Art, architecture, history, travel

More Fun Transfer to Paris, Germany und die Schweiz 1975

Français : Plan de la place des Vosges, Paris

Français : Plan de la place des Vosges, Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Hotel de Sens, Marais, Paris, France ...

English: Hotel de Sens, Marais, Paris, France Français : Hotel de Sens, Marais, Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hôtel de Sully, rue Saint-Antoine, Paris, head...

Hôtel de Sully, rue Saint-Antoine, Paris, headquarters of the Centre des monuments nationaux (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7/6 Sunday Transfer to Paris.

Laundry day. I went to the laundromat it’s so much nicer than doing it in the sink. We have all kinds of soaps, clothespins, laundry line and other things to do the laundry.

Canterbury and Dover.

2 Paris

Transfer to Paris via hovercraft Dover to Boulogne.

Small Launderette Sign

This is my first time in Paris. We had to skip it last year because of the cost of Moscow. I’m so excited. I would return again in 1978, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1992 and March 2001.

We crossed the English Channel by Hovercraft at Dover to Boulogne after taking a bus from London and stopping in Canterbury and Rochester in Kent. We could barely make out the white cliffs of Dover in the fog. We would return here with Teddy, Marion and Margaret in 1999. The cross-channel service was discontinued in 2005. We took a bus to Paris from Boulogne

Our RAP is a woman but after 30 years I cannot remember her name. She doesn’t speak English very well, but I like her. She is nice and very well-informed. She is a University student in Paris.

Tonight I got a letter from the phantom writer, I wonder who it could be? It was a love letter. We stayed in an old college Stanislaus with lots of rooms on the sixth floor and no elevator. And a big staircase. I took the room on the sixth floor because Susie T. complained. I remember singing as I came down the stairs.

They drink coffee here in bowls mixed with milk and sugar, also hot cocoa. We take our meals in a cafeteria in the college. The servers are mostly old women but very friendly.

7/7 Monday Paris

Tour of old city of Paris torn down to make way for new market. date accessed 7/27 2006

L’Hôtel national des Invalides.


Our Rap is a student of French History. She took us to Le Marais and gave us a very special walking tour of the 4e arrondissement including the place de Vosges and the Jewish quarter. This tour was of the medieval heart of Paris. Le Marias means swamp and was originally a swamp. Much of this area has now been torn down to make room for the Marche de St. Quentin. Discover Paris. Walking tour of Jewish quarter and old shopping district of Paris with Ralphie and group.

Little story of Le Marais.

Paris’ original attempt at urban planning, the Place des Vosges is now its oldest square. The square symmetry of the square, with its ground floor arcade, consists of 39 (some say 36) houses – each made of red brick with stone facings. Its construction was under Henri IV from 1605 – 1612. The site was originally occupied by the Hôtel des Tournelles.

The project was probably designed by Baptiste du Cerceau, and originally named the Place Royale. The kings and queens pavilions were the center south and north gateways respectively. The square acquired its present name in 1799 when the Department of the Vosges (near the southwestern German border) was the first to pay its taxes associated with particular military campaigns of that time.

Several of its houses have their own particular histories, and among these are the Hôtel de Chaulnes (number 9), the Academy of Architecture; the Hôtel de la Rivière (number 14) whose ceilings by Lebrun are now in the Musée Carnavalet; number 1 is where Mme de Sevigné was born; number 11 occupied from 1639-1648 by the courtesan Marion Delorme; number 17, former residence of Bossuet; number 21 where Richelieu lived from 1615 – 1627, and number 6 – now a museum: Maison de Victor Hugo. date accessed 7/29 2006

Full day tour of Paris including Place de la Concorde, Montmartre home of many famous artists and painter and the church of Sacre Cœur. Tour Eifel. Notre Dame. I love the cathedral. Left bank.

Tour of Louvre with Edie. Saw the Mona Lisa again. Margaret Lewis said she cried the first time she say the Venus de Milo it its beauty was so exquisite. In 1969 for the first time ever the Mona Lisa went on a world tour including New York City, Washington DC, Tokyo and Moscow. I saw it in Moscow at the State Pushkin Museum last summer already. At the time it was already valued at $100 million.

