Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lights on Avenue des Champs Elysées

Wednesday I went on top of Arc de Triomphe with my boyfriend to see when Audrey Tautou switches on the lights on Champs Elysées (well, not her, as we were upstairs, but the result). I thought it would be more crowded upstairs but it was bearable and we actually could see something. After some minutes it was practically empty up there so we could take some good ones. It's no big secret, our camera is not a professional one, so it's bit weak in the night. Anyway I think we have some nice material in the end. 

We want to make a stop-motion video - do you know any good jpg-avi converter program? I would post the result (just some seconds, this is our first one)!!

After we went downstairs to the avenue, taking some close shots of the lights and some windows, like Marks&Spencer which opened later that night with a big show. 

Avenue des Champs Elysées - fab, right?

that's me :) 

The Old Lady

 a sculpture inside Arc de Triomphe

there are four main sculptures on the monument, this one is La Résistance de 1814

La Paix de 1815

La Départ de 1792 (La Marseillaise) 

Le Triomphe de 1810 

from close

the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

you can get to the Arch under ground

from further

 the new Christmas lights

the south side

the lights change colors

they are eco-friendly LEDs, they will consume as much energy as 8 families during the holiday season (less than ever)

the new M&S store

lit also by LED 

winter arrived to H&M as well 

a polar bear is greeting us at Sephora

Later I'll visit the Christmas market as well..

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Galeries Lafayette & Printemps for Xmas 2011

On Saturday we went for a nice walk in Paris, looking around for some boots and other stuff. Thought we'd give les grands magasins a try as well. Apparently, the Christmas decoration is on already and .. this year no exception, it seems popular. At least we can say it by looking at the crowd in front of both. Well I tried taking pictures but I guess on an early Monday or Tuesday afternoon I could do better :) Anyway, here they are. Advent in Paris, numero uno.

 Galeries Lafayette, Christmas-wrapped - click on the picture for a more convenient view

little bit crowded

 inside Galeries Lafayette

moving window display


Printemps inside

Printemps lights

Dancing ballerinas  

from close

at Chanel


lots of Karls

these ladies don't move

most of the windows are Chanel

If you wanna see it for yourself, the department stores are on Boulevard Hausmann, easily reachable by RER A (Auber) and metro: Havre-Caumartin (line 3, 9) Chaussée d'Antin - La Fayette (line 7, 9), but the Saint-Lazare and Opera stations are not far either.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Tour Saint-Jacques

I took this picture on the corner of Rue des Lombards and Rue Nicolas Flamel in the 4th district. 

The monument you can see there in the end of the street is Tour Saint-Jacques. This 52 meters (171 ft) Flamboyant Gothic tower is all that remains of the former 16th century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie ("Saint James of the butchery") which was leveled shortly after the French Revolution. The tower's rich decoration reflects the wealth of its patrons, the wholesale butchers of the nearby Les Halles market. It was built in 1509 to 1523, during the reign of François Ier. The church, with the exception of the tower, was demolished in 1793. During the Second Empire, the architect Théodore Ballu restored the tower, placing it on a pedestal and designing a small city park around it. The tower inspired Alexandre Dumas to write the play La tour Saint-Jacques-de-la-boucherie in 1856. It was again renewed recently.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Handmade Christmas ornaments in Paris

Check out this blog of my friend, she is from the magic Transylvania, living in Paris. She is making jewelry and other things, for example these adorable Christmas ornaments. She can make some for you as well!

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Mysterious street

Guess where this street is!

Click on the image for a better view!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Eglise Saint-Sulpice

Do you know this church from somewhere? Is it familiar? You may have seen it in The Da Vinci Code
It is situated in the 6th district, in the Luxembourg Quarter. This is the second church in its place, the first was built in the 13th century. The church contains one of the world's finest and most famous organs, constructed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1862, using many materials from the church's earlier organ built in 1781. The fountain was built between 1843 and 1848 by the architect Louis Visconti, designer of the tomb of Napoleon. It was much criticized when it opened.

Click on the image for a better view.

