09 April 2010

Saying Goodbye- Paris

The Seine was beautiful and the sun was shining on our last day
in Paris and last day in France altogether.

The little island in the middle is a longtime favorite for picnics and sunny days.

The bustling street alongside the Seine is lined with bird, dog, and plant stores, and the noises and smells of chirping canaries and budding flowers are unmistakable.

The church at Les Invalides rises over the surrounding buildings.

Church at day and night.

Our first très important stop before leaving- one of our all-time favorites-
Place des Vosges, home to the Victor Hugo museum. Imagine this as your view
when you pull back your curtains in the morning!

Our next stop was Père Lachaise, the largest cemetery within the city limits and home
to the graves of the likes of Edith Piaf, Isadora Duncan and Balzac.

The cemetery is on a hill, with stone paths leading you like a maze past grave after grave,
some teeming with flowers and other cracked and forgotten. Tourists come from all around,
but also Parisians come just to take an afternoon stroll in the quiet, slightly haunting,
but stunningly beautiful atmosphere.

The last few photos are from the Luxembourg gardens, one of the best in Paris.
It is a place to congregate with friends, walk hand in hand, read, relax, play tennis and
watch the giddy children sailing their tiny sailboats on the pond.

What a perfect sendoff from a lovely little corner of the world.
Merci beaucoup et a bientôt.

04 April 2010

Traso In The Mountains

Like most good, great, wonderful things, our time in Italy is coming to a close.
The little mountain village where we have been staying is called Traso, just outside of Genoa.
It is tucked up along a rather steep slope, with a terrific view of the valley and villages below.

All of the houses in Traso must follow a very strict color code of pastels,
and the shutters can only be painted either green or brown.
Some may find it frustrating, but it creates an aesthetically cohesive feel to the area.

HANNAH this one is for you. I know we'd been looking for property in France,
but this building is way too good to pass up. What d'ya think, eh??
Put in a nice hot tub on the top, what could be better?

Since Traso is already about half way up the mountain side, a hike to the top seemed
within reason. The path up was sprinkled with spring treasures like these
tiny, delicate daisies. And out of nowhere appeared a green, green garden
patch smack in the middle of the brown and dormant earth.

Almost there ladies, just a little farther.
The villages in the distance shrank to colorful specks across the valley as we gained elevation.

Well, we made it, what now?

More treasures. Crocuses, which are native to the area, sprang up in every direction,
opening their petals to the sun.

On top of the world in the fresh air and sunshine.

Looking to the southeast, the sloping ridges seem to go on forever, silent and treeless.

If the weather had been just a little bit clearer we could have seen the island of
Corsica to the southwest in the distance. Nonetheless, we could not have asked for a more beautiful sendoff from this incredible country.

Until next time Italia.