Saw other paintings of Leonardo including Virgin of the Rocks, and St. Anne with Virgin and child. . I’ve tried my luck copying this one no wonder it took Leonardo 18 years.

and others by La Belle Ferronniere date accessed 8/12/11

SanChapelle blue glass

I didn’t make it to the Follies Berger. One of my goals on my bucket list. I still haven’t made it but my Grandmother did. Saw the beautiful San Chapelle. date accessed 8/12/11

Took a walk after dinner with Jill, Jack, Meg, Jim and Sally. Ellen had trouble with a French man in a café in the Latin quarter. I guess he got a little fresh. Saw the Paris MacDonald’s. Had a Gin and Tonic at a night club. My new favorite drink. Still no clue on the identity of the phantom writer. I think it must be Dianne.

7/8 Tuesday Paris

Jill and Sally are sick. I went for a walk, looking at artwork along the Seine-postcards, books, magazines.

Our metro stop is near the Tour Montparnasse the tallest building in France. This is the new district of Paris. I love it here. This is the location of the new Galeries Lafayette. date accessed 8/10/2006

I helped Jack buy a French birthday card for his sister who is taking French in college. Jack and I went to the Eifel tower. It was very dark, I did not get good picture. We got caught in a big thunder-storm coming out of the Eifel Tower Jardins du Trocadero and got drenched on the way home. We were late for dinner. Went to Montmartre and had a chocolate crepe a specialty of Brittany. At Montmartre there are lots of people from Africa selling things. I don’t mind talking to those vendors and I get to hone my bargaining skills. I bought a ring with the Eifel tower and Jill wants to keep it. I also bought a bracelet for a dollar. I’m using the new Eisenhower’s. The guy didn’t know what to make of it but he liked it because it was BIG. His starting price was 200 F ($50.00.) Everyone has told us how expensive Paris is, but I’m enjoying it none the less. I love the Galeries Lafayette. Went to the café Sebon near where we are staying. Had another gin and tonic. I am very tired.

In 1851, Emperor Napoleon III commissioned the construction of a Jeu de Paume court (ancestor of tennis) in the Jardin des Tuileries. With the arrival of outdoor tennis in 1947, the building was converted into a museum dedicated to Impressionism. When the collection was transferred to the Musée d’Orsay in 1986, the gallery concentrated on contemporary art, which is well represented through its temporary exhibitions. It now holds photography exhibitions. Look out for the large glass conservatory and compare its architecture with that of the nearby Orangerie. My Travel Guide date accessed 7/27 2006

Manet Dejuener sur l’herbe

Olga’s Gallery date accessed 7/27/2006. La chambre de Van Gogh a Arles (Van Gogh’s Room at Arles) 1889 Artchive Favorites Tour GREEK

My daughter will kill me for writing this, but when viewing this painting for art class in grade school she was asked is there anything odd about this painting. She replied they didn’t wash their hands before having lunch. This painting by Manet is widely considered the first Impressionist painting.


Date accessed 8/6/2006 The pride of the Phillips Collection WDC 1881 bought from the artist

Venus de Milo Parian marble, h 2.02 m (6 1/2 ft) Found at Milo 130-120 BC

Musee du Louvre, Paris Date accessed 7/29/2006

A Bit of History

The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, opened the tower. Of the 700 proposals submitted in a design competition, Gustave Eiffel’s was unanimously chosen.

However it was not accepted by all at first, and a petition of 300 names – including those of Maupassant, Emile Zola, Charles Garnier (architect of the Opéra Garnier), and Dumas the Younger – protested its construction.

At 300 metres (320.75m including antenna), and 7000 tons, it was the world’s tallest building until 1930. Other statistics include:

  •  2.5 million rivets.
  •  300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct it.
  •  Sway of at most 12 cm in high winds.
  •  Height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature.
  •  15,000 iron pieces (excluding rivets).
  •  40 tons of paint.
  •  1652 steps to the top.

