Paris collage finale 巴黎集錦 終章

Exterior of Center Pompidou. Blue represents sky, green means water, yellow is electricity, and red corresponds to the elevators. The modern building was commissioned by Georges Pompidou in 1969 and designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. It was completed in January 1977. It houses artworks by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, etc. Some of the artworks were exhibited several months earlier this year in Taiwan.
Place Igor Stravinsky, located between Center Pompidou and St-Merri Church, is famous for the colorful dynamic fountain designed by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint-Phalle.
It is the first dynamic fountain in Paris.
Musée d’Orsay, Orsay Museum, located at 62 Rue de Lille, 75007 Paris.
Eiffel Tower at night…

La Defense, it’s said to be the 21st region in Paris, although Paris is formally divided into 20 regions only. La Defense is the newest area in Paris and full of skyscrapers, office buildings, shopping centers, and outdoor modern sculpture displays.
This is Grand Arche. There are 12 avenues centered in Place Charles-de-Gaulle in front of Arc de Triomphe and spreading to various directions. One of the avenues is Champs-Elysees, whose one direction points toward Louvre, and another points to Grand Arche. Johann-Otto von Spreckelsen was the first to take the project of building Grand Arche in 1982, but the contract was revoked due to his poor health in 1987. Peter Rice, the architect of Sydney Opera House, then took over and finished the work in 1990. It is meant to be the 20th century version of Arc de Triomphe. Grand Arche isn’t entirely a decoration; there are government offices on both sides of the arch.

CNIT–Paris international trading center.
A shopping center in La Defense just next to the Grand Arche.

Paris collage part 2 巴黎集錦 Part 2

Place Vendôme, a square located at the starting point of Rue de la Paix.

Hotel Ritz Paris in Place Vendôme.

Deluxe stores in Place Vendôme.
La Colonne Vendôme, Column of Vendôme, erected by Napoleon to celebrate the victory of Austerlitz. On top of the column is a bronze statue of Napoleon.

Several luxurious shops are around Place Vendôme, this is Godiva…
… and Lalique.
Obelisk on Place de la Concorde.
The Pantheon, a neo-classical church in the Latin Quarter of Paris. It was originally an abbey dedicated to St. Genevieve, but now functions primarily as a burial place for famous French heroes.
The tower of the Pantheon.
University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, located next to the Pantheon.

University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne.

On Rue Soufflot away from the Pantheon and toward Jardin du Luxembourg, Luxemburg Garden.
On Rue Saint-Jacques, not far from the intersection with Rue Soufflot.
I don’t remember where this is… XD
Dalloyau near Luxemburg Garden, the address is: 2, place Edmond-Rostand 75006 Paris. Website: http://www.dalloyau.fr/
Inside Jardin du Luxembourg, Luxemburg Garden. Marie de Medici, bought this place and had the garden designed to replicate Florence’s Palazzo Pitti, after Henry IV’s assassination in 1610.

Medici Fountain in Luxemburg Garden.
Palais du Luxembourg, Luxemburg Palace was originally Marie de Medici’s residence.

Amorino gelato shop.

The candy assortment is so cute!
Jean Paul Hevin, the chocolaterie.
Hall of Justice.
Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame cathedral, at Île de la Cité.

Closer view of Notre-Dame’s rose window.

Bronze statue in front of Notre-Dame, but I’m not sure what this is.
Cafe at the corner near Notre-Dame.
Hôtel de Ville, City Hall, seen from Île de la Cité.

The river in front of the City Hall is Seine.
The bridge between Île de la Cité and Île St-Louis.
River Seine.
A chocolaterie at Île St-Louis.
Pylones store at Île St-Louis. These colorful birds serve as good companions on office tables to keep your paper clips tidy and chirp when shaken.
Funny umbrellas in Pylones, see the Buddha one standing on the back?

There are cat umbrellas with fuzzy coats.
Another view of River Seine.

The Hôtel de Ville, City Hall, houses the office of the mayor of Paris. It was rebuilt in the 1870s in its original French Renaissance style inspired by the castles in Loire Valley.

