Sunday, February 1, 2009
This is the last of the postcards from France. This is a painting by the hugely famous Italian artist Modigliani, that was displayed at the art gallery of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Pink Lady received this card from her brother many years ago. Modigliani was Italian-Jewish, but mostly lived and worked in France.
This card shows the King's bedroom in the Chateau de Vaux-le-vicomte in Maincy, France. It is not far from Paris. The movie Marie Antoinette (one of Pink Lady's faves!!) was filmed there as was the movie Valmont - and many, many others.
This was also a card from Pink Lady's pen pal - and Pink Lady has not yet visited this Chateau.
This is a post card from Bretagne (Britanny), France. Pink Lady had a pen pal there a very long time ago. The French School in Helsinki, Finland arragned pen pals for us so we could practice our French. Pink Lady's pen pal lived in Massy and had sailing has a hobby. Her name is Marie-Thérèse. This card shows the port of Erquy, near the famous walled city of Saint-Malo.
Pink Lady has not yet been to either.
This card shows the village of Mirmande, near Lyon in the South of France. Pink Lady had only one French friend while living in Paris (all the rest were foreigners, i.e. non-French like herself). Véronique's grand father was the Mayor of Mirmande. He had a huge old stone house there. Pink Lady spent a weekend there and loved it - she probably never ate better! They went to the best restaurant in the village and of course got amazing service because they were with the Mayor.
But what's even more amazing is that such a small village even has such restaurants. Let's just say that Finland is....very different.
This card shows some of the famous sights of Paris. From left to right and top down:
- the Eiffel tower (1889)
- the Notre-Dame cathedral (1260)
- the Sacré-Coeur church (1910)
- the Triumphal Arch of l'Etoile (1836)
- the Triumphal Arch of le Carrousel (1808)
- the Opera house (1875)
- la Madeleine church (1806)
- the Dome church of the hôtel des Invalides (1706)
This card shows the Sorbonne University. Well, one of the buildings. The university is these days spread out throughout Paris. This is the building where the big lecture hall is. Pink Lady used to take some classes there and in the winter the lecture hall was so cold that she would wear a winter coat, hat and gloves to the lectures! But the hall certainly is beautiful. Pink Lady took some classes on French literature, culture and history and also linguistics applied to teaching French for foreigners.
The hugely famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. Pink Lady has not yet been inside the cabaret, it is quite expensive and Pink Lady was a poor student when she lived in Paris. There are, however, some nice, inexpensive shops in the area: Pink Lady's Hubby found some nice jeans and T-shirsts in the area.
This is one of Pink Lady's fave places in the whole world - the Fontaine de Medicis at the Jardin de Luxembourg (the Luxembourg Gardens) in Paris.
When living in Paris, Pink Lady would often come here to read or to have a piquenique etc. She in fact lived right across the street from this park. She lived on the Boulevard St. Michel in the Fifth arrodissement - right in the heart of the Quarier Latin, i.e. the Latin Quarter.
Pink Lady and Hubby also went on a pilgrimage to this park and fountain when they visited Paris together. They had a lovely piquenique there - eventhough it was February!
In the words of Ernest Hemingway: Paris is a "moveable feast".
One more famous French children's song: Sur le pont d'Avignon i.e. on the Avignon bridge. It's about beautiful ladies and gentlemen dancing on the bridge.
Pink Lady has not - yet - been to Avignon. This was a card from a friend. Note the use of the word yet. This was something that Pink Lady first heard from the husband of her Italian teacher at University. She met him at a friend's wedding. He asked Pink Lady if she spoke some language and Pink Lady replied that she did not. And he then said: "I see, not YET!".
The habit of using the word yet has remained. Pink Lady will often say e.g. "I can't afford to buy that car yet" or "I have not been to Tahiti yet" or "I am not a millionaire yet". You get the point. Just saying "I have not been to Tahiti" is boring - but saying that you have not yet been implies that you will some day, and that's really exciting! What we say is important: if you don't mean it or don't want it, don't say it.
This post card gives the lyrics to a traditional French children's song. I don't know how suitable it is for children since the song is about one guy having some good tobacco and about not wanting to give any to the other guy! I guess the French are not so much into being "PC" i.e. politically correct.
Pink Lady used to sing this in school. She went to the only French school in Finland and was speaking French from age 4. She in fact learned to read and write in French before learning to do so in Finnish (her native language). So in some ways, Pink Lady (or should it be La Dame Rose?) is culturally also French.
These are stairs in Montmartre. What's so beautiful about Paris is that all the little details are beautiful: the lamp posts, the garbage cans, the man holes, the newspaper kiosks, the entrances to the metro, etc. Why should practical things be ugly? It cost no more to make them beautiful - good taste costs nothing.
When Pink Lady and Hubby were in Paris for a long weekend in February of 2007, there was an amazing full moon - just like in this postcard. The photo shows the famous roofs of Paris.
Pink Lady and Hubby danced the waltz under the full moon, to the sounds of an accordeon player, behind the Notre Dame cathedral, on the way to the Isle St. Louis for dinner.
This is the Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart) Church in the Montmartre area of Paris. And the portrait painters and other artists in the forefront. The amazing thing about Paris is that it never seems to change. Pink Lady lived in Paris for a year and then did not visit for a long time. When she went back after 20 years, the only thing that seemed to have changed was that the students had cell phones and laptops!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Confucius say...hungry man who stand on top of mountain waiting for roast duck to fly in mouth...will be waiting for very long time... ;-)
This is the Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong. It was built in his honour. The temple was first built in 478 B.C. and is another World Heritage site.
This is the Forbidden City. Officially it's now known as the Palace Museum. This is one more place that Pink Lady has visited several times. The Forbidden City is the biggest cluser of wooden buildings in the world. It is included in the World Heritage list.
This is the Jiuzhaigou scenic area in Sichuan. According to the back of the postcard, the area has: "emerald lakes, multi-layered waterfalls, lush forests and snowcapped mountains with Tibetan culture and customs." Sounds great....yet another place to add on Pink Lady's list of places to visit.