. A went off and had lunch and I ate a roll from breakfast that I had put in my pocket and a little trail mix that was in my pocketbook. They brought me a sandwich which would have been great except that there was savoury stuff in with the ham and you really needed good teeth to bite off a chunk of bread. I could do it, but it was difficult.
Hotel entrance which I can't use because there are three steps

Hotel entrance which I can't use because there are three steps


We got back to the hotel about 3:15 and I tipped the driver €30 plus I gave him $20 to repay him for buying lunch which was not included on the tour according to the printout. I can get to our room without going into the hotel lobby by going straight in through the garden which is on street level - no steps

Then and Now photos - One photo taken 1964 and one taken 2019. The angle is slightly different because in 1964 I was on the top of a double decker bus
Place de Concorde

Place de Concorde


Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

The Senat in the backgrounds du Luxembourg Gardens

The Senat in the backgrounds du Luxembourg Gardens

Jardin des Grands Explorateurs

Jardin des Grands Explorateurs

L'église de la Madeleine

L'église de la Madeleine

Grand Palais

Grand Palais

Louvre

Louvre

Moulin Radet and the new Moulin Rouge

Moulin Radet and the new Moulin Rouge

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

Horse statue on Sacre Coeur

Horse statue on Sacre Coeur

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:59 Archived in France Tagged paris sacre_coeur arc_de_triomphe private_tour fayolle tuileries_gardens then_and_now speaking_french gallieni Comments (15)

Up the Eiffel Tower

Aborted Dinner at the Jules Verne Restaurant


View 2015 Grenada (and 2013) & 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

The hotel had not finished cleaning the new room, so we (mostly my granddaughter) packed and I lay down and had a rest. Long story short - we changed rooms.
Entrance to the garden patio of the hotel

Entrance to the garden patio of the hotel

Corridor to our room which is at the end

Corridor to our room which is at the end


For some reason, they wanted me to look at the room before we moved so I did, but I didn't really need to. The new room had a double bed (the front desk guy had said that the handicapped rooms were all doubles)
Double bed

Double bed


so they brought in a roll-away bed which they put in the "hall" opposite the bathroom. I decided that I would sleep on the rollaway because the head of it was against a table which I could use to put things on. (As again there was only one bedside table.)
Rollaway

Rollaway


The shower was a roll in shower, but with no seat, so they brought me a shower chair.
Shower stool

Shower stool

Toilet area of the bathroom

Toilet area of the bathroom


I got a shower and got dressed and then went to get a cab to dinner. I had spoken to the hotel about this but they apparently thought that I wanted the cab at 6 and not that I had a reservation for dinner at 6. There were some people at the entrance and they asked about the scooter. They said they waited 45 minutes for a taxi and that I should get Uber instead. But I thought it would be too late to do that to be on time for dinner because it was already 5:30.

When I was in Paris in 1964, I went up to the first level of the Eiffel Tower and I don't have any photos except this one.
Going up the Eiffel Tower in 1964 - France

Going up the Eiffel Tower in 1964 - France


So I was anxious to have some more photos

The driver went around to the 'back' of the tower to let us off and we went in. The meter said €14 plus €4 which was maybe for the scooter and he pushed the button on the meter and it flashed briefly at €18.2, so I gave him €20, and he seemed happy with that. I decided later that I was overtipping so that was why people were so happy.

After we went through security, I tried to find the restaurant and finally went to some official looking people and asked. They said that the Jules Verne restaurant had closed (It was apparently unexpected) and would be closed for several months. (Lauren did not find out about it until after we had left.) The lady we talked to apparently felt sorry for us and let us go up into the tower for free. She led us to the elevator and when it came to the place where you handed in your ticket, she just passed us through without paying. She said we could go to the second level, but it was confusing and we got off at the first level.
Looking down to the base

Looking down to the base

Looking up

Looking up

Bank of the Seine

Bank of the Seine

Looking toward the ugly skyscraper

Looking toward the ugly skyscraper

My granddaughter on the first level

My granddaughter on the first level

Under the tower

Under the tower

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

Russian Orthodox Cathedral

Russian Orthodox Cathedral


I think that we could have taken the elevator to the second level, but it wasn't clear how to do that. So A went up the stairs. Neither of realized how many stairs that would be, but she made it. These are her photos
Seine from the 2nd level of the Eiffel tower

Seine from the 2nd level of the Eiffel tower

Fountain from the 2nd level

Fountain from the 2nd level

Hôtel des Invalides

Hôtel des Invalides


She also took a video of the boats in the Seine. After A got down from the 2nd level, she said that she did not think that there was much in the cafeteria that she could eat as it was mostly sandwiches. She was still being cautious about gluten. So we had to find an elevator down. We went to a place which said it was to go down but nothing ever stopped. Someone official came and got us and led us to another place and put us onto an elevator almost full of people so we got down to the ground again.