Laduree, Paris collage part 1 巴黎集錦 Part 1

This is my 3rd time in Pairs. It is an exciting city that I could always find new surprises every time I was there. Paris is not only celebrated by the variety of fashions and food, the impression of romantic atmosphere that people often bestowed upon it made this city one of the most attractive places in the world. I spent several days in Paris in this trip, trying to not just understand but "breath" the essence of this city. However, Paris is also a veiled beauty; its soul and depth are not easily revealed in just a few visits, and that is also the reason why it’s appealing to so many people around the world. Moreover, despite the diversity of food in Paris, it’s also said that "dessert is the lover of the tongue" and "France is not France if it’s without dessert. Therefore, I concluded my trip this time in Paris by taking tons of photos, and a taste of the "tongue’s lover."

Last year, I had been to the nirvana of Pierre Herme and experienced the divine encounter with its dessert. This year, I wanted to try another famed dessert boutique in France–Laduree.
This is the store on Champs-Elysees and elaborately decorated from inside out.
This store contains dessert takeout counter and inside dinning area. I was in line for 20 minutes to get my desserts from the counter. Nonetheless, it’s even enjoyable to stand in line for that long, since the desserts were not only mouth watering, they also served as competent eye-candies while I waited.
Isn’t that just electrifying by looking at them?

I set my greedy eyes on Laduree’s signature "Religieuse." The one in the photo is purplish red, a bit like cherry-jam color; I guess it’s seasonal. Normally the classic Laduree Religieuse is pink, known as Rose Religieuse, and a newer purple one known as Blackcurrant-Violet Religieuse.

Blackcurrant-Violet Religieuse and Rose Religieuse from Laduree’s website…
There it is…
And other tarts and cake…
Laduree’s signature light green bag~
Packed with delicious treats…
Yum!!!!
Yum yum~~~ This is sweet with a hint of almond, stuffed with black cherry paste in it.
Chocolate tart, with an unusual texture–a bit crunchy but also soft~ Yum!
I couldn’t eat the dessert all the time, but I could carry them with me around! These are the two adorable tote bags I got from Laduree–the smaller one is light green with classic Rose Religieuse, and the bigger one is black with colorful Religieuse.
Actually, desserts are usually quite sweet in France, so the best way to enjoy them is to get a cup of unsweetened tea or coffee and enjoy them in small pieces slowly. I think dessert isn’t just a casual treat in France anymore; instead, it’s been elaborated to an art.
This is Laduree’s website: http://www.laduree.fr/. There are several shops in Paris–some contain restaurant, some also sell body care products. Last year, I only stood outside the Bonaparte shop, the address is: Ladurée Bonaparte 21 rue Bonaparte – 75006 Paris
This is the Laduree almond water for face–very beautiful glass bottle with a white macaron-shaped cap on top.
The shop I went to this time is on Champs-Elysees, the address is: Ladurée Champs Elysées 75, avenue des Champs Elysées – 75008 Paris. This one even has a bar, Laduree le Bar, connected to it.
Saint Michel’s fountain facing Seine River on Place Saint-Michel.
Paris Palais de justice côté sud, south side of Hall of Justice, is just around the riverbank of Seine.
The facade of Palais de justice, Hall of Justice.
Chatelet Theater
Tower of St-Jacques
Église Saint-Eustache church, situated at the beginning of Rue Montorgueil.

La Concieregerie, the Conciergerie, was originally part of the royal palace of French kings but was converted to a prison during French Revolution. Queen Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned here.
The Conciergerie seen at night, with Eiffel Tower beamed with light on the far right.

Paul bakery store

The rotunda roof of Lafayette department store.

Arc de Triomphe
Cartier store on trendy Champs-Elysees street…

…Then there’s Montblanc…

The flagship store of Nespresso on Champs-Elysees street…
Inside is like a museum for coffee…
…the interior was simple yet elegant…
… and it smelled awfully good as the aroma of coffee filled up the room…
Probably a heaven for coffee lovers…
Hugo Boss store…

George V Cafe on Champs-Elysees street…

Mercedes Benz store on Champs-Elysees. Is anybody tempted to order one of these?

Guerlain cosmetic shop…
… first floor displays the newest cosmetic products…
…and second floor shows all the products Guerlain has made throughout the years.

Paris Opera House at night.

