Saturday, May 31, 2014

Heads Up!

Finally ~ time to give a heads up!

I am traveling, and aside from an 
Insecure Writer's Support Group post,
I will probably not post until I get home.

I want to spend my on-line time reading your blog posts instead!

I'm going to upload some photos I posted 
on Facebook a few minutes ago.
Today was a day for crossing off Bucket List items ~
namely artifacts I've always long to see.

How to start a museum day?
With a morning sit in our private English garden
off Kensington Park Gardens road?  street?

We connected with our wonderful London Walks guide Delianne
outside the Holborn Metro stop.

Then it was off to the British Museum, 
an amazing and wonderful place!

Down went the Bucket List items one by one!
If you grew up with a mother 
who loved ancient history and art, 
then you grew up knowing about 
and longing to see certain artifacts. 

Today I crossed off four bucket item artifacts 
during a whirlwind tour of the British Museum! 
I have waited for these most of my life:
the Rosetta Stone, 
the Assyrian Lion Hunt, 
the Elgin marbles, 
and the Gilgamesh tablets! 
What a thrill! 
What makes me very happy is to know 
that my mother also got to see these same things, 
a highlight of her life. 
My sister Donnie could hardly drag Mom 
away from the Assyrian collection! 
I felt very close to Mom today!

The Rosetta Stone ~ the Real Deal!

The Assyrian Lion Hunt

This is just one tiny piece of this room filled 
with the most incredible scenes 
from an Assyrian royal lion hunt.
They were taken from the North Palace of Nineveh, 
and date to 645-635 B.C. 
King Ashurbanipal is drawing the bow.
The lions are poignantly real!

A Scene from the Elgin Marbles

My mother had a big book filled with art from the ancient world,
and I knew about the Elgin marbles probably before
I started kindergarten ~ Mom's fault!
She filled my head with stories and stories and ART!

This scene shows Hermes, Dionysus, Demeter, and Ares.
It was the first time gods were depicted as regular humans.  
Athens Parthenon east frieze 447-432BC

The Gilgamesh Flood Tablet

I plowed through a translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh
in a literature class at Cal State Fullerton.
But I knew about cuneiform tablets and the flood story
long before I landed in that literature class.
It's Mom's fault ~ again!

This is the flood tablet from the Gilgamesh epic 
that describes how gods sent a flood to destroy mankind.
Utnapishtim was forewarned and built a boat, 
gathered his relatives, craftsmen, 
domesticated and wild animals, 
and rode out the flood. 
Sound familiar?

I saw a number of other amazing artifacts
on our two hour romp through the highlights of the museum.
But the above were Bucket List items!

I managed to sneak off and photograph another artifact
while we were traipsing from here to there with our guide.
It's important to my Celtic heart, 
and it made me think of of Debra:  She Who Seeks,
a favorite blogger of mine
(who's taking a blogging break right now)!

 The Great Torc from Snettisham

This lovely torc dates from Iron Age Britain.
It was found by someone plowing a field 
in Ken Hill, Snettisham, Norfolk, England in 1950.

It contains just over a kilogram of gold and silver
twisted into sixty-four strands of metal 
that were grouped in strands of eight.
These eight strands were then twisted
into the gorgeous torc.
Source:  My scribbled notes from museum tags  

What to do after museum overload?
Stop for coffee and cake
in the little La Roma Bella cafe 
across the street from the museum.
Note the Ever ~ Patient's feet!

Ahh!  Bliss!


Until next time ~
I have some blogs I'm longing to read ~ 
after fish and chips at a pub on Portobello Road!

Friday, May 30, 2014

May 2014 Scavenger Hunt: Paris, France

Bonjour de Paris!

Terry and I at the Top of the Arc de Triomphe
with Our Niece Sara

The end of May finds me in Paris for the very first time!  
Almost 42 years ago, I made it to within 35 kilometers,
and I swore one day I'd return and make it to 0 klicks.   

May's List

1.  L is for Le Tour Eiffel
Top:  Tower
Lower Left:  Looking up at the Very Top
Lower Right:  Terry Climbing down the Stairs

What a thrill it was to see the Eiffel Tower the first time!

2.   7 p.m.

Omelets at
Café de la Mairie

8 place Saint Sulpice
75006 Paris, France
Saint-Germain-Des Prés, 6ème


This little cafe across the street from Saint Sulpice Church 
served delicious omelets to two weary and footsore travelers! 

3. Left ~ Bank of the Seine
Rooftops ~ Saint-Germain-Des Prés 

The part of Paris that became our temporary home 
was Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, 
consecrated by the Bishop of Paris in 558. 
It is found on the left bank of the Seine 
in the 6th arrondissement of the city.
The existentialist movement, associated with Jean-Paul Sartre 
and Simon de Beauvoir,  was centered in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Click here for maps of France, Paris, and its arrondissements. 
Source:  Wikipedia

Watching Boats Along From the Left Bank of the Seine

Deer in Paris!
Jardin du Luxembourg
(Much Easier to Catch Than in Colorado!)

