Posts Tagged With: billboard

Rudeness, Pickpocket and Scam Alert!

The dreaded day is here.  The day Soleil  7th arrondissement, péniche, houseboat, Paris, France, River Seine 7th arrondissement, péniche, houseboat, Paris, France, River Seine and we part.  The day we leave our smurf bust. Soleil, péniche, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, Eiffel Tower, paradise found The day Fifi stays behind.  She certainly has made herself at home.  Soleil, péniche, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, Eiffel Tower, paradise found, Fifi, cat, black cat The last day when I look out the window or off the deck and will be reminded by the Eiffel Tower that I am in Paris.  Eiffel Tower, 7th arrondissement, péniche, houseboat, Paris, France, River Seine, window, room with a view
Eiffel Tower, 7th arrondissement, péniche, houseboat, Paris, France, River Seine, window, room with a view

I didn’t want the day to come but it’s here.

I very unwillingly pack.  We cross the plank with our luggage and place it in the garden.  One step further from our beloved péniche.    Fifi huddles behind it, probably because of the shade, but I am sure it is because she wants to come with us.Soleil, péniche, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, Eiffel Tower, paradise found, Fifi, cat, black cat, departure  Soleil, péniche, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, Eiffel Tower, paradise found, Fifi, cat, black cat, departure Soleil, péniche, River Seine, 7th arrondissement, houseboat, Eiffel Tower, paradise found, Fifi, cat, black cat, departure

I pick her up and go to our neighbor in the boat next to us and ask him if she is his and what her name is.  Fifi is now Yaya.   I think Fifi fits her better.

Up until now we have felt nothing but safe and have been on the receiving end of helpfulness and courteousness.  We walk to the station of Passy Paris, France, metro, Passy where in one swoop all that changes.  We are carrying substantial luggage that can only pass through the gate so I show our ticket and our luggage and ask the attendant how we can go through the gate.  He says it’s not free. I continue to smile and say I understand but how can we input the ticket for the gate (it has no slot)? Not free.  I know. How? Validate through the regular entrance and he’ll open gate.  I do.  He does not.  He is rude, nasty and unhelpful.  Had it not been for a passenger on the other side who opens the gate from the inside we would still be there.

Onward to the train (metro).  Two young women enter our wagon and stand at the entrance. Plenty of room behind them, but as I go in, one moves towards me. In French I ask her what she is doing.  Arreter!  Stop. She continues forward.  I avoid her and go towards the back.  They exit at the next stop and I look down and the zipper of my bag is open.  Fortunately nothing in that compartment for her to take, but it frazzles me a bit.

Onward to the Gare du Nord where we are going to buy tickets to our destination: Amiens.  Gare du Nord is a sea of clashing currents of human flesh.  Busy at all times.  A bit overwhelming to most.  No information booths are manned and we can’t find where to buy the tickets so we go to the machines.  A tad confusing and we must look it because we are approached by a lovely young lady who tries to help.  No, thank you.  Move onto another.  She follows and when we are about to put our credit card in she says that it  doesn’t accept foreign cards and we can pay her and she’ll put hers in.  I don’t think so!  We safeguard our credit card and move far from her.  It’s a well-known scam that has been going on for years.

We finally get to a ticket booth for SNCF but can someone figure out this billboard for me please? Gare du Nord, scam, confusion, train station, SNCF

Gare du Nord, scam, confusion, train station, SNCFThe train has little stars on the floor and I am ready to go into bliss zone again.

The countryside train travel, France, Amiens, Gare du Nord, countryside  train travel, France, Amiens, Gare du Nord, countryside shows up and in no time (about 2 hours) we arrive at the Amiens, SNCF, train station, France Amiens station. Amiens, SNCF, train station, France   Amiens, SNCF, train station, France  Bigger than I thought it would be..

Amiens, SNCF, train station, France

We are close to city center so after checking in we walk to town.  It’s about 8 pm. Amiens City Center It’s still light outside on a still mild night and no one is out.  Amiens city center, France The city seems deserted, yet it is beautiful and quaint.  Our stomachs (okay, really just mine) is clamoring for food so we sit at a pizza place Amiens, pizza place, Via Pizza,  and the entertainment comes to us.  A local theater group is walking through the plaza where we are, with the audience in tow. Theater, French theater, France, Amiens, entertainment, street theater Theater, French theater, France, Amiens, entertainment, street theater  They stop with the police blocking the road Amiens theater as the actors perform. Amiens theater Theater, French theater, France, Amiens, entertainment, street theater

My pizza arrives and yes, that is an egg in the middle.  Via Pizza, Amiens, pizza with egg, France More than one pizza is served like that.  I avoid it and eat around it.  I accompany it with my favorite drink:  Schwepps tonic which is not that commonly available in the States in restaurants but is here.  Schweppes, tonic water, Amiens, France, Via Pizza

I decide to not remind myself that it has more calories than a Coke and enjoy every drop.

