Images from our 2023 trip to France. From the left bank of Paris to the Alsace region close to Switzerland and then back to the right bank of Paris. We managed to walk to Germany and back as well. Good times.
Park near the Sorbonne, Paris. Lots of parks like this about the place.
Detail, the Sorbonne, Paris. Its old and venerable and there lots of detail on the facade.
Two icons, the tower and the locks of Paris.
Behold the street art of Paris. Its all around you.
The Pantheon has a complicated history owing to its construction during the revolution. It was intended to be a church, then a monument to patriots of the revolution, now a bit of both. Its magnificent in any case.
The mausoleum below the Pantheon has some famous people interred there. The history of the Pantheon is complicated, have a look here.
Madame Curie and husband in the mausoleum under the Pantheon.
Hôtel des Invalides, Paris, the veterans hospital back in the day. Napoleon took care of his men it seems. Now a military museum on one side and the tomb of Napoleon on the other.
Hôtel des Invalides, Paris, here the resting place of Napoleon and other notable military figures. Another huge excess, there are 14 kilos of gold on the dome alone apparently.
Hôtel des Invalides, Paris, the resting place of Napoleon, right here.
Random Paris Street scene down by the Quai de Montebello.
Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, a stunning excess from a time the stairway to heaven was paved with magnificent buildings and holy relics.
L'Annexe rue des Ecoles across the road from where we first stayed in Paris. Service was efficient and friendly, the food inexpensive and good. "Bill" seemed to be always on duty and owned this corner of Paris.
More night time Paris street photography. The Pantheon in the distance.
Looking out over the Eiffel tower in the evening from the Place du Panthéon.
Heading to Strasbourg from the Gare du Nord, our first crack at the trains. Folks gather peering at the screens to see which platform to assemble on. Notice is short so you need to be ready to move quickly. Seats are allocated so you also need to find your carriage and haul the luggage on board - always a little challenging. Air conditioning in France is merely a concept, so hopefully its not too hot outside or you will bake inside the carriage.
Another view of the station. We have nothing like this here.
Strasbourg - even more stunning at night.
A random Strasbourg baked good shop with local specialties. They abound.
Sign says money cannot buy happiness. But sausage, yes.
The tourist region of Strasbourg was once an abattoir, tannery and jail/place of execution. Not charming and a very undesirable locale. These days of course its the center of the tourist trade. The roof shown here would have once had hides drying beneath, therefore all the "windows" for ventilation.
Beautiful things in a Strasbourg shop window.
It was hot while we were in Strasbourg. Here a local has found a way to combat the heat on their balcony.
We walked to Kehl, Germany all the way from Strasbourg, its that close.
Despite the great heat in Strasbourg, many dined outside, no idea why. We on the other hand found a suitably air conditioned place and enjoyed a fabulous meal at La Bedaine. This translates to a fat man more or less, go figure.
Random band doing their thing one evening. Strasbourg was like that, you never knew what you might find around the next corner.
Street art in Strasbourg.
The tourist areas surrounding the Strasbourg Cathedral are full of these sort of things.
A Queen tribute band in the square are you kidding me? Random, but epic.
This is the plazza adjoining the Strasbourg Cathedral, Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg. On this sultry evening I had been patrolling the tourist area nearby and turned the corner to find a Queen concert in full swing.
Random Strasbourg street scene early one morning. On this day the temperature had thankfully dropped from stupid hot to reasonably comfortable. It wouldn't last.
The Strasbourg olde town near the hotel on a wet morning. The fruit and veg is on the street no matter the weather.
The signs helpfully point to items of interest but the suggested times to the destination are incorrect. Owing to the confusing way the streets wind around and around its at least another 10km before you get where you think you are going. For reasons I can't explain, Colmar confused me greatly.
More confusion. Nothing is where you think the sign says it should be.
A peek up a Colmar lane. Very nice.
A fountain, flowers and fish in Kayserberg. Pretty.
