June 28, 2014

A Dash through Saint-Germain-des-Prés

These photos were taken while fast-walking through the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area, completely late for a dinner appointment.

As far as I could see, it was very creatively inspiring area, with clusters of art galleries and bars/restaurants/cafes.

If I were able to take a proper shot of this gallery, it would have made for a brilliant photo.

Firmin Didot was a late 18th century printer, engraver, and type founder who revolutionized the printing process.

These photos were taken at about 8:30pm, which makes me absolutely envious of European summers.

Café de Flore, where all the famous philosophers once congregated. Also an important location for Jean-Marc Vallée's similarly-named 2011 film.

This was a school of some sort. Perhaps the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts?

Paris from the Top of the Arc de Triomphe

I was in Paris for less than 24 hours. Not wanting to be too ambitious, I rattled off the top of my head all the tourist places I could think of, and the Arc de Triomphe was one of them.

Completed in 1836, the arch was initially ordered to be built by Napoleon, who wanted to honor the French Army and its victories.

It wasn't until I walked around that I found out that you could actually go to the top of the tower!

This was the price for two adults.

You can take an elevator to the top, but it was broken when I visited. The trick to climbing the stairs is to empty your mind and simply trudge on.

The views of Paris that you can see from the top are very much worth it, though. The arch in the background of this photo mirrors the Arc de Triomphe and is a symbol of La Défense, Paris' business district.

There is also of course the Eiffel Tower, which looms over everything else in Paris.

Zooming in on rooftop spaces that made me envious. I did the same thing at the Coit Tower in San Francisco.

This one is practically a forest!

Les Invalides, a collection of buildings and museums devoted to France's military history. The golden-domed chapel of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides was built in 1679.

The Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, one of the icons of the Montmarte area.

The Louvre, which lets you know how massive it is.

There are four sculptures on the pillars. This one is Le Triomphe de 1810, which features Napoleon being crowned by the goddess of Victory.

The names of the military leaders of the French Revolution and Empire are engraved here. 

The day before I visited, President Obama had visited along with Queen Elizabeth for the 70th French-American Commemoration D-Day Ceremony at Omaha Beach in Normandy.

June 24, 2014

Flowers and Insects of the Mediterranean, Part 3

All photos taken in southeast France. If you know the names of any, please write it in the comments section!

Bituminaria bituminosa, the Arabian pea or pitch trefoil.

Close-ups taken with Easy-Macro.

Tiny grasshopper on a dandelion.

Capparis spinosa, the caper bush, also called Flinders rose.


Flowers and Insects of the Mediterranean, Part 2

All photos taken in southeast France. If you know the names of any, please write it in the comments section!
Cicuta virosa (Cowbane or Northern Water Hemlock) 
Close-ups taken with Easy-Macro.

Aizoaceae, a succulent plant.