Saturday, 25 February 2012

Lovely Lucerne Lake...oh and mountains

We're currently visiting my brother who lives near Lucerne. He lives in a gorgeous apartment with the most astonishing views. Every day, and at all times of day, the light is different, and the view changes. This is a view towards Lake Lucerne taken in the morning, a few hours after sunrise. I love the misty haze still clinging to the water.

We spent the day skiing and came back home just as the sun was setting. The mountains tips glowed a warm pink, which reflected in the water.

By nightfall the view, on a clear night looks like this. Blue.

If you look in the opposite direction...well the view is not bad either. Today our timing was perfect and we witnessed the sunset. The clouds were quite something.

If you like pink, this was the place to be...and even if you don't, this was still the place to be.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

On a Quest to Find White

The courtyard infront of our house is dotted with these delicate fluffy white bird feathers at the moment. I'm not sure why, but they certainly look lovely, especially covered in raindrops.

As I headed out on Saturday I thought it might be nice to collect a few white images on my outing. I started out quite well, though nothing I came across after this feather was nearly so white. More of a  blanc cassé.

Here is a heart I found on rue Durantin.




I walked up the hill by the Sacré Cœur. The sky was very white, but when I took photos this impression was lost. The sky may have been white, but Paris looked grey. 

This incredibly long flight of stairs (Passage Cottin) distracted me from my quest to find white. These stairs must be one of the narrowest flights in Montmartre. They are missing the cobbled borders that commonly run up the side of stairs like these. 

Here I'm looking down...

...and here I'm looking up.


At the bottom of the stairs I saw this window. It looks like the stairs are moving...down. A little bit crooked.

At this point I got utterly distracted from my hunt for white. 

Hang on, sugar is often white?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Heart Hunting

Last year on Valentine's day I went heart gathering. I put together a collection of hearts I had gathered around Paris over the preceding year....Gathering Hearts.

This year I went 'heart hunting'. I had an hour to spare, I had the Cimetière de Montmartre, and my objective was to find some hearts. This was not as easy as I'd hoped, though I did find some rather beautiful wrought iron hearts.

One heart.

Three hearts.

Fine hearts.

Glass heart.

I also looked for words.

Mosaic heart (there is a heart there...just).

A moss heart.

Just as I was leaving the cemetery I saw this. Hmmm...amouroux amoureux. Not quite right, but close.

Happy Valentine's day.

More hearts can be found here (thumbnails) and here (slideshow).

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Place Vendôme

I always find the scale of Place Vendôme in the 1st arrondissement of Paris disconcerting. It is vast, and largely empty. I think it must be about 120 metres from one side of the square to the other. There are only two ways into the square, and two ways out.

It was built between 1702 and 1720, a hundred or so years after the Place des Vosges. As with the Place des Vosges, the architectural style of the facades on all sides of the square is the same. Here is the view as you approach from rue St Honoré (the south-west). That's Napoleon, perched on top of the column.

When ever I visit the Place Vendôme I always seem to gravitate towards the column in the centre.

Over 40 metres high, the original column, built by Napoleon to commemorate the battle of Austerlitz, was modelled on Trajan's Column in Rome. Originally, at the top of the column was a statue of Napoleon riding a horse. The column was dismantled in 1871 upon orders of the government ruling Paris at that time. It is was later re-erected using the original bronze panels. The statue of Napoleon, which had been melted down when the column was dismantled, was replaced, this time there was no horse. There is apparently a spiral staircase on the inside of the column that takes you to the top. Not for the claustrophobic I would think.

The bronze panels are apparently made from 133 melted down canons retrieved from the battle of Austerlitz (1805).

I love the colours and intricate details of the bronze panels. Look at the tassels on that blanket...

...and the feathers on this helmet...

I love the green bronze set against the creamy Parisian stone.

Lampposts and column vie for attention.

Here's the column admiring its' reflection.