Wednesday, August 31, 2011
For my birthday present, Switzerland gave me a gorgeous sunny day in the alps. Lauterbrunnen is a very small town in a tidy green valley with towering mountains on either side. From our hotel window in one direction we had a view of snow-covered peaks in the distance. Looking the other way, I gazed down on this slope of neat farms dotted with small, tidy houses and backed by a sheer cliff face.
We were expecting cool or even cold weather in the Swiss Alps in May, but that was another birthday present; the temperature was in the high 70's. Just delightful! I sat on the balcony in my t-shirt and sketched.
Friday, August 26, 2011
This is how I think of the Luxembourg Gardens, behind the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. In the late afternoon, people gather and stroll, or sit and talk. Everyone looks very relaxed and content to be in this beautiful place. This was a little bit before sunset, so there was that golden light on the last few tallest buildings, with the pink light in the foreground. Ahh...magical!
There's a fabulous painting by my favorite painter, John Singer Sargent,"In the Luxembourg Gardens". He captured that wonderful pink light before sunset so beautifully. And of course, I love the long dresses and the suits. So elegant!
Friday, August 19, 2011
The best part about Beaune, France, was this cute carousel, right in the center of the town square. Talk about civic priorities!
The rest of my tour group was off on a wine tasting visit to one of the local vineyards. But since I don't drink, I was much happier sitting here and sketching. There were just a few children riding around in the last golden rays of the day with their mothers watching on.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
After the Louvre we left Paris, with a longing backwards glance, and drove through the countryside to our hotel in Beaune. This is a seriously cute small town. And not in a Disney way but in an authentic built-to-last-hundreds-of-years way. The buildings are sturdy looking with brown tiled roofs, and they sit on winding cobblestone streets that circle around the town square. Most of the people you see are natives buying groceries and walking their dogs.
I wandered around and used the excuse of buying moisturizer, cheese, apples, and paint to try out my French on the shopkeepers. It held up pretty well, and even my joke was understood!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
I think this cafe is new from the last time we were in Paris. Isn't it charming? Who wouldn't want to eat there? But actually, we didn't, because we were in a bit of a hurry. Instead we got (delicious!) bagette sandwiches from a cute little stand nearby, ate a picnic lunch on the grass, and watched people enjoy a sunny day in the Louvre gardens.