Once we wondered in with friends on a Saturday afternoon and apparently there was a wedding at that time. Poor organist was playing the wedding march for like 3 minutes - but the bride was nowhere. Some minutes later a bridesmaid came in and instructed the lady again to play as the bride was ready. I saw the organist's face, I couldn't say she was happy. Anyway she started the wedding march again and finally (after the first minute) the bride arrived with her father. She almost couldn't walk because of her huge wedding dress. It was funny :) Then the priest started his speech - he was happy to be at a wedding, because he can always see nice hats! Then he said something about the well-dressed public. (This area is the richest in Paris, just for you to know.) Haha he was hilarious.
The square is providing place for markets over the year: sometimes there is flea market or soon we can visit the Christmas market as well! I'm excited as last year I haven't been to this one, just the one at La Défense and at Avenue des Champs Elysées.

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Island of fairies

I didn't post a lot this week, sorry about that, but I had some news which is going to affect the blog as well. Anyway, I'm back and I am here with a color-edited and cut picture of Île de la Cité with one of my favorite bridges, the Pont Neuf. I should rename this blog soon to a bridge blog maybe :) I cannot help posting pictures of them, they are so beautiful and the Seine is just perfectly narrow for these pretty bridges.

Click on the picture to see it better

So the title is Island of fairies because in my imagination it's a magic land where everything can happen. I can almost see Cinderella's pumpkin car going home on the bridge from a Rive Droite ball... Do you too?

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Passerelle de Solférino

I'm in a romantic mood today, you will see that in my post as well. :) The Passarelle de Solférino is a footbridge with benches to sit on. It is one of the most romantic bridges in Paris. On its Rive Droite end you get to the Jardin des Tuileries and on the Left Bank Musée d'Orsay is just some steps away. This bridge is brand new (in bridge time: 1999), although there was another one in its place before since 1861. 

One of the bridges which are full of love padlocks

The official name since 2006 of this exotic wood-covered metallic bridge is Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor after the Senegalese poet, the first African member of the Académie française on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eglise Saint-Gervais

In the 4th district, there are some very nice hidden streets, small squares. On one of them you can find Eglise Saint-Gervais. In the summer there are tables here, so you can eat and drink outside. In autumn-winter it is ideal for romantic walks. Three metro stops are equally close to get here: Hôtel de Ville, Saint-Paul on line 1 and Pont Marie on line 7.

Click on the image for a better view

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Car on the boat

I hope none of my dear readers is bored of the Seine as I am still in the mood for posting pictures of the good old river. This time I took picture of a boat with a red car on board (played with colors of course, to highlight the car). I'm wondering how does the owner take it off and how often does he/she do that! 

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Pont Alexandre III.

Beautiful. No wonder many couples from around the world choose this place as a scene for shooting their wedding pictures. 

Pont Alexandre III is one of the most famous Parisian bridges. Some of the sculptures are covered with gold, the lampadaires are really nice. I will bring it back some other time and tell more about it.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Clafoutis à la banane et au chocolat noir

This weekend I had a terrible headache. I was just laying in the bedroom in the dark, wasn't able to do anything. My wonderful boyfriend thought he would cheer me up and went to the kitchen. An hour later he came back with a delicious plate of banana-chocolate clafoutis. Oh what is this clafoutis? It's a heavenly dessert. (I'm lucky, right?!) Here it is how it's made.

Clafoutis á la banane et au chocolat noir

Ingredients (for 6 people):
For the batter:
150 g flour
100 g sugar
1 packet of vanilla sugar/vanilla extract/natural vanilla
1 packet of baking powder
4 eggs
40 cl cream

3 banana
150 g of dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
Cut the banana to slices, the chocolate to 1x1 cm (0,4') cubes. In a bowl mix the flour, the sugar, the vanilla, the baking powder, the eggs and the cream for around 5 minutes to get a smooth batter.
Add gradually the banana and the chocolate pieces and mix carefully.
Pour the batter into a baking form on baking paper and bake it on 200°C (390°F) for around 25 minutes. The clafoutis shouldn’t be overcooked. Take the clafoutis out of the hot form to a plate and let it cool down for 15-20 minutes (which is the hardest part of the recipe). You can enjoy it either warm or cold.
The original clafoutis is made with sour cherries instead of bananas or chocolate (and pronounced 'clafutie'). 

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Monday, November 07, 2011

A walk in Rueil-Malmaison

I took this picture last year in the Parc des Impressionnistes in Rueil-Malmaison. The park is very calm, young parents walk with their children, elder people read or chat. Many people do sport as well. On the left side of the first picture, you can see a little part of the Seine. At lunchtime when the weather is good, the area is full of workers who take a break and get some fresh air - as in Rueil there are a lot of offices. My boyfriend used to work not far from here, so I visited him on a sunny day and we shared a pear dessert under this pergola.

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