It was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because of its antenna – used for telegraphy at that time. Beginning in 1910 it became part of the International Time Service. French radio (since 1918), and French television (since 1957) have also made use of its stature.

During its lifetime, the Eiffel Tower has also witnessed a few strange scenes, including being scaled by a mountaineer in 1954, and parachuted off of in 1984 by two Englishmen. In 1923 a journalist rode a bicycle down from the first level. Some accounts say he rode down the stairs, other accounts suggest the exterior of one of the tower’s four legs which slope outward.

However, if its birth was difficult, it is now completely accepted and must be listed as one of the symbols of Paris itself.

Ecole-Militaire seen through the base of the tower.

Olga’s gallery Le Chasseur de la Garde date accessed 7/30 2006

7/9 Wednesday Chateau de Versailles

This morning our tour included a stop at the famous Chateau de Versailles. Palace of Louis XIV had this beautiful palace built to keep an eye on his rebellious nobles. Most of the furnishings removed during the French revolution are still missing. The famous hall of mirrors has been often copied in other palaces throughout Europe, including Russia and Germany.

Went back to the Louvre. The two great Museums so far are the Louvre and the two-story Jeu de Paume in the Tuileries Gardens facing the Place de la Concorde. I like romantic artist Theodore Gericault’s Horses.

Today I bought newspapers and cigars. As you know I have a collection of them from each country that I visited. I’ve even smoked some of the cigars. Used the cross of St. Ted. The cross of St. Ted is used on people who have been especially kind or flavorful to me originally it was a chicken foot from the market of Florence. Today is Bill’s birthday had a cake and a night tour of Paris. The man liked Susie so he let her drive the boat! Everything is lit up; it is beautiful.

Last entry in Journal for Paris: Paris is very nice. I love the homogeneity of the architecture. The people aren’t all mean, as we have heard. Just be nice to them. They are very proud of their city and rightfully so. It truly is the world’s most livable city. Things just seem to work here. Even this strange running water in the curbs which just seems to come and go and disappear into nowhere.

PARIS IS GREAT! date accessed 8/06/2006

7/10 Thursday leave for Germany

Divided Germany

We have no chance of visiting a city like Berlin or Dresden.


Aachen “The Palatine Chapel, built about 796-805 at Charlemagne’s palace in Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), is the preeminent surviving Carolingian structure. A domed, double-shelled, two-storied octagon, it presents a type reminiscent of Early Christian and Byzantine architecture. Indeed, it is generally accepted that the Palatine Chapel was modeled closely after S. Vitale in Ravenna and was perceived as an antique revival.”

Site of the coronation of the German emperors.


We took a train from Paris to Cologne. My first time in Germany, It was fun all the boys stayed on the train and passed all of the suitcases out of the windows to the girls who were standing by the track. We’re staying in a Hotel in the city. They say it’s in a bad neighborhood, so be careful when going out after dark. This is unusual for Germany. We are getting about 2.4 marks for a dollar. That seems a lot less than the 4 per mark I had heard about but two years later it would be less than 2.

Cologne is a beautiful city, I was sorry to hear that it had been so heavily bombed. Walked to the top of the Dom (Cathedral of Saints Peter and Mary). The three crowns have been an emblem of Cologne since the 12th century, because in 1164 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa defeated Milan and gave the relics of the Magi as booty to the Cologne archbishop Reinald von Dassel, his faithful chancellor, who then brought them to Cologne. These relics are still being kept inside a golden shrine behind the high altar in Cologne Cathedral. On account of its many and important relics Cologne was considered a sacred city in the middle Ages and proudly called itself Sancta Colonia.

The cathedral was built to house these relics in the 13th century, making Cologne the Rome of the north.

Most of the building is new, except for the cathedral which was miraculously saved, being so close to the Bahnhof (train station). My German teacher always threatened to flunk anyone who said Bahnhof like hot instead of hope. Bought some koelnisches Wasser #4711-eau de Cologne. Saw a McDonald’s.

