Sight seeing Day 2 – Musee du Louvre, Notre Dame and Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise

Monday morning I seemed to be over my tummy troubles, so headed out what I thought was bright and early in an attempt to see the Musee du Louvre. It wasn’t to be unfortunately… altho I got there about 15 minutes after it opened, there was already a 3 hr long queue formed.

Oh well – onto Plan B: – a brief wander through Jardin du Tuilieres followed by Notre Dame, an open-top-bus ride and Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise following Nic’s suggestion.

All went pretty well – I seem to be somehow magnetically drawn to the Pyramide du Louvre, but somehow managed to draw myself away from it and get on with things. Notre Dame is amazing… I’d seen it from the outside before but not been inside… the architecture, the history and the spirtual’ness (is that a word?) of the place really hits you.


An arch at the Louvre and some of the abundant “scenery”


Jim Morrison’s grave (lead singer from The Doors if you’re unsure)

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Jardin, Boulevard Pereire

It seems that something I ate during Saturday didn’t quite agree with me, so Saturday evening had a fairly quiet one and stayed pretty close to the hotel (no need for details I say).

It gets dark VERY late in Paris in the summer… like after 10pm… so I just went for a bit of wander down the nearby Boulevard Pereire and the Garden they’ve setup down the middle of it. Pretty clever really… the rail system has been mostly put underground, and the area above can’t have buildings put on it… so they’ve covered over with parks and garden’s instead. Why couldn’t they think to do that in cities in Australia ???


Hmm – bit overgrown looking when first come through the gate…


… but inside is nice and orderly.



Toying with Macro mode on the camera.


I know someone who could have a ton of fun on this !!!

Soaking up the atmosphere en Paris

Sat evening went for a bit of a wander around the place… not a serious sight-seeing outing, but just to soak up the atmosphere.


Hotel Amarante Arc de Triomphe where I’m staying. My room is directly above the open window.


And a close-up of touch parking Paris style I actually saw a demo first hand where a little Renault didn’t have room to get out, so he bumped into and then physically pushed the van behind backwards to get out.


My corner Tobacconist


Such a gorgeous car… wouldn’t you think they could polish it ??? 😉 I’ve noticed that the nicer cars are always parked illegally on corners… presumably happy to risk a ticket to avoid the other bump parkers.


Arc de Triomphe… these cars are all doing 40+ km/h, so a still photo doesn’t quite capture the mayhem !!!


Big American Metal in Paris… but why can’t we get them in Australia !?!?


Le Tour Eiffel. Note the colour people.


Again… nice car… parked illegally on a corner. Think I’d still prefer the Bentley tho…

Supermarché à Paris

I’m discovering that the cost of living in Australia is MASSIVELY higher than in France !!!

Today I decided to pick up some bottled water to cover me the next few days… I’d been drinking the tap water in Grenoble without any problem (being in the Alps it has a VERY good quality water supply)… but I wasn’t going to try that in Paris.

Step 1… find a Supermarket. Easy – just round the corner from the hotel.
Step 2… find some water. Also easy… 1.38 Euro for a 6 pack of 500ml.
Step 3… find some coke. 2.13 Euro for a 6 pack.

There wasn’t meant to be a step 4, but I saw Leffe Blond on the shelves… 6.22 (about $8 AUD) for a 6 pack of 250ml bottles, or 7.74 Euro for 12 (a bit over $10 AUD).

What the… premium Belgian beer for less than you pay for VB or XXXX in Australia !!!


Leffe Blond for a bargain price !!! (tempted as I was, I only bought the 6 pack)


And a new twist on enviro-friendly packaging… the translation is ‘First bottle of vegetable origin’.

Au revoir Grenoble… Bonjour Paris !!!

Saturday was a day of travelling… checking out of the Hotel in Grenoble and taking le TGV to Paris.

It’s only about a 3 hr train ride, but combined with not sleeping very well Friday night, messing around finding the right platform (voie) at Grenoble and then dealing with transferring to the Metro in Paris… well it felt like the whole day had gone.

Now safely checked into my hotel near the Arc de Triomphe… been chilling here for a bit before heading out for some sight-seeing.


The Novotel Grenoble Center where I’d been staying. Realized when leaving I hadn’t taken a photo of the outside… yup, it’s inside one end of the Grenoble World Trade Center building !!!


Photo’s from le TGV… playing with the “miniature” mode on the camera.


A miniature farm ???


And my hotel room in Paris that have just checked into… not as swish as the Novotel in Grenoble, but who cares – it’s in Paris !!!

France during the Summer… Grenoble Edition

So I’m now in France, and yup – it’s definitely summer… if I was to say there are lots of pretty girls around would be an understatement !!!

I arrived in Paris early Sunday morning, then due to some issues with trains ended up taking the TGV to Lyon and then a local train service out to the city of Grenoble where the company has a big presence.

Something I didn’t realize is that Grenoble is right in the midst of the Alps… in a bit of a valley surrounded on all sides by some pretty impressive looking mountains. It’s quite an old town, with a 17th century fort (the Bastille) on the hill overlooking both it and the river flowing through.

Incidentally the river is fed by the snow melt and glacier nearby… and is pretty fast moving.

So far my time here has been a bit of wandering around on Sunday afternoon, as well as each evening after work. It gets dark quite late, so Monday evening was a walk through the old town (followed by dinner in one of the brasseries in Plac Grenette), and Tuesday evening took the cable car up to the Bastille. The lifestyle here seems very laid back and outdoors’y… plenty of locals out enjoying the weather !!!


Experimenting with settings on the camera… kinda like the retro feel.


Plenty of outdoor dining… to enjoy the weather and the greenery.


View from my hotel room window… pretty impressive huh ?


Gare de Grenoble, with the company’s downtown office behind.


View from le Bastille… 745m above the valley floor.


The start of sunset


Exploring the Batterie et Grottes du le Bastille


Workmates Piotr and Pascal and our One Metre Beer. Although they’re Stella Artois glasses, the beer is actually Leffe… and it was cheaper to buy this way rather than beers each… honestly !!!


A little while later…


… and later still with Piotr starting to look a little seedy. No comment as to how much of the meter I drank !!!