Road Trip

We have driven this autoroute for so many times, I have stopped counting.
It is the same scenery but dramatically changes depending on the season, the time, if it’s a school holiday, it it is the summer holiday….

Come travel with me from Paris to the south of France on this winter season of January.

Thin sheets of ice started to appear midway to our journey.
We are now in the Rhone-Alps department, not far away from Geneva, Switzerland.

The Roman viaduct of Aix en Provence

A castle or two would be visible if you don’t sleep during the journey.

A paperclip-looking like monument along the autoroute

These buildings of Lyon were designed by Baron Haussmann, the same architect who modernized Paris in the late 19th century.

If you see rocks like this, you are now getting close to the south of France

Modern factories in France are obliged to put a bit of landscaping to please the eye

This museum being built in Lyon looks like a metallic toy robot monster that has been ran over by a bicycle!

French citroen vans on the way to Spain

The old town of Lyon and the medieval cathedral atop of the hill.

Vegetable store on wheels..on the way to a town or village’s Open Market day

An old castle with its sloping vineyard

A Swiss towing his boat towards the Mediterranean…(note the Swiss-registered plate)
Farm house with its stock of bales to use as animal feed in the winter

Another castle property with its outbuildings

A banner screaming: TREES!

some village

The President and his First Lady

The sad news about the break up of the Presidential couple brings me back to the Journees du Patrimoine* of 16 Sept 2012.

I had been queuing up for two hours to enter the Elysée Palace (French president’s official residence) when suddenly, the President and his First Lady appeared to shake hands with the crowd.

As I type this article today, the President has just announced that his status will remain “Single” up to the end of his term at the Elysée.


*Journees du Patrimoine  or “National Heritage Weekend” where historic monuments in France are open FREE to the public every third weekend of September.

A Sunday Walk at Chateau de Chamarande

Chamarande, Ile-de-France


It was a grey, cold and rainy Sunday, not a nice day to go out for a walk but we desperately needed to get out, inhale some fresh air and find a bit of excitement outdoors.

I searched the net for some charming places to go to which is not too far away and voila,  I found this  gem of a chateau just 11 kilometers from home!

The gate


The 16th century Chateau du Chamarande is a 98-hectare property of the Essone Department located 39 kilometers southwest of Paris.  It would have been nice to show a photo of the chateau but it was raining very hard so all the shots above were taken from the inside, through the glass window.

A photo exhibition  is going on so we had a grand time exploring not only the art works but also the rooms of this glorious castle.


This photo exhibit uses a mirror that reflects the Renaissance-inspired ceiling of the Gallery.
The ceiling is decorated with golden fleur de lys against a royal blue background .



  Love this dyptich!


The Grand  living room still retains its original white paneling.
Notice the gold-painted ornate moldings and decorative motifs of  acanthus  leaves and shells.

Seen above the doorway are musical instruments such as a musical score and an oboe.


For the love of Ramen

It would have been our chance to try the specialty of the world-renowned Ramen King, Shigemi Kawahara, but the queue was so long and H is not one to stand under cold horizontal rain for hours so, with a heavy heart, I had to leave the line and went looking for other Ramen restaurants nearby. Luckily, we found a Japanese place – the Sapporo – which is also a participating restaurant for the Paris Ramen Week.

The food was sooo delicious!

We have always loved Ramen but today, we became completely hooked!

Macéo, the restaurant where Shigemi Kawahara is concocting his tonkotsu ramen today.


Where we settled for an alternative ramen, but equally good!