Paris (Chateau de Chantilly, Le Vesinet) 巴黎–香提依城堡, 培尼基鎮

Chateau de Chantilly
Chateau de Chantilly, built between 1528 and 1531, locates in the city of Chantilly that’s about 40 km north of Paris. It was the estate of Condé’s family, who were cousins of French kings. However, the original mansion was destroyed during French Revolution so the property was entirely rebuilt in 1875 to 1881. Its last owner, the Duke of Aumale, son of King Louis-Philippe, transformed the castle into a showcase for his sumptuous art collections before bequeathing this estate to France in 1886. Therefore, Chateau de Chantilly is not only a castle but also now houses Musée Condé that contains one of the finest galleries of arts–including masterpieces by Raphael, Maso di Banco, Antoine Watteau, Nicolas Poussin, etc.–in France.
The most distinguishing characteristic of Chateau de Chantilly is that it’s surrounded by artificial lakes to make the castle look like a mirage floating weightlessly on the water. This makes me think of Chateau de Chenonceau and Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau.
Chateau and the front courtyard.
The compartment with the tallest tower is the chapel of the Hearts of the Princes of Condé. Behind the alter in the chapel is a circular area with an urn that contains Princes of Condé’s hearts.
The entrance of the castle.
The fountain in the backyard of the castle.

The grand staircase that connects the courtyard to the backyard.

Part of the lake surrounds the back of the castle.
The lake.

Inside the mansion–the rotunda of the Painting Gallery
The roof of the rotunda…
These are a series of stained-glass windows depicting the Greek mythology of Psyche and Cupid. (Just like comic strips )
There are various rooms containing extraordinary collections of artworks, delicately designed weapons such as the Princes of Condé’s sabers, and a library with thousands of books. Also there’s a room that exhibits priceless jewelries and crystal goblets. However, it was a bit difficult to take photos inside because the light was quite dim and all the draperies were down.
The white pavilion is Temple of Venus.
The Grand Stables of Chantilly.
Louis-Henri de Bourbon, 7th Prince of Condé, commissioned Jean Aubert to build the Grand Stables because the prince believed that he would reincarnate as a horse. Thus, he wanted stables that would reflect the majesty of his rank. During this time, the stables hosted 240 horses and 500 hounds. Louis-Henri was so proud of his architectural wonder that he organized sumptuous dinners under the monumental dome which soars 28 meters tall. Louis XV, the future Tsar Paul I and Frederic II of Prussia both attended some of these dinners. The Grand Stables was spared during the French Revolution because the army used them as barracks. Only two statues, fountain of the "Kennels Courtyard" and the "Renommée" at the top of the dome, were destroyed. In 1989, Yves Bienaimé replaced the "Renommée" with a copy before donating the Grand Stables to France.
Another view of the Grand Stables.
By the way, there’s NO public transportation from Chantilly train station to Chateau de Chantilly…so, on the way going to the castle, I took train from Paris to Chantilly train station, and took taxi from the train station to the castle. However, I could not find where to get a taxi from the castle back to the train station, and other people who went there seemed to go in groups and had some kind of tourist bus to take them back… It’s about 2 km-walk from the castle to the train station… so, here you also need a pair of strong legs and very decent walking shoes. Now I wondered why I chose THAT pair of boots that day for self-complacent fashionable looking…and why I didn’t bother to ask the ticket office staff–maybe they could find me a cab, or help me catch one from the castle… uh…
Le Vesinet
Le Vesinet is about 16 km west and one of the wealthiest cities of Paris. It is known to have wooded avenues; and its residential area is full of small creeks and surrounding two lakes.
So~the reason for me to go to Le Vesinet is also due to the Arsene Lupin story–La Cagliostro se venge (The Revenge of The Countess of Cagliostro). This is the last adventure of Arsene Lupin in which he encountered a young man that he suspected to be his son. The story set out as Lupin witness an old man doing something fishy in the bank and followed him to Le Vesinet; and in there, he met two sisters and hired a young interior designer for his newly-bought mansion. The young interior designer was suspected for involving in a murder of the older sister’s fiancé, however, Lupin thought otherwise. In the novel, Le Vesinet was described as a well-to-do area where mansions were built around the lakes with creeks like silver belts flowing through their backyards.
One of the most distinctive features in Le Vesinet is that trees are everywhere, covering most houses.
The residence was tranquil. I saw some cars driving through the avenues, but hardly saw people walking outside.
There are two lakes in Le Vesinet, this photo with several swans was taken near the smaller of them.