A display of wine in front of a Kayserberg vintner. This is wine country after all.
Alsace is a cultural region onf the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. This is Kayserberg, a village on the wine trail outside Colmar.
Quite contemplation looking back over the village in Kayserberg.
Citroën Ami in the wild. This is Citroen's vision of the modern town car.
Just chilling at the Place de la Libération in Dijon. Lots of open space here and people just going about the affairs of the day.
More Place de la Libération. Surrounded by cafes, this is how the locals roll. Late at night the place is full of people.
On the other side of the Dukes palace in Dijon, a quiet park.
Detail on the Dukes palace in Dijon.
Long before he was a Starfleet Captain, Jean Luc Picard's family made their money from frozen food. True story. Picard (the frozen food vendor) has every kind of thing.
Down by the Dijon markets, an array of vendors of fine foods including this fromagerie.
This is The Magic Owl of Dijon. It will grant your wish should you ask in the right way.
What lies in the courtyard behind the many ancient doors of Dijon? Many things it turns out. Here's a peek behind one.
Place de la Libération at night, still buzzing mid week. The square which is semi circular has had many names over the centuries. Its current name was installed in 1944. Great open spaces are a part of life here.
How public works got done back in the day. This is part of a water reticulation system, a miracle of the modern age devised in 1840 by Henri Darcy who was a very clever man. A giant cistern lies under the hill, this elaborate fountain in Dijon sits in the park built around it 40 years later.
Joan and Keith accidentally go into a Michelin restaurant in Dijon. Looks simple and unassuming, tastes amazing. So good we went back.
Sennecey Auchon Hypermarche. Unlike here where you have to go to the bottle shop outside the supermarket, in supermarkets across France one can buy all life's essentials inside. Here, the supermarket Cave à vin - the wine cellar. This is the rose section, check the prices.
On the Voie Bleue near Tournus. The Voie Bleue is 700km of paths along the river with easy riding, accommodation food and drink along the way. While rail trails are awesome, and they are, this is next level. What a day this was.
That time we rode the Voie Bleue at Tournus. It was hot, really hot but this was a bucket list thing, we did it anyway. Turned out to be cool in the trees and not too bad while moving. Awesome epic time had by all.
Village life, France, Gigny-sur-Saône. These old houses have been renovated inside and are thoroughly modern and very comfortable.
Steps on the gite where we stayed in Gigny-sur-Saône.
Here we are wandering the halls of the Chateau Cormatin. Once a familial seat for centuries, now a national treasure. Like big houses everywhere they cost way too much for individuals to operate and now function as tourist venues. This one was well worth seeing.
Gigny-sur-Saône by the water on sunset.
Down by the Saône one magical evening at the end of a really hot day.
Walking along the Saône in the evening. This building is one of the numerous refreshment stops for cyclists on la Voie Bleue.
Dr Wine, Vins et gastronomie au cœur de Dijon. A bit of an orienteering course to get into, up steps, down steps and so forth. Concept is simple, think a tapas bar with french food paired to wine and it was very good indeed. https://www.drwine.fr/
We suck at selfies, but obviously when you stand in front of this thing you need to give it a red hot go.
This is part of the permanent display of Claude Monet's Water Lillys at the Orangerie Museum in Paris. Its a huge work of art in two dedicated viewing rooms. Its intended to be contemplative and changes with the light owing to windows in the ceiling. Turns out Claude was a clever bloke.
Random Rodin in the insalubrious "gardens" outside the Orangerie Museum. The view though is very good, you can see many of the landmarks of Paris from here.
Passerelle Debilly, Paris. This is the view from under the pedestrian bridge adjacent the Eiffel Tower. Its art I'm telling you.
Passerelle Debilly, Paris. The view from the pedestrian bridge adjacent the Eiffel Tower. Those locks are everywhere.
The restaurant at the Mulhouse museum was very good indeed. The horde went to the cafe and did not know what they missed.