Valentine’s Day in Paris

I know It’s a bit late but we are still in the month of love and for all romantics out there, here are some   clicks I’ve taken while on Valentine’s Day- photo expedition of the City of Love, Paris!

For those who have temporarily forgotten what day it was,  there are reminders in every corner…


My first stop that day was the bridge of love locks.
There are many of them in Paris but this particular one –
the Pont de l’Archevêché – is the mother of all love lock bridges!
There must be tens of thousands of padlocks in there!


That was the day when flower shops were making brisk business and – in line with recession – the single rose is the most popular!

Red hearts are displayed infront of shops and  restaurants.

One was even brave to declare his love in public!

Hearts on window displays…

And the sale of seductive wears take its peak at this time of the year…

Restaurants are instantly transformed into romantic spots..


And dining on the Seine river reaches its all time high!

Hearty gifts come in different styles this month

To excite the loved one, there is a wide selection of love gifts to choose from..

And most window displays are dressed in RED!


 Love is so much in the air this special day


Even Starbucks had to display RED!

Romantic food is always a surefire winner in wooing a loved one!



Happy Valentine’s Day!

Warwick, England

Despite a busy agenda in The Midlands, we managed to do a bit of exploring in Warwickshire, more particulary in the historic town of Warwick, famous for its university, magnificent castle, the setting of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and more so, a neighbouring town of William Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon.

I have been to many British towns which are sadly dominated by cloned housing estates and cloned high streets but Warwick impressed me a lot because it has managed to preserve bits of its medieval, Tudor and Victorian architecture. 

These wobbly looking  structures stacked together used to be the meeting place for the Warwick guilds since  their construction in the 14th century. In 1571 Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester,  acquired the buildings to be made as retirement home for the veterans of the Queen’s Army.  They became known as Lord Leycester’s Hospital although it has never been used as a medical establishment.    

These images of a chained bear holding on to a staff dot the retaining wall that supports the Hospital.  It was the emblem of Robert Dudley.   


Timber-framed structures are all over the town of Warwick




This is the first time I am seeing a differently shaped British mailbox. It is in the style of a Doric column made in 1856 by the Birmingham company of Smith & Hawkes.

The timber-framing here was done in a decorative way, I love it!    It was built in 1634 and well maintained, indeed!

The Gothic-style church of St. Mary Immaculate opened in 1860.  The Lord of the Rings author, J. R. R. Tolkien, got married here in 1916.

West gate walkway through the old town

The ceiling of the West gate tunnel


The historic St John’s House which houses the museum of the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers

Shops of Warwick 

We went inside this shop named “Exquisite Mistakes” curious to find out why the signs are almost screaming “SALE” and “CLOSING DOWN SALE”.  Could it be that the owner has realized she has made a mistake in opening it in the first place?  Ooppss, naughty me!


It must be so elegantly spicy that it won the “Most Loved Restaurant” award..

What I desperately need at the moment..


Gearing up for Valentine’s Day!






Weird Bits of Warwick

Strange to see a statue of a boxer in the center of Warwick town.  He is Randolph Adolphus Turpin, the first boxer to become Middleweight Champion of the World since 1891 by beating Sugar Ray Robinson.

Now don’t laugh. This is actually a street name and I’m glad I don’t live in it…

History of the place goes that in medieval times, this spot which is just outside the town walls, was the practice area for archery games.

Driving the UK motorway

H and I are in the UK at the moment. We are here to exchange our British-registered car into a British-registered van. Not that we are fed up of the former, we actually love it and it has been part of us for nearly four years serving not only as car but also as our roadside  hotel when moving from one European country to another:  Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Italy as well as France – we will miss it enormously but life goes on…..

We are due to  move out of Paris in the next few weeks hence the need for a van to transport our few material possessions and for towing our huge caravan which has been sitting in the middle of the almond fields of  Grenoble near the Swiss border.

Buying a second-hand vehicle in the UK is a breeze and the only complicated thing to do  is “locating” it. The “where-to-find-the-best-deal” part was made easier through eBay and we just had to cross the English channel and negotiate   the 3.5-hour drive towards Birmingham in the Midlands to collect it.

The Midlands is the region comprising central England. I’ve never been to Birmingham so I was looking forward to seeing even the outskirts of this popular city. With the long drive ahead of us, I thought of making use of my camera to do a bit of motorway photography.   

 I am omitting the captions this time for lack of time as we are off to the motorway again this moment.

Enjoy the travel!

This is where we started the British driving bit: from the white cliffs of Dover. Here found is the Port of Dover where our ferry from France sailed up to.


House of Chateaubriand

Along with Goethe and Byron, he was one of the founding fathers of Romantic Art and in gastronomy, his name would come to mean a steak tenderloin.

So that when the house of Francois Rene Vicomte De Chateaubriand (1768-1848) opened to the public for free last Sunday (yours truly being a natural sniffer for everything gratis), H and I found ourselves standing infront of the gate of Maison de Chateaubriand half an hour drive from home in the  Essone (Paris suburb).

It was a well-attended day,
just goes to show that I am not the only one
sniffing for free entrance!

The double-branched staircase
which I managed to steal a shot
as photography is prohibited.

Entering this door takes you
to the half-glass half concrete conservatory
that gives you a good view of the green park outside.

The daffodils now in bloom

This tree was brought from south eastern part
of America by Chateaubriand
who planted it himself in his garden park.

Another tree brought from his travels.

This bench is great for reading Chateaubriand’s “Memoirs beyond the Grave”:

I have explored the seas of the Old World and the New, and trod the soil of the four quarters of the globe. After camping in Iroquois shelters and Arab tents, in the wigwams of the Hurons, amid the remains of Athens, Jerusalem, Memphis, Carthage, Grenada, among Greeks, Turks and Moors, in forests and among ruins; after wearing the bearskin of the savage and the silken caftan of the mameluke; after enduring poverty, hunger, thirst, and exile, I have sat, as minister and ambassador, in a gold-laced coat, my breast motley with stars and ribbons, at the tables of kings, at the feasts of princes and princesses, only to relapse into indigence and to receive a taste of prison….

With all the flowers blooming in this tens of hectares of park,
I’m sure that  the honey produced by the resident bees
are as delicious as  pure nectar!


Maison de Chateaubriand
87 rue de Chateaubriand

Theme: Man, the Observer

Man, of whatever age, background and orientation has that certain mystique in the way he looks at things. You don’t know what is in his mind.   No one can fathom how he interprets something that catches his interest. Could it be that his inventive or creative gene is at work? After all, that’s how the famous inventors since the beginning of time  are made up of – the ever inquisitive minds.

I would like to delve on the observant nature of man through our Theme for today.

Enjoy browsing!

Of books and famous men…
Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Paris


Stopping to admire …

 On leave and under the spell of Hotel de Ville

Window shopping  in Paris

Scrutinising Tintin
“Au de la Street Art” Exhibition, Paris


 “It is an unscrupulous intellect
that does not pay to antiquity its due reverence.”
Desiderius Erasmus
(rue Guisarde, Paris 6th)

“A good woman inspires a man…..”
 Helen Rowland 
Place des Abbesses, Paris

A policeman eternally observes in the name of security…


Observing the New Arrivals