I had seen a taxi out front, so after A led us out the Sortie, I went up to the driver and said Taxi. A told him where we wanted to go and he said it was a fixed rate of €24 (which I didn't really believe, but my back was beginning to cramp up and so I didn't argue). A folded the scooter and we got in. He wanted the street address rather than the name of the hotel and I didn't have it, but we arrived there reasonably quickly.

We ate at the hotel restaurant which we had been unable to do last night.
Appetizer

Appetizer


Soup

Soup


I had Langouste - I really wish I had thought to photograph the menu as the Langousta came wrapped in what looked like shredded wheat. (The langousta was a special and I found out the next night that the specials were not on the regular menu so it would not have done me any good to photograph the menu.)
Langousta

Langousta


A had some carrot soup
Carrot soup

Carrot soup


and gluten free bread which she said seemed freshly baked as it came out very warm and not looking like it was packaged. For the entre, she had yellow chicken breast.
Yellow Chicken Breast

Yellow Chicken Breast


I was in a lot of pain by now and really couldn't give the dinner full appreciation. So we didn't get dessert.

When we got back to the room I had A put a Lidocane patch on my back and then I went right to sleep. I woke up about 5 in the morning and went to the bathroom and took last nights pills and wrote up the day. Then I went back to sleep.

My granddaughter's account of this part of the tripDay 15

Posted by greatgrandmaR 12:48 Archived in France Tagged paris france stairs eiffel_tower closed back_pain speaking_french Comments (6)

Iconic Parisian Sites - the Louvre and the Catecombs

Separate Trips


View 2015 Grenada (and 2013) & 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

My granddaughter A and I had different goals for today. A wanted to see the catacombs and the sewers (which I knew were not handicapped accessible and which I wasn't that anxious to see anyway), but the sewers were closed.
My granddaughter

My granddaughter


She was not interested in the Louvre, but I had visited it when I was in Paris in 1950 when I was 12, and I thought I should see it again. All I remember seeing in 1950 was the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace all lit up at night, so I thought I might see the Venus again. The internet said that the Winged Victory up a flight of steps and was not handicapped accessible so I wasn't sure if I would be able to see that.

I had told A that we could sleep in as I was not being picked up until 10:30, but I didn't mean to sleep in as much as we did. I woke up at 9:40. We got dressed and went to breakfast - had orange slices and a hard boiled egg and some cheese. A got sparkling water which. after the bubbles dissipated was kind of a shock - you think you are drinking regular water, and you are not.

I went out to the lobby and the guide was there. Her name was Hildegard and she was an art history major who could do any museum in France. But she had not known that I was on a scooter. That was a surprise to her.

I had to use the little lift down from the lobby to the street.
Bellman and granddaughter waiting for me to get down the single chair lift

Bellman and granddaughter waiting for me to get down the single chair lift


A went out with us and showed the driver how to fold the scooter and the bell man insisted on giving me 3 bottles of water because he said it was going to be hot. And we started off.

The driver said he knew which was the handicapped entrance but when I looked it up later I realized that he did not take us to the handicapped entrance which is a special elevator under the pyramid. He also confided that he was going back to get A for her tour of the catacombs at 12:30. We got out and I put the scooter back together. The non-handicapped entrance had a little 2" step up which I lifted the scooter over.

I don't know whether Hildegard would have done some research if she had known I was using a scooter, but she had great difficulty finding elevators to get to the level she wanted to get to and she seemed to have a hard time actually paying attention to the signs. She would try to find her way to the place she wanted to be and would fail and would go ask a Louvre guard, and they would end up leading us to the elevator and riding up or down with us and walking us through to the next elevator etc.