4.   Gadget

These bright yellow and red
hydraulic pistons
power the elevators in 
the Eiffel Tower.

5. Puzzle
Replica of The Shroud of Turin
Saint Sulpice Church
6th arrondissement, Paris 

I was fascinated to see a replica of The Shroud of Turin 
in the huge and beautiful church of San Sulpice.  
This controversial religious artifact is a true puzzle.  
Is this length of linen with its haunting image Christ's burial cloth,
or is it an elaborate hoax dating from Middle Ages?

Saint Sulpice, Paris
Left:  from the side
Right:  from the Eiffel Tower

6.   Letter
Poignant Letters ~ Notre Dame Cathedral

Part of a Remembrance Display
for the British Empire Dead of the First World War

Nothing in Paris moved me more 
than this memorial 
for the British Empire Dead
in World War 1.

To see the Coats of Arms 
for Canada and Newfoundland
displayed and to remember Canada's
John McCrae and his poem
In Flanders Fields
was a powerful and emotional
experience for me.

I never expected to see this
in Notre Dame Cathedral.

7.   Reflection
Miniature Canadian Sail Boat
and Its Reflection
Pond Boating, Grand Basin
Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Sailing Miniature Sail Boats on the Grand Basin
Has Been a Tradition for Generations

8.   Fresh

Terry strolls by
fresh flowers for sale
along a narrow street
in Saint-Germain-Des-Prés.

 Fresh Flowers for Sale

9.   Tiny
Tiny Lovers' Lock at the Top of the Eiffel Tower

Tiny Roses Outside the École Militaire, Paris

École Militaire, Paris
Source:  wikipedia

Tiny Arc de Triomphe
from the Top of the Eiffel Tower

Tiny Pigeons Huddle Against Warm Stone
on the West Facade of Saint Sulpice Church, Paris

10.   Hidden
Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt,
Eiffel Tower, Paris

Technically this portrait of the French stage and film actress
Sarah Bernhardt was not hidden, but it would be easy to overlook
with all there is to see inside and outside the Eiffel Tower.

11.   Demolition
Demolition of a Paris Sidewalk Near Notre Dame Cathedral

12.  Antique

What do you choose for antique in Paris?

I finally settled on this beautiful sculpture of the Virgin and Child

by Jean-Baptist Pigalle. 

It is found in the apse of the 

Lady Chapel 
in Saint Sulpice Church.

Pigalle sculpted this during the restoration of the chapel around 1761.
Source:  eymardianplaces

The Lady Chapel, Saint Sulpice Church

Virgin and Child by Jean-Baptist Pigalle

June's List
B is for ?,   10 a.m.,   Spoon,   Puppet,   You again,   Water,  
Habitat,   Soccer,   Calm,   Man made,   Open,   Steam

Thanks to Jill (Greenthumb) 
and her Made with Love blog 
for setting up the scavenger hunt.

Parting Photos

Since every report my third graders did on a European country 
had to include the country's flag,
I couldn't end without 
the flag of France!

The Arc de Triomphe
and the French Flag

Au revoir et à la prochaine fois!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bonjour, Mes Amis!

You may have wondered where I disappeared to 
over the past two weeks.

Life threw me some unexpected curves
that made it difficult for me to post.

But that's all behind me now,
and things are looking up indeed!

Terry et moi sommes à Paris!

Balcony in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris

We left on Saturday and flew from Denver
via Iceland to France.

Up, up, and away!

We flew over northern Ontario, Hudson Bay,
across Greenland, and into Reykjavik, Iceland. 

Northern Ontario Route

To my surprise and delight, we flew within 41 miles
of Sioux Lookout where I lived as a young girl,
but it was cloudy and I was on the wrong side of the plane.

There was a break in the clouds 
as we approached Hudson Bay,
but then it was solid cloud cover
until we got to Greenland.

Near the Shore of Hudson Bay

Western Coast of Greenland

Our Route on Icelandair

Sunrise Approaching the Eastern Coast of Greenland

Coming into Keflavik Airport Outside Reykjavik

I imagined a lot of things about Iceland,
but I never imagined that the first thing I'd see
would be this!

Iceland?  A Golf Course!

We switched planes and were off to France!

Keflavik Airport, Iceland

Touchdown at Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris

Before long we were checking into
our little home away from home in
Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris.

Hotel De Saint Germain

And then we were off to explore!

In Saint-Germain-des-Prés

It is very late, so I must sign off!
More to come at my next chance.
Bon Nuit!