I took care of some guys bothering us at the beer fountain. Das schaut aus, wie ein grosses Schwanz, nicht wahr.—*++-***? Bierbrunnen (beer fountain) Schildergasse, Innenstadt, Cologne, Germany

The Beer Fountain marks the lower end of Schildergasse, where the street broadens to form a little square. The stone seats placed around the fountain are a convenient place to meet, or good for simply sitting down to give your feet a rest. Meanwhile you can watch other shopaholics dash in and out of Kaufhof, Gap or H & M. This is also a place where you can nearly always catch a street performer. The minimalist, rather phallic stone column was designed by art students and erected in 1972. A Cologne brewery sponsored the presentation, when beer gushed from the top of the stone. Today it is merely ordinary water that flows down the column. date accessed 8/10/11

7/11 Friday Rhine Cruise Germany

German Corner Koblenz

I remember a story my grandfather Gast told me about the Rhine cruise he took with my grandmother in 1960. He said people were so poor they would stand around just to get the dregs of your coffee when you were finished. He also said it was very cold then. Things are sure different now. He also told me how much he and my grandmother enjoyed Rudesheim. We stopped there but didn’t see much. He had a photograph enlarged from Rothenburg OT that he took on the trip in 1960. The boys were wearing Lederhosen.  There were no tv aerials or telephone wires.It looked like it had been from the 1940’s.

On another trip to Germany I met my Grandparents in Nuremberg. He told me about Frankie’s maid. She left a camera on a park bench and said she would go back for it after she had finished her lunch. She knew it would still be there. And it was.

My grandparents also went to Berlin on that trip. They made my grandfather the honorary bandleader and the Hofbraeuhaus. He said they had a delicious beer and then ruined it by pouring in a shot of raspberry syrup. The famous Berliner Weisse, it’s actually pretty good. I guess he didn’t like it.

When they landed in Hamburg they were supposed to have a chauffeured car take my grandparents around Germany. My grandmother did not like the driver. She took one look at him and said I’m not spending one minute driving around with that man. Get another driver. And they did.

Bought a newspaper. Koblenz is beautiful. Jill and I ate lunch in the park. Walked around Koblenz. At the end of the cruise at Rudesheim, we took the bus to Heidelberg. Saw a lady in a restaurant that looked like my German teacher. Went to a beer garden. We ran into some boy scouts-toothpaste-wooden shoes-switchblade. We are seeing some of the underside of modern Germany. Dinner was bad.

7/12 Saturday Heidelberg

Last day in Germany. Breakfast was delicious. Tour of Heidelberg today. Saw the famous castle and Trinkfass. Heidelberg is on the Neckar River. It has a famous University and is known for its students. I bought a beer stein (Krug) today. I still have it along with many others that I keep in my living room.

Bier stein is actually dialect used only in the Palatinate, otherwise it is a neologism and only refers to beer scale. Lunch was good. Next we took the train from Heidelberg to Luzern.

Luzern, Switzerland

We stayed in a Hotel in the heart of town. I remember we had very good service at the restaurant. The waiters were always rushing around and getting things for us. Dinner was rushed but good. I think we were late. Swiss precision and all. I went for a short walk with Jim, Dianne, and Sharon. Mark is complaining about not spending enough time with the other people in the group. Alan started it. He made the situation worse.

7/13 Sunday Lucerne

We had our tour of Lucerne today. There is a covered bridge over the lake and a famous relief of a wounded lion. Lunch was more leisurely. Took a walking tour of Lucerne with the RAP.

I liked the Totentanz on the bridge over Lake Luzern, fed the swans, sat and looked at the lake. see text next blog

For dinner we went to the fondue restaurant. I danced a folk dance with a Swiss lady. Then I danced with the girls. The fondue was all right. For entertainment they played the alpenhorn and had a flag thrower. I met some boring Italian men. Later, I went for a walk before going to bed.


One response

  1. It’s 50 years to the day since the construction of the Berlin Wall. I’ve been working on this post for awhile; I thought it would be appropriate to post today.

    August 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm

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