I told Hildegard that I wanted to see Venus de Milo and the painters that influenced the impressionists like Caravaggio, Courbet, David, Delacroix and Ingres. Our goals were not in complete congruence. She wanted to give me a whole complete lecture on each painting about the history and technique of the paintings (which was her training), and I just wanted to look at them and then look at some other things.

First we had to go through security. We went by a lot of fancy shops (and there was a money changing place too) where I didn't have a chance to shop if I had wanted to shop. Then we were under the pyramid.
Under the pyramid

Under the pyramid


She carefully explained each of the significant paintings, and I tried to take photos without people's heads or light reflections in the painting surface. We started with Pierre Paul Prudhon's painting of Napoleon's wife. (I didn't get a good photo of it.) Next we viewed
Grande Odalisque by Ingres

Grande Odalisque by Ingres


Ingres added five extra vertebrae to her spine (on purpose I guess). Above us on the ceiling were four paintings on the history of France.
One of four paintings about the history of France - this one is Napoleon

One of four paintings about the history of France - this one is Napoleon


We looked at Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Plague-Stricken in Jaffa by Antoine-Jean Gros which Hildegarde said was propaganda. And we also looked at the Coronation of Napoleon.
The Raft of the Medusa  by Theodore Gericault

The Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault


was next. Hildegarde was pleased to point out the two diagonal lines (pyramidal shapes) in the painting, the two extra black men on the raft, and the man snacking on other man - cannibalism. She said that the sailors from the Medusa were only on the raft for about 20 hours but it was really 13 days. We then spent a long time talking about
Le 28 Julliet: La Liberte guidant le peuple by Eugene Delacroix

Le 28 Julliet: La Liberte guidant le peuple by Eugene Delacroix


She said that this man in the black top hat was a Delacroix's self portrait, but apparently that idea has been discredited.
Formerly thought to be a Delacroix self portrait

Formerly thought to be a Delacroix self portrait


She also said that this person was a real person.
The revolutionary urban worker, as exemplified by the boy holding pistols.

The revolutionary urban worker, as exemplified by the boy holding pistols.


She didn't tell me anything about his picture - I just thought it was interesting.
A Young Tiger Playing with its Mother by Eugene Delacroix

A Young Tiger Playing with its Mother by Eugene Delacroix


We passed by the two princes with little discussion
The Children of Edward by Paul Delaroche

The Children of Edward by Paul Delaroche

Joan of Arc at the Coronation of King Charles VII in Reims Cathedral by Jean-Auguste-Dominique INGRES

Joan of Arc at the Coronation of King Charles VII in Reims Cathedral by Jean-Auguste-Dominique INGRES


Bust of a Roman

Bust of a Roman


I took this photo on the way to another section of the museum. We were going to the Italian section.
The Pastoral Concert (ca. 1510) by Giorgione or Titian inspiration for Manet 1862 painting Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe which caused such a sensation

The Pastoral Concert (ca. 1510) by Giorgione or Titian inspiration for Manet 1862 painting Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe which caused such a sensation


Looking out the window

Looking out the window


Portrait of a Venetian woman known as The Beautiful Nani by Tintoretto.

Portrait of a Venetian woman known as The Beautiful Nani by Tintoretto.


We both really liked the detail in Tintoretto's painting.
The palm reader who is stealing his ring

The palm reader who is stealing his ring

One of the mirrors in the Louvre

One of the mirrors in the Louvre

Spring - painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo from the Four Season series

Spring - painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo from the Four Season series


Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione by Raphael

Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione by Raphael


After about an hour, my back started to hurt, and I tried to hurry her along. But she insisted that I see the Mona Lisa, and there was a special path for wheelchairs that put us around in the front of the multitudes standing 12 deep in front of the painting.
Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa


Then she took me to the Roman section to see Venus and there were several other items there of interest.
Attic Red-Figure Calyx Krater known as the "Niobid Krater"

Attic Red-Figure Calyx Krater known as the "Niobid Krater"