Amiens Cathedral, France, church, cathedral The cathedral is ahead.

We will walk there after dinner. Amiens Cathedral Through the side streets we go ’cause that is the way where many a surprise has been had and today is no different.  Australian Bar, Amiens, France, Aussie bar in France An Australian bar to satisfy my partner’s craving for his country though this one has Latino music blaring and a soccer match showing.  Is it crazy that I find this perfectly normal?

And then the cathedral, which is quite a beauty, intricately adorned with sculptures on the outside, The Cathedral of our Lady of Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France, cathedral, church, and quite huge.  The Cathedral of our Lady of Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France, cathedral, church, The Cathedral of our Lady of Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France, cathedral, church,The Cathedral of our Lady of Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France, cathedral, church,

The plaza it is in is not bad either and the side streets are charming.  The Cathedral of our Lady of Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France, cathedral, church, plaza

The Cathedral of our Lady of Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France, cathedral, church, plaza   The Cathedral of our Lady of Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France, cathedral, church, plaza

 The carousel is closed and the streets are empty.  The Cathedral of our Lady of Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Amiens, France, cathedral, church, plaza

It is time for us to go home.  Amiens  Amiens

We will explore more tomorrow… or maybe we will just chill.  🙂

Categories: 7th Arrondissement, Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Gare du Nord, Paris, Port Debilly | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Very Bad Trip 3 and Other Musings

The afternoon (since I missed the morning) is rainy: at times drizzly, at times pouring, and at all times briefly so.  Our Rue de la Liberté is sparkling.  19th Arrondissement, Paris, France, street  Just as quaint, street, Paris, France, 19th Arrrondissement or even more so, when crowned by overcast skies and soaking wet by the previous downpour.

We have come to Paris to film a movie.  Well, maybe that wasn’t the only reason, but it was one of our motivations and we are going to meet with the cameraman that Dean will be working with.  He is going to the movies and will meet us outside the theater.

So we take the Metro for the first time.  Paris, Paris metro, France

I get a kick out of the fact that Hangover III (a movie that two good friends are in) is called Very Bad Trip 3 here.  A Very Bad Trip 3, Paris metro

Paris It’s almost 8:00 pm and it’s still bright outside.

We have dinner at a restaurant that seems to be part of a chain:  Hippopotamus.  I would probably compare it to a Marie Callender’s (for my American friends).  It’s back to drizzling so we don’t walk far when we separate and go into the next Metro station (Denfert Rochereau) that we find.  Metro Denfer  Each station has its own personality.

 This one had sayings and signatures projected on the wall.  As I took the photo I got the reflection of a rider on it, giving it a ghostly feel.  Paris, France, Parisian Metro, metro

Ad  Another billboard reflection just made me smile.

A transfer.  Paris, France, Parisian metro, metro Did I mention that there are tons of steps in the Paris metro?  I shouldn’t complain; they are a good workout for me.  Which I will probably need since there are vending machines in the metro just in case I have a sudden urge for unhealthy snacks.  Paris, France, metro, vending machine

I am starting to be quite enthralled by the subway.  Parisian Metro

But I must awaken from my trance since the exit sign is ahead.  Exit, Paris, France, sortie

And we come up to our neighborhood once again.  Parisian Metro night, Paris, France      Paris, France, metro, night metro

Nighty, night.  Tomorrow will not only be another day but one that will bring us some iconic images of the City of Love.

Categories: 19th arrondissement, Denfert Rochereau, France, Paris | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Seeing Red and so much more…

Starting today with last night won’t confuse you, right?  It seems perfectly normal to me since last night we were surprised with an offer from a friend of Dean’s of two tickets to see a play I knew nothing about:  Red by John Logan, an American playwright.   A play I should have been well aware of since it won six Tony awards in 2010.  It’s about an episode of a Russian/American painter’s life in the late 50’s: Mark Rothko.  Only two actors in it. Quite intense and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  We went into a pizza place Pizzeria Rio afterwards.  The owner is Greek and the pizza was wonderful.

I was not about to let the remainder of my 24-hour double-decker fun go to waste and since I realized Bondi Rd. (a street very close to home) was on the bus’ route, I headed over there.   Unfortunately, Citysightseeing Tours stops are not clearly marked –in fact, not marked at all- and I couldn’t find one, so I walked over to Bondi Beach where I knew there was one.  Though still on the breezy side it was a lovely day and off I went.

