Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Saturday at Kew

I was keen to get to Kew again after the excitement of Paris and then Ally Pally last week... and luckily, this morning was forecast to be dry, sunny and warm(ish) and more importantly, the trains weren't affected by engineering works...

 The tulips were looking fabulous, as I made my way to the woodland section for the bluebells..
 past the Walkway, (didn't go up it today, wasn't feeling energetic enough!)but it's looking lovely in amongst the budding trees and shrubs.
 the woodland section was indeed, bathed in bluebells and sunshine..

 and offset by the bright yellow/lime green in the sun
Came across the charcoal kiln tucked away in the woods today..
 dappled sunshine, by Queen Charlotte's Cottage.
 love this shot, it looks deserted (good timing that!) although it was getting busier by now.
 peacocks sunning themselves too...
 and the Temperate House, closed for restoration but looking stunning against the still blue sky (it did change as I left!!)
 and the Gunnera  at the other side of the Palm House lake growing a-pace
 missed the daffodils a few weeks ago,
 but these alpines in the Alpine House were fabulous.
 as were the patches of bluebells all round the place - think these are white and pink ones which I've not seen before, but they were gorgeous too

 and finally more tulips on my way out!
Thanks for looking - hope to go again soon as everything is growing so fast now.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Parisian Adventure - part 5 - the finale

The end is in sight... sadly!  I've really enjoyed sharing these photos with you and found it hard to leave many out! Although, amazingly I have...

Anyhow, the last chapter is on the Sunday morning before we had to leave to come home.  The hotel where we were staying was right alongside a street market held on Thursdays and Sundays so as we didn't have to be at the station for our return train until 12-30 ish, we had time to explore in the morning, after packing our by now very heavy cases!

 phew, it shut!!
 all manner of lovely - and some not so lovely - foods - lots and lots of fish (I don't do fish!)
 cheeses (not so fond of that either!)
 more fish!
 Sam and Emma making friends with a four-legged friend!
 beautiful flowers for sale
 errr -  more fish!
 sausages of all kinds

this is our hotel.  Lin and my room was right on the front, and pretty noisy it was with traffic all night too, because it was warm enough to sleep with the big patio style windows open...
 Sam waving to me down below!

Gare du Nord station, homeward bound now...
and home at St Pancras - exhausted but happy after a great few days, I had a great time, girls, thanks for the company - let's do it again some time!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Parisian Adventure - Part 4 - Notre Dame to Sacre Coeur

So, Notre Dame was staggeringly beautiful... but we weren't finished yet!  We departed by the Pont de l'Archeveche - the Love Lock Bridge. The  bridge is covered in hundreds and thousands of engraved padlocks left by lovers... and it looked pretty delightful.

 the view from bridge down the Seine

Lin and Emma posing on the bridge
we walked along the rows of artists and book stalls but most were a  bit pricey for us  .

From here, we wanted to go to Sacre Coeur, so it was time to negotiate the metro again.
 There is a little train that runs up the very steep streets to the top of the hill on which Sacre Coeur is perched, but we couldn't find it, so we had to climb... the view - this is about half way - was great though.
I thought I'd taken a photo of the steps we had to climb up, but can't find it so I was obviously too busy concentrating on breathing!  The view at the top though, across Paris, was fabulous!
 .. as was Sacre Coeur itself... it was late afternoon by now, but still very busy, as you can see.

 I loved the patterns in the arches on this wall!
 After wandering around for a while, it was time for an ice cream refreshment - for Emma and myself - and then...
 a cheeky alcoholic beverage at Chez Eugene, sitting and watching the world go by, before winding the way down the steep streets (definitely easier going down here than up too)
 Our final stop of the day - very long day - was a quick visit to Moulin Rouge. 

then it was back to "our" stop on the Metro and time to find an evening meal and an early (ish) night before our last morning and the journey home - I'll share that tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Parisian Adventure - Part 3 - from the Arc de Triomphe to Notre Dame

Well thanks for all the lovely comments about yesterday's post - glad you liked them!  Ready for some more?

Ok, so after we recovered from the steps up and down (which were much better going!) we strolled along the Champs-Elysee which was busy, but the pavements are so wide you don't feel crowded.

you can take a girl out of financial services but...
 soon time for another breather! Sam Emma and Lin having a rest.
 I really should have had a notebook to jot down all these names... lol!

 fabulous little market as we came out of the metro station at Cite on Ile de la Cite to find the Notre Dame...
 our "tour guide" Emma checking which way up the map went...
 no, that's not it...
 there she is! Time to play with the lenses again...
 stunning architecture

 we contented ourselves with the outside, the snaking queue to see inside was rather long!
 just love these gargoyles on the side!
 time for some more close ups!


 gorgeous cherry blossom round the back,
 what a spot to stand painting- if only I could!!
 We'll continue our journey from here, in the next post!