Mural up on the ceiling

Mural up on the ceiling

Plaque of the Ergastines, East Side Frieze, Parthenon

Plaque of the Ergastines, East Side Frieze, Parthenon


Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo

Murals from Pompeii

Murals from Pompeii


Hildegarde insisted on showing me
Sleeping Hermaphroditus

Sleeping Hermaphroditus


It is apparently one of the 13 things that you must see in the Louvre. If you count the pyramid, I have seen 8 of them. I missed #1 The Winged Victory of Samothrace, but I saw
3. Venus de Milo
4. The Raft of the Medusa
5. Liberty Leading the People
6. The Coronation of Napoleon
7. Sleeping Hermaphroditus
9. I.M. Pei’s Pyramid
12. Grande Odalisque by Ingres
13. The Mona Lisa
Now it was almost 1300 and was time to leave. How to find the way out? She did as before and someone led us to the elevator to get down to the exit, but Hildegard said that it did not work. We could see where we needed to go - there was a flight of steps down. So I suggested she go down and ask at the bottom. I was sitting on the scooter at the top of the steps and a nice young couple said, Did I need help? I said that I thought I could go down the steps if he could carry the scooter down. So that's what he did and I went down the steps. Crisis averted.

We went out onto the street and there was a taxi pulling away which A could have caught, but Hildegard was too slow, so we went across the street to a taxi rank and got a taxi back to the hotel. She paid for the taxi (which was €12) and I gave her a €20 tip which according to the chart is appropriate for a half day tour, but I think now is probably too much.

We got the scooter back together and the bellman took me back to my room and I gave him $5.00 After a bit A got back from her tour of the catacombs. Pictures were not allowed there. She went out to lunch by herself and went to a local restaurant and had fish and chips. She had heard a lot of anecdotal evidence from people with gluten allergies/intolerances and they have said the bread in France doesn’t trigger any reaction in them. She decided to test this at lunch and had her first regular bread in ten years.
Her first bread

Her first bread


And she had no reaction to the bread, so for the whole rest of the trip she could eat bread, croissants, pastries, pasta,, pizza, and regular sandwiches.
Hotel bar

Hotel bar


About 6:40 I thought we might go to dinner in the hotel restaurant and really enjoy it this time as I could not do before. Once my back gets painful, I can't find a comfortable position and then if I am also hungry, I get nauseated but I can't really eat much. But the restaurant did not open until 7, so we sat and waited. I said I did not want to sit in the little metal chairs in the courtyard (although it is nice to be out there and watch the pigeons walking on everyone's tables) so I think they put us in the bar. This time, I took a photo of the menu (which was about the same as last night), but what we get doesn't really match the menu most of the time because the specials of the day are not on it.
Menu

Menu

Signature menu

Signature menu


I got cranberry juice to drink which costs €5. First they gave us a pre-appetizer of
Fish paste in a waffle cone with dried olives sprinkled around them on the dish

Fish paste in a waffle cone with dried olives sprinkled around them on the dish


Then we both had the
Chicken and prawn risotto which had very salty water cress on top.

Chicken and prawn risotto which had very salty water cress on top.


It was very good - I ate one of A's prawns as she apparently does not like them much and she ate one of my pieces of chicken. Then A had a
Lemon tart

Lemon tart


She described it as follows:
The lemon tart was wonderful. I cannot praise the lemon tart enough. There was some white fluff thing on top that didn’t have much flavor so I think it was just there for texture. The bottom was nice and cakey and there were three little spots that were extra lemony and caught me by surprise the first time I ate that part. I found that it was complimented well by the raspberry puddles on the side. I could’ve licked the plate it was so good but I decided that was very against decorum.

I had
Couleur cafe with peanut, corn biscuit and chocolate.

Couleur cafe with peanut, corn biscuit and chocolate.


There was popcorn and there were also walnuts and little pieces of cornbread. A's dinner was €32 and mine was €35 (plus the cranberry juice)
Receipt

Receipt

A and me in the mirror going to the room

A and me in the mirror going to the room


Tomorrow we have a walking tour of the Left Bank through Discover Walks and I have been trying to find out where we are to meet. I finally phoned someone and she told me the address which I wrote down. And then I went to the concierge and ordered a taxi for 9:30 (to get to the 10:00 tour.)
Granddaughter's full report on Day 16

Posted by greatgrandmaR 18:03 Archived in France Tagged paris louvre venus mona_lisa delacroix ingres speaking_french catecombs gluten_free_bread hermaphroditus langousta lemon_tart Comments (6)

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