Yesterday I learned that “Bondi” or “Boondi” is an Aboriginal word meaning water or noise of water breaking over rocks.  The Australian Museum records show that Bondi means a place where a flight of nullas (nulla being an aboriginal hunting stick) took place.   Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club is the world’s first surf lifesaving club.  Bondi Beach, Lifeguard, Sydney, Australia   After asking around I finally found the Tour Bus Stop but have to wait about 20 minutes before their first pick up at 10:00 am.  So I sit on a mosaic bench and stare at the beach.  Breeziness turns the temperature to cold.  Beach, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia  When the bus arrives it takes me up a street I had not been to before. We are headed away from the beach. Dover Heights, Sydney, Australia

It gives me a different perspective and view of the city.   Dover Heights, Sydney, Australia

We go through an area called Dover Heights which I really liked.  Of course it’s one of the most expensive areas in the city.  Property values are above $2 million. It’s hard to avoid views of water no matter where you go.  Sydney, Australia

We go back towards the CBD (City Business District) and we pass Woolworths, Woolworth food store, Sydney, Australia a store that reminds me of the now defunct Woolworth’s of my youth though this one is essentially a food store.

That’s another bus like the one I’m on and The Sydney Tower Eye I went up on yesterday.  It’s a Westfield mall on the first five floors. Sydney Tower Eye, Westfield mall, Sydney, Australia I love that the buildings here have names.  This was one of my favorites.  Sydney, Australia  Town Hall, built in 1875 maintains its dignity while being restored by the scaffolding being cloaked with a veil imprinted with its original façade.  Town Hall, built 1875, Sydney, Australia This Coca-Cola sign is heritage protected.  How lucky for Coke that their ad is a historic landmark!  Heritage protected, landmark, Coke billboard  Coke billboard, Sydney, Australia   After going through city, the bus loop takes me back to where I started.  I have to get off since my 24 hours officially end at around 1:00 pm.

It’s quite chilly so I’m craving something warm. I stop at Chocolatería San Churro which caught my attention when I arrived.    Touring is serious business and considering the weather, I succumb to a cup of hot chocolate before I walk back home.

Back on the road with my legs as transportation I see graffiti that makes me smile…  Graffiti, Park Bench, Bondi, Sydney, Australia   And graffiti takes baffles me, this one is inside an apartment.  Graffiti, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Though Sydney people are not exactly friendly and outgoing I love how courteous they are.  Something that is reflected even on their mailboxes…

No Junk Mail

Respectfully Decline…

They even give reasons for rejecting things.  This photo is out of focus but it’s kind of appropriate it is so.

No Junk Mail

Your Junk Mail Will Go Unread!

My artist side was fascinated by a whole window display that started off with an explanation of what art is.

Art, Storytelling

Art is About Life

The rest of the window display explained that through the months, a piece of a story would be added and illustrated through found and borrowed objects.  I spent a while reading the story and saddened that it also had a good-bye note saying that the storyteller/artist was asked to vacate.

Storytelling, Art

A story unfolds…

I’m getting hungry and start searching for a reasonable place to eat and find a fish place, The One That Got Away, (half fish market, half fast food restaurant) that has a whole instruction manual on how to order.

Instructions to Order at The One That Got Away

I’m not reading all this just to be able to order!

The One Who Got Away menuAs I order a guy asks me where I’m from and starts talking to me.  I am surprised by the fact that he is a local, they don’t normally approach you and initiate a conversation.  But he was charming.  We exchanged some travel stories, he told me about the big Footy (Australian Rules football) that was on and that he was headed out to the stadium.

Today would be a day of conversation.  When he left, I approached a couple that were talking in Spanish.  He was from Uruguay and she from Argentina.  They shared my same thoughts.  They were shocked at how expensive Australia was even when they knew it wouldn’t be cheap.  They had planned to stay about a month and a half but were returning in a few days after being here a month.   The lady on the left was also speaking Spanish to her mom as she fed her.  It was obvious that her mom had Parkinson’s. My mom had Parkinson’s and their interaction brought back so many memories.  I still miss her so very much.

The One Who Got Away, Sydney, Australia

The One That Got Away

I still have a ways to go and decide to explore a supermarket and get some things to snack on at home.  Found a brand that reminded me of home.  🙂


The city reminds me once again that even with the chill, it is Spring.   I go by a flower store with orchids, trees in full bloom and flowers at ground level.             Orange Flowers

As I get close to the apartment (flat for Aussies and Brits) the bowling club (lawn bowling for us) is in white.

This is how I picture lawn bowling.  So civilized.

Young Bowling Fan


The church a block from the apartment is usually closed.  Today, as I pass, it bids me to come in.     

Australia is a very laid back country.  Even the signs take a rest at times…   My turn now.

Categories: Australia, Bondi Beach, Bronte, Dover Heights, Kings Cross, Queen Victoria Building, Town Hall | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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