Mansions in Le Vesinet–they are mostly covered by bushes and trees.
The lakeside.

Red maple leaves were falling on the lake…
An ivory-colored mansion on the corner…
A private villa that encompasses a spacious meadow and wooded area.
A cottage…

This is the Le Vesinet City Center that looked more like a country house to me.
I walked from the train station to the smaller lake, and walked along the small creeks scattered in the residential area, trying to get to the bigger lake known as "Park des Ibis." The bigger lake has an isle in the center and looks quite beautiful from the satellite picture taken by Google Map. However, I gave up halfway since my legs were getting really sore and although it seemed only a small distance from the map, it actually was a long way…

Paris (Chateau de Malmaison, Enghien-les-Bains) 巴黎–梅爾梅森宮, 安江鎮

Chateau de Malmaison
Chateau de Malmaison was Josephine de Beauharnais’ residence, located 12 km west of Paris in the city of Rueil-Malmaison. The estate spans about 150 acres that encompass the country house, gardens, meadows, and woods.
Josephine de Beauharnais, who became Napoleon Bonarparte’s first wife, purchased Chateau de Malmaison on April 29, 1788 while Napoleon was fighting in Egypt. This estate was run-down so Josephine hired two architects, Percier and Fontaine, to renovate the mansion extensively. Napoleon also led France as First Council from this residence, thus turning this country house from a calm environment to a lively place. During Napoleon’s reign of the empire, Josephine constantly sought for rare flowers, plants, and exotic animals to embellish Chateau de Malmaison, determining to transform the estate into "a model of good cultivation." She also built an orangery in 1800, then a green house 5 years later. From 1803 to 1814, Josephine already cultivated approximately 200 new plants in France. Chateau de Malmaison gained fame for its rose garden since Josephine had collected various roses from all over the world and grew about 250 different types of them. Her fondness for roses also reflected on having a Belgian artist, Pierre-Joseph Redoute, record her roses.
After her divorce in 1809, Josephine permanently relocated to Chateau de Malmaison in 1809. She then hired Berthault to redecorate part of the apartment. After Josephine’s death in 1814, her son from her first marriage with Alexandre de Beauharnais, Prince Eugene de Beauharnais, inherited the estate. However, he was unable to maintain the property and the place was sold by his widow in 1828. After several owners, Daniel Iffla bought Chateau de Malmaison and hired Pierre Humbert to restore it before donating it to France. It was opened to public since 1906.
It was cloudy and later even started to rain on the day I visited. This is the apartment of Chateau de Malmaison. There should have been many flowers along the courtyard, but it’s autumn and most plants were not blooming at this time, it looked a bit lackluster now.
The garden. The roses should have been bloomed here but it’s not the right season now.
The building in front of the garden was formerly stables that still retained some of their stalls and feeding-troughs.
The backyard includes meadows and woods. The foliages were turning yellow and red during this time to create a nostalgic atmosphere in the backyard.
It seemed there was a small creek in the backyard but it’s completely dry now.
The back of the apartment.
Even the back of the apartment was decorated with statues and plants.
Inside the apartment on the ground floor, this is the dining area.
This is the council chamber, which is in the shape of a military tent. The stools are from the original furniture.
Napoleon’s library that contained 4,500 books. Egyptian-inspired design was used in decorating the room.
On the first floor, a bedroom with striped silk hangings.
Jacques-Louis David’s "Bonaparte Crossing of the Alps." This portrait was to flatter and glorify Napoleon Bonaparte that was ordered by king of Spain as a gift for Napoleon.
Josephine’s room, which is oval and in the shape of a red and gold tent

It seems that Chateau de Malmaison does not often appear in travel guids. I’ve read it from a book that includes castles in Europe and decided to visit it this time. As opposed to some popular and big-fame castles like Versailles and Chambord, Chateau de Malmaison is rather petit and simple. However, it is also its simple-ness that bestows Chateau de Malmaison the refreshing elegance. To make the visit even better, it is free on first Sunday of the month. (I luckily caught this date on time. )

