Posts Tagged With: theater

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

Being a Child Again

Today we start off late.  We walk around the neighborhood, which has Fulham as the closest underground, and head off to Covent Gardens.  My pancita (belly for all you non-Spanish speaking peoples) is kind of grumbling so I must go to the closest eatery before I get cranky and unbearable to deal with.  First, however, we take a look around.Covent Gardens, London


And then literally dive into the first restaurant we find which happens to be an Italian one.  Bella Italia. BellaItalia1  Bella Italia, Italian restaurant, Covent Gardens, London  Food was excellent.  My salmon delicious. Dean’s spaghetti bolognese as well.

So now with pancita llena (full belly) we venture off to explore Covent Gardens.   There are all sorts of performers around.  People that look like statues, musicians, street musicians, street performers, Covent Gardens, Londonclowns, and Charlie Chaplin.  Charlie Chaplin, Covent Gardens, street performers, London    I’m liking this area.  It’s thriving.  Paella -which I am sure is cooked purely for my delight in the biggest paella pan I’ve seen. paella, Covent Gardens, London  Full of life and craziness. Business mixed with tourism.  Work and play cohabitating somewhat harmoniously.  Covent Gardens, London


Taxis (London cabs) waiting to whisk those that can’t handle it away.  London Cabs, taxis, Covent Gardens, London   London cabs, taxis, Covent Gardens, London

Theater is next!  How I love it.  Today I will be a child again.  Matilda is on the itinerary.  We go towards the West End where it is showing.  The Broadway equivalent of London.   Love the area.  WestEnd  West End, London, Matilda, theater district





I really think it clever how they have the directions to the seats and the cast written in chalk.  Stalls is the equivalent of orchestra in the States and that’s where we are headed.Matilda, theater, London, theater district, West End

The theater is smaller than expected which makes it quite cozy.  Matilda, London, theater, theater district, West End

We leave refreshed.  Matilda started slow and then was just perfect.  Left a smile on my face.  Walking around the area at night is fun.  Bicycle, West End, London   And what is London without Agatha Christie?  Agatha Christie, London, West End

But it’s unseasonably cold so a stop at a café is in order.  And since we are in the Italian theme a pseudo Italian café is in our path.  café, Caffe Concerto, West End, London, theater districtcafé, London, West End, Caffe Concerto


Back to the underground Underground, tube, London, Leicester Square metro   underground, tube, London metro, London  London, underground, metro, tube, Leicester Square metro   where even the locals are tired. 🙂  Earl's Court, London, underground, London tube, tube, metro

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

QVB and Legally Blonde

Today we are visiting Queen Victoria.  Well, not quite, for that we would have to travel back in time.  I’m visiting the Queen Victoria Building (QVB as it is fondly named) in CBD (Central Business District), Sydney.

It’s the building on the left.  It was built in 1898.  History in stone.  Queen Victoria Building, CBD, Sydney, Australia

And here she is presiding over her domain.

QVB, George Street, CBD, Sydney, Australia

She doesn’t seem jolly, does she?

QVB, Sydney, AustraliaAs soon as I walk in I know I’ll like the place.  Lovely tiles.

It’s an upscale mall.  Most well-known international and the best local designers are here.  I dare not enter any of the shops though. I am already having enough problems with the prices of regular things.  Don’t want to think how high the prices in these stores are.  Besides, I have a knack to pick out the most expensive item in any store I go into.  Sydney, Australia   Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, Australia

So I concentrate on the patterns and burst of colors as I go on the escalator.

QVB, Sydney, Australia

I’m getting dizzzzzyyy!

I have a weakness for colors and stained glass windows, and light coming through and patterns and architecture and history attached and all of them combined!  Stained Glass, Stairs, Color  Stairs, Color, Stained Glass   Stairs, Stained Glass, Color

Unfortunately I do not bring my good camera and capture these images on my small pocket one. I have a small purse and high heels on today for we are going to the theater to see Legally Blonde Theater Ticketsand maybe to the casino.

We drive to Darling Harbour, another busy, bustling shopping center that has a marina.  It is a harbor after all.    Sydney, Australia

The Star Casino is the only casino in Sydney right now and is where the Sydney Lyric Theater resides.   We are a bit early so we walk around.  Sydney, Australia

Lyric Sydney Theater, Sydney, AustraliaWe walk around for about an hour before going into the theater.    Though not exactly embraced very enthusiastically on Broadway it did have good reviews out of which I like Variety’s the best: “It may not be bulging with subtext or boast a score for the ages, but this pinksapoppin funhouse delivers exactly what it promises.”   Click here to read a review of the Sydney ensemble of Legally Blonde.  You come out smiling and that is good enough for me.

Of course, though I can’t hear the hypnotic song of the slot machines, I know they are there and they pull me in as mermaids seduce sailors with their songs.  Hopefully it will not have the same end result on me.  I am happy to report that although I did not win much I left the casino with a bit more money than I went in with.  I may go on a supermarket spree tomorrow with it!

Categories: Australia, Darling Harbour, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, Sydney Lyrical Theater, The Star Casino | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Switching to Tourist Mode

Today, Friday, September 21, I am going to be a tourist!  First I do the usual: open the door and assess the weather.  It’s early still and brrrr… it’s a bit nippy.

Perhaps that is why the beach is still mostly unpopulated.

Bondi Park is practically deserted.

By the time Dean wakes up the breeze has let up a bit and it is not too cold.  We head out to the bus.   He’s bought me a Bus Pass that makes me feel like a local again.  Never mind that I don’t know where the bus stop is or what bus to take.   This outing will help me familiarize myself with the routes.  We stop at the Circular Quay (which I would have pronounced “kwa” with a long “a” and is actually pronounced “kee”) where the Sydney Opera House is.

The Harbor Bridge greets us.  

I had wanted to do the bridge climb tour where they take you on top of this beautiful bridge.  Was willing to pay the $223 until I saw how high up they go and how windy it could be.  Uh, no thank you!  Ah, but what a view they must get (one that I would not be able to see with my eyes shut!) 

Just in case the sight of this Sydney icon isn’t enough of a recognizable and welcome sight there is a big sign welcoming you to The Opera House.

Didn’t realize that the tiles form a pattern that makes it even more beautiful up close.  1,056,006 glossy white and matte cream tiles!

Across the harbor is Luna Park, an amusement park that immediately brought Coney Island in New York to mind. 

The light is changing and giving the Opera House a different hue.  It’s as impressive up close as it is from a distance.   

One photo of me just to prove I really was here and then we are off toward dinner.  On the way we will see the Opera House from another angle.  But first I glance at the Harbor (Harbour written in Aussie) Bridge once more as the sun goes down.  

People at happy hour don’t seem to give it a second glance while the birds seem to stop and stare.  

And then here, in all its glory, is the Sydney landmark from the other side.

Dinner was at an Italian restaurant, Zia Pina Pizzeria, in The Rocks, a historic area of Sydney’s city center.

We don’t roam much since we have to get back to the Bondi Pavilion to see I Want to Sleep With Tom Stoppard.    My first independent theater outing in Sydney.  I much enjoyed it.  At intermission there’s a large balcony (the theater is on the second floor) from where you can gaze at the beach.

We walk back home.  It’s gotten cold but I am getting to like the fresh breeze on my face and it makes a nice warm bed so much more inviting.

Categories: Australia, Bondi Beach, Bondi Park, Bondi Pavilion, Circular Quay, Luna Park, Sydney, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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