Paris Focus: Jardin des Plantes

The final post in my Paris series is another short walk in the 5th Arrondissement, taking in the markets and food shops along Rue Mouffetard en route to the Jardin des Plantes, a 400-year-old garden of science.

Our walk began at the Fountain of Guy Lartigue after exiting the Metro at Les Gobelins a short stroll away. First had to be the Rue Mouffetard market and a look at the lovely buildings in this area.

At the far end of the road we reached Place de la Contrescarpe and turned right onto Rue Lacépède. Crossing over Rue Monge, a busy road, we continued along

Rue Lacépède, stopping every now and then to photograph interesting shops and buildings. The lovely wrought-iron balconies a particular favourite of mine. Continue reading Paris Focus: Jardin des Plantes

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Paris Focus: Walking the Right Bank Passages

Paris in springtime is what most people think about when the city of Paris pops up. I am sure it is utterly wonderful, strolling alongside the River Seine hand in hand with a loved one, perhaps a river tour on one of the cruise boats, sipping champagne in an old-fashioned intimate restaurant where the waiters wear those long black aprons and hover politely. But what to do when it rains? Paris in the rain can be cold and miserable. Yes, there are the numerous art galleries to visit, but if you have already been there and done that then perhaps a wander through the 19th century ‘Les Passages’ might do the trick.

Put on your walking shoes, hide the credit card and let’s go exploring!

Les Passages

I shall also add the original post to Jo’s Walks

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Paris Focus: A Stroll along the Seine

The second walk in the Paris revivals. This is a walk from the Eiffel Tower alongside the Seine to the Musée de l’Orangerie, criss-crossing the river and stopping at various interesting places along the way. The map above shows the two endpoints but I can’t seem to save the actual route.

Leaving the Metro at Trocadéro I walked through Jardins du Trocadéro and across the bridge to the Eiffel Tower. I had no interest in going up the tower, I think on my first visit in 1972 I went part way up, to the second floor, but you weren’t able to go to the top floor for some reason. No doubt a lot has changed.

I still had a wander around at ground level though, taking photos of the wonderful Jacaranda trees in bloom at the time, as well as the Horse Chestnuts.

I continued along the quayside on the left bank passing by an unusual war memorial to those who lost their lives in the Algerian Wars (the Maghreb region of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria). This war from 1954 to 1962 led to Algeria gaining its independence from France.

Just along from here is the pretty Debilly footbridge,

but I continued to the next bridge, Pont des Invalides, where I crossed over and into the quaint little Jardin de la Nouvelle France close to the Grand Palais, which is what I came to look at. Continue reading Paris Focus: A Stroll along the Seine

A Ludlow Walkabout

I lived in Ludlow from 2011 to 2016 and spent many an hour walking around the town. On this walk we’ll begin in the Castle Square and head eastwards out of the market place calling in at Quality Square, a delightful cobbled courtyard dating back to the 16th century, for a good breakfast at  ‘The Wine Bar’¹. We’ll sit outside to enjoy the morning sunshine if possible, and listen to the chimes of the parish church bells. I’ll have the eggs Benedict with a black coffee please, but I can also recommend the full English breakfast.

Moving along Church Street one of three ‘cross’ streets that run in parallel (Church St, High St and Market St) we pass two carved heads that were moved to this site in 1743 from the site of a conduit brought into town in the 16th century though nothing remains of the conduit now. Two pubs along here, ‘The Rose & Crown’ and ‘The Church Inn’ offer decent pub food and real ales with the later doing a huge range of pies.

Slipping down College Street we find St Laurence’s Church, rebuilt in 1199 and extended between the 15th and 17th Centuries. This is an example of the perpendicular style of English church building. The tower is from the 15th century and is 135 ft (41m) high and can be seen from a great distance across the Marches and is often referred to as the Cathedral of the Marches. It has many fine features such as the wonderful stained glass windows and famous 15th century misericords, still looking like new and it is well worth a visit.

You can also climb the tower for superb views over the surrounding countryside, though I confess I never did. The church bells are famous too and the carillon plays a tune at 8am, noon, 4pm and 8pm with a different tune each day. A memorial plaque to A E Housman, famous for his poems ‘A Shropshire Lad’ can be found on the North wall near where his ashes are buried and a cherry tree has been planted in his memory. Housman in fact is not a Shropshire lad, but came from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. Continue reading A Ludlow Walkabout

Road Trips Revisited: The Road to Hell

The remaining leg of our road trip south to San Diego unfortunately took us through the enormous sprawl which is Los Angeles. I was not looking forward to this part of the trip and if I hadn’t been the driver I might have kept my eyes firmly shut. However, we did have a treat in store – an overnight stay on the Queen Mary which is berthed at Long Beach.

Ventura Highway

I managed to miss the turn off to the PCH which would have taken us through Venice Beach, and instead found myself on the vast network of freeways that encircle and cross this city. I wasn’t going to try and find my way back though.

On the Queen Mary liner

And after a lovely night on board this wonderful old liner we had a pleasant drive down the coast to Dana Point in Orange County where we had to join the Interstate 5 freeway into San Diego. At this point we were driving on fumes so I didn’t attempt to take the longer route into the city along the coastal road.

So if you are not already car sick, then please join me on the last leg of this road trip into San Diego where you can have some free time. The Final Leg of the Journey

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