Bonjour, mes amis! Today we revel in the sumptuous roses and iconic architecture of the Palais Royal in Paris, an oasis of calm and peacefulness away from the perpetual bustle of the city. From The Louvre, you cross rue de Rivoli and rue Saint-Honoré to Place Colette, home of the state theatre Comédie Française, and enter the Palace through a beautiful colonnaded portico.
Pass through the courtyard of the Cour d’Honneur with its black-and-white striped Buren columns and grey-and-white striped awnings, a motif that I love juxtaposed with the riot of random color and shape in the gardens, which extend beyond through the arcade flanking the courtyard.
Quiet instantly envelops you, and the carefully placed chairs and benches beckon, populated more by local Parisians than tourists.
Taking your seat, a bright sea of bloom greets you from every direction.
Not only roses, but white anemones, orange rudbeckia and all manner of summer flowers abound.
Wandering the dreamy abundance of the floral displays feels like walking through an Impressionist painting.
The gilded finials on the black gates of the arcades surrounding the gardens are another well-known feature. I love the contrast of the precise architectural symmetry with the exuberant wildness of the roses.
Double rows of clipped lime trees filter the light, adding a golden sparkle to the scene.
Hours can pass quickly, but as you reluctantly leave the gardens, returning toward Place Colette, stop by the delightful theatrically-themed gift shop for the Comédie Française, and then savor refreshment and people watching at the stylish Café le Nemours (I can recommend the warm chèvre salad and chocolate soufflé).
Palais Royal is a stunning retreat in which to recharge from a busy itinerary. Its proximity to major landmarks merely heightens its appeal – a welcome respite awaits mere steps from The Louvre.
Thank you so much for joining me! Á bientôt!
(I’m very happy to be able to share these images from my trips last year. Currently, I understand the Palais is undergoing renovation and the views and photo ops are somewhat marred by scaffolding and construction.)
Hello, my friends! In my previous post on our trip to The Palouse, I shared the views from the top of a 4,000 foot butte. Today, the views are from the land, deep among the rolling fields, looking up at awe-inspiring skies. Seemingly endless dirt roads lead in tantalizing directions, mysterious and compelling. We followed them for hours – getting lost as we chose.
And finally, on our last morning, we headed down a quiet country road on our way home. Suddenly, D spotted in the distance a herd of horses, galloping across a field. We screeched to a halt amid a cloud of dust, grabbed our cameras, which fortunately were ready on the seat, and ran toward the field. The horses turned, heading for us at full speed, and we were able to shoot just a few frames. I am not a horse photographer but I was so grateful to be there, have my camera with the correct lens and capture images of these magnificent animals. It was an exhilarating moment!
Thank you to everyone who shared their stories of this area in the comments. The Palouse graced us with many stunning and surprising subjects and this final treat was without a doubt the indelible highlight of a memorable and dreamlike journey.
Wishing you all a beautiful weekend!
p.s. With the demise of Google Reader, I hope you are still able to follow along with me. Here is one other way to follow with Bloglovin. Thanks!
Hello, my friends! I’ve returned from more travel, not Paris or roses this time, but an entirely new location that I do hope you enjoy.
Last week D and I journeyed to The Palouse region of Eastern Washington, a staggeringly beautiful agricultural area of undulating hills covered in shimmering green wheat, rustic barns, quaint farms and magnificent horses.
Dawn comes early at this time of year, so to capture the best light over the farmland, we awoke at 3:00 am and made our way to the top of Steptoe Butte, the highest viewpoint, in time to photograph the sun as it rose over the mountain tops and bathed the verdant landscape in an ethereal wash of golds, pinks and purples.
The Palouse is phenomenally fertile, due to the soil, which retains water and requires no irrigation. Most of the picturesque farms are over 100 years old, nestled in the hollows of the dune-like hills.
Where a field is not planted for the season, the reddish-brown, bare earth appears as shades of purple and violet in the slanting light.
The wheat turns golden as it matures, adding further rich tones to the velvety patchwork of color.
I’d love to hear what you think of this kind of scenery. I do realize it’s quite different from what I normally share but I felt you’d like to see this unique, and possibly unfamiliar, corner of the world.
It is a fragile landscape that makes you catch your breath, and hold it, both for its tranquil beauty and for the thought that it might not survive in its present state for another 100 years.
If you are interested in learning more about The Palouse, there is abundant information online. I will be back in a few days to share more images of the farms, barns, amazing skies and marvelous horses of the area.
Thank you for visiting and, as always, much love from me.