Enghien-les-Bains
Enghien-les-Bains is a wealthy town 13.5 km north of Paris. It is a spa resort developed during 19th century. There’s a casino near the scenic lake of Enghien, which is the only casino in Paris vicinity.
The reason I wanted to visit Enghien-les-Bains is mainly because of the Arsene Lupin story–Le Bouchon de cristal (The Crystal Stopper). In the story, deputy Daubrecq and a villa in Enghien and it was also where the whole story unfolded. (I seemed to have this enthusiasm to check the locations I’ve read in novels and visit them to compare against the impression I got from the books. )
This is the casino on the lakeside of Enghien blazing with lights at night. The casino was inaugurated in 1878. It’s actually unusual to have a casino that’s so close to the residential area. However, there were not many people around this casino. In fact, it was actually pretty quiet over there. I’m not sure if it’s the usual phenomenon or just not the high season for crowds to go to Enghien-les-Bain that time.
Lake of Enghien. Rich communities and mansions have been built around it. The outdoor-bar of the casino extends its balcony to the lake.
A community that’s not far away from the lake and the casino.

A park in front of an apartment building.

This is the recreational building and restaurant of the 4-star "The Grand Hotel Barriere."
I did not walk around for too long and far in Enghien-les-Bains mainly because it was getting late and raining harder at night.
However, from its official website, Enghien-les-Bains has several interesting activities such horse racing, and the town center has a lively shopping center that comprises over 300 shops.
It seemed that the sky turned dark in a whim during autumn. I went to Enghien-les-Bains while it was still light, but when I arrived, it was totally dark… and it even didn’t take that much time from the train station in Paris to Enghien-les-Bains…maybe 10 or 15 minutes?

Bretagne (Saint-Malo) 布列塔尼 Brittany–聖馬羅

Saint-Malo
Saint-Malo is a port city located on north Bretagne. It was established in 6th century by Saint Aaron and Saint Brendan who settled in Saint-Malo. Between 1490 and 1493, Saint Malo declared an independent republic, claiming that those lived in Saint-Malo were “not French, not Breton, but Malouins.” It was also during this time that Saint-Malo became the dwellings of pirates and privateers, who prayed on ships in English Channel. Due to its location, Saint-Malo also has many seafood restaurants, and is especially famous for the oysters from nearby village. (Too bad I don’t eat oysters… )
Outside the city walls is a more modern area.
Near the city walls.
The castle and great keep of Saint-Malo. Part of it has been converted to a museum.
There are several forts in Saint-Malo: Le Fort National, Le Fort de l’ile Harbour, Le Fort du Grand-Be, Le Fort du Petit-Be, Le Fort de la Conchee. Le Fort National and Le fort du Petit-Be could be walked to during low tide. Le Fort du Grand-Be was severely damaged during World War II and only the foundation remained now. Le Fort de la Conchee was also damaged during the war but is being restored. Le Fort de l’ile Harbour can’t be visited.
This is Le Fort National was commissioned by Louis XIV and built in 1689 to defend Saint-Malo.
Closer view of Le Fort National
The beach farer away from Le Fort National.
Clear blue ocean…
Entrance to the walled city near Esplanade Félicité Robert de Lamennais. Old city center is encircled and protected by these 6-meter thick walls.
Place Chateaubriand.
Offices? Residential houses?
Part of the ramparts.
A seafood restaurant’s takeout window around the corner of Place Chateaubriand. You can see shrimps, lobsters, crabs, shells, and oysters getting arranged and packed up here.
Street views in old city center.
This store sells native Breton products. The white cups in front of the store are cider mugs. Cider is a traditional beverage in Bretagne that goes with “crêpe” and “gallete.”
More street views…
A cathedral right on the street, but I’m not sure if it’s still in use since the ground level is used as a candy store.
The store that sells all kinds of canned fish.
You can walk on top of the ramparts and enjoy the magnificent view of the city and ocean. This is a residential building just besides the rampart.
On of the residential buildings with very green courtyard.
Marvelous coastal views from the fortification.
On top of a platform of the rampart.
I think the farer isle is Le Fort du Petit-Be.
Cathedral of St-Vincent.
A black cat enjoyed the sunshine.
This is the traditional food in Bretagne–gallete and cidre. I read somewhere that in order to save food but also not feeling hungry, Breton invented gallete which is a very thin pancake made of buckwheat topped with vegetable and/or some meat. I think most people are more familiar with crêpe. Crêpe is also a Breton food but different from gallete, crêpe is made of wheat flour and topped with fruit and sweet things like chocolate, sugar, or whip cream. Crêpe is usually served as dessert. Gallete is more like a main course and Breton people eat it with a cup of cidre–apple cider brewed in Bretagne.
During night time~
This is the hotel where I stayed at Saint-Malo, which is the best hotel in my trip this time, very spacious and elegant. Even better–it offered a great deal while I stayed. I stayed in the top floor and could see the ocean from the balcony.
The lounge area in the hotel with very oceanic atmosphere.
Splendid view from the dining area. The decoration matched the oceanic scenery very well.
Jacuzzi area in the courtyard of the hotel.

Bretagne (Rennes, Carnac, Quimper, Perros-Guirec) 布列塔尼 Brittany–雷恩市, 卡那克, 坎培, 派洛吉瑞

The first time I’ve known Bretagne was from L’île aux trente cercueils (The Island of 30 Coffins), one of the Arsene Lupin series, written by Maurice Leblanc. The heroine in the story, Véronique d’Hergemont, was lured to Bretagne peninsula to begin her bizzare adventure in a small island near Bretagne. Although I considered the island at which Veronique d’Hergemont arrived was fictional, I managed to find the cities she had been to in Bretagne–Concarneau and Quimper. Asides from the story I’ve read, I’ve also heard that Bretagne was a vacationing place for French people due to its beautiful landscape and pleasant weather, though not as popular and well-known for foreign tourists.
Probably due to the geographic benefits, Celtics were the first to immigrate to Bretagne during 600 BC. Later came the Irish and Welsh. Despite that Roman empire governed Bretagne from 79 BC to 5th century, Bretagne was an independent country until 15th century. When Duke of Bretagne, Francois II, died in a battle, his only daughter, Anne de Bretagne, married king of France, Charles VIII. Bretagne prolonged its independence but not for long when Charles VIII died in 1498 and Anne again married Louis XII, the newly enthroned French king. Bretagne submitted to France in 1532 when Anne de Bretagne died. Mixing various cultures especially those from Britain, Bretagne has its own unique traditions, food, and language. Bretagne still uses "Breton" language. Bretagne is French for "Brittany" which also means "Minor Britain."
Rennes
Rennes has been the gate between France and Bretagne peninsula and also the biggest city in Bretagne. It became the capital of Bretagne region when Bretagne was converted into part of France in 16th century.
Jardin St Georges (St. Georges Garden)
Palais du Parlement de Bretagne (Parliament of Brittany)
Place de la Republique
Opera de Rennes (Rennes Opera)
Place de la Mairie, which is adjacent to Rennes Opera and located at Place de l’hotel de ville. (Plaza of City Hall)
Medieval houses can still be found in town center.
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Rennes (Partial view of Rennes Cathedral)
Near the Vilaine River.
Carnac
Carnac is a small town on the south coast of Bretagne with population under 5,000. Carnac is renowned for having the largest prehistoric standing stone sites. The number of standing stones is over 3,000 and covers up to 40 acres; some stones are as tall as 12 meters. These stones clustered in three groups–Ménec, Kermario, and Kerlescan. It was speculated that the stones were erected by pre-Celtic people during the Neolithic period that lasts from 5,000 BC to 2,000 BC. The stones were aligned in perfect straight lines so Brittany Arthurian legend had the stones were Roman legion on which Merlin casted spell.
One of the standing stone sites: Alignments du Menec.
Quimper
Quimper is a city about 180 km west of Rennes and was built on the confluence of 3 rivers–Steir, Odet, and Jet; it has been called "Soul of Bretagne" because of its distinctive Breton character adopted from Celtic heritages and being the most traditional city in Bretagne.
An old theater. I was not sure if it’s still in use.
These classical-looking houses are offices.
I especially loved the series of footbridges spanning the rivers that flows through the city. Most of these bridges were even decorated by plants and flowers that added rustic and nonchalant atmosphere to this city. I even "zig-zagged" through some of these bridges while walking along the riverbank toward the old city center.
Outside the medieval fortifications of the old town; part of Cathedrale St-Corentin can be seen from here. It was built between 13th and 16th centuries. The two towers seen in the photo are both 250 feet tall.
Cathedrale St-Coretin is a Roman Catholic cathedral. Different from gothic style cathedrals, Cahtedrale St-Coretin de Quimper bends slightly in the middle to avoid a swampy area when it was constructed.
Inside the fortifications is the old town center, in which most shops and houses still reside.
Pottery is also a distinguishing character in Quimper. The products are often illustrated with men and women in traditional Breton costumes and such pottery goods are called "Quimper faience pottery."
Various shops in the old city center.
I arrived at Quimper in a Sunday afternoon, thus all the shops were closed and I walked through the bridges to the old city center. There were not many people but some were just like me–strolling in the old city center and enjoying the peacefulness of this town. Restaurants were only ready by 7 pm at earliest, so people found small coffee shops scattered in town to relax, read, or chat.
It was nice to discover this kitchenware-gift store that displayed such cute stuff in the window.
The sunset was just at the right time to give me a chance to catch the beautiful silhouette of the bridges, river, trees, and houses for this wonderful photo.
Perros-Guirec
The coast from Plestin-les-Greves to Louannec is a 30 km-coastline in northern Bretagne is known as "Cote de Granit Rose," meaning Pink Granite Coast due to its pink granite rocks along the coastline. Perros-Guirec is a seaside resort encompassed in Cote de Granit Rose. Despite the unusually shaped pink rocks on the beach, Perros-Guirec is a popular place for swimming, sunbathing, and water activities. There were not many people around while I was there; I guess because it’s autumn and the weather was gradually turning cold. The town was very peaceful, and it was serene to walk on the hills and listen to the tide on the beach since there was little crowd while I visited.
The harbor. My camera could not catch the crystal-blue of the sea. There I could see various fishes twirling between the boats.
Some houses are built on the hills. The pinkish stones are the "rosy granites" giving this place a distinguishing touch.
A closer look of the stone. The stones even beams with pinkish light under the sun, but too bad there was not much sunshine on the day I visited. I stood on the beach and saw several white shells got washed up by the tide. There’s one caught in seaweeds.

Residential area with adorable houses on the hills overlooking the sea.
"Who are you?" the orange cat seemed to ask. He was relaxing in front of a house and reluctant to move even when the mistress was driving through. Finally he got a bit interested in me and walked to snuggle against my leg. The mistress greeted me with a warm smile. People in Bretagne are friendly, I guess so are their pets.
Another cat in the residential area. Her sky-blue eyes shined with curiosity.
This big yellow cat only glimpsed at me for a second and went back to meditation.

Vacation in England and France (10/18/2009 – 11/02/2009) 英國+法國旅遊

Uh~ Finally I got a vacation…
England (London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath)–>France Bretagne (Rennes, Carnac, Quimper, Perros-Guirec, Saint Malo)–>France (Paris, Chantilly, Malmaison, Enghien-les-Bains, Le Vesinet)

In England: London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath.
In Bretagne region: Rennes, Carnac, Quimper, Perros-Guirec, Saint Malo.
Paris area: Paris, Chantilly, Chateau de Malmaison, Le Vesinet, Enghine-les-Bains.
London is often mentioned to be one of the cities in the world that you should go at least once, so there I am, getting ready to visit it for the first time. Other than London, I planned to visit Oxford, Cambridge, and Bath.

Bretagne is probably a bit foreign for some people, since it’s not the most popular tourist place regardless of its stunning and peaceful countrysides. However, I’ve known it ever since I read my complete Maurice Leblanc’s Arsene Lupin series during my childhood, and one of the stories, L’ile aux trente cercueils (The Island of 30 Coffins), took place in Bretagne. Most cities in Bretagne are located along the coast of the pennisula, and I picked up several of them to visit–Rennes, Carnac, Quimper, Perros Guirec, and Saint Malo.

As for Paris–this is my 3rd time visiting it. Thus in addition to Paris city center, I decided to go to some suburbs–Chantilly