2015 · amelie · france · montmarte · paris · raclette · travel

I like Paris in the springtime …

I like Paris in the fall. Or should I say autumn? I like Paris pretty much any season of the year. And I was there this spring, always lovely. Merci Paris! You can check out my other post about Paris HERE.

This time meeting Jeannie there, we had done a lot of the tourist things and we decided to just stroll. Not have an agenda. Let’s just walk around, see what trouble we can find and violà! We did. Of course!

Can we enjoy this view from our hotel room? The Haussmann-Saint Lazare station on the Paris RER.

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Then we walked around. And if this picture isn’t Paris then I don’t know what is. Where else in the world would have this kind of dog at their shop? He is a REAL dog! I. LOVE. PARIS.

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First stop was my favourite chill-out place which just happens to be along La Seine. How fabulous, right? FLOW is a bar situated just upstream of Pont Alexandre III on the Left Bank. You can hang out, people watch (my favourite), watch the boats float by and of course, stare across La Seine at the gorgeous Pont Alexandre III bridge, the Grand Palais which to the left of it is the Jardin de la Nouvelle France. If you are lucky maybe you will see some pestacles! Sorry, I have a bit of strange humor but see picture below. What exactly are pestacles?

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This picture was taken off their website – it wasn’t this crowded at all! And actually the day was a bit cold and rainy and they closed early. So FYI – it is possible if there isn’t enough business, they close. C’est la vie! But they did have blankets which was very nice and the chairs are loungy, not regular chairs. Just go already.

Our view while drinking our beers at FLOW. Not to shabby, eh? But then again, what is shabby in Paris?

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Pestacles sign in a Paris garden. I have tried to no avail to find out what Pestacles means!! I think it is some sort of festival with music and dancing but I still don’t know. If anyone knows, PLEASE tell me! I’m dying here to find out.

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I know I said we wouldn’t get touristy but we both love the movie Amélie and I read you could go to the bar that was in the film, so that is exactly what we did. The lovely art deco cafe where Amélie works, which is, surprisingly, real. It’s Café des Deux Moulins, 15 rue Lepic at rue Cauchois.

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Us and Amélie, the best of friends. I think next time we should have the same look on our faces as Amélie has.

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Across the street from Cafe des 2 Moulins. This picture seems so … PARIS. Oui?

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Enough Amelie. Time to walk to Montmarte – up the stairs, up the stairs, more stairs!! MORE UP!

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Finally made it to the top with some interesting sightings on the way.

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And then we had to head back down the stairs. We are goofs! We know – but ADORABLE goofs! And we were hungry…..

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Next up, cheese raclette. Do you know cheese raclette? It so super delicioso. The Raclette cheese round is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners’ plates; the term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape,” a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the cheese onto the plate. Our humungous hunk of cheese (just reminded of that PSA Time for Timer! I hanker for a hunka cheese song. ~ When I’m dancin’ the hoedown and my boots kinda slow down, Or anytime I’m week in the knees, I hanker for a hunk of, A slab, a slice, a chunk of, A snack that is a winner, And yet won’t spoil my dinner! I hanker for a hunk of cheese! Ya-hoo!) … ah, sorry, where was I…. Right! A huge hunk of cheese with a table-top grill, was served with small potatoes, slices of sausages and pickles. Just what we had been wanting. The table next to us had meat raclette which looked amazing as well. 

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Stuffed full and so very happy, we meandered back to our hotel for the night. BUT before the hotel we found this super fun bar with really great tunes. When my boyfriend called we serenaded him. 🙂 He didn’t say so, but I know he loved it. I can’t tell you the bar’s name because then I would have to kill you. Just kidding, I have no idea where we were. Somewhere between Montmarte and the Haussmann-Saint Lazare station. Sometimes you have to find your own fun. I know you can!

You can tell we had fun by this last pic. Until next time mi amigos (or shall I say mes amis)!

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2015 · catalonia · fiestas · Mallorca · spain

El Día de los Reyes

Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio)
Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio)

The day for Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar to arrive is here! Children are anxiously awaiting all over Spain to see the Three Kings. Known in the Anglophone world as the Epiphany, the arrival of the Three Kings is defined in Spain by the enormous expectation and the tremendous annual celebrations that revolve around the event. Festivities officially start the evening before Epiphany, on the night of January 5, when the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings’ Parade) takes place in every town and city, with hundreds upon hundreds of people crowding the main roads of the urban settlements in order to get a glimpse of the reenactment of the arrival of the Three Kings into town.

Here in Mallorca, the Three Kings arrive on boat and then proceed to join the parade (either on an elaborate float or on camels or horses) to throw candy to the children that line the streets. The children hopefully have been very good all year because this is the time they receive the most presents. Santa is definitely number two in popularity in Spain. But if the children have been bad they receive a bag of black coal, (usually a lump of hard sugar candy dyed black, called Carbón Dulce).

If you haven’t realized it yet, the Three Kings are the Three Wise Men who traveled by night all the way from the farthest confines of the Earth to bring gifts to Jesus, whom they recognized as the Son of God. The two days remain a beloved tradition, the night before when the Kings arrive and January 6, the day of the Epiphany.

It is a special time here in Spain! But sadly, it is also the end of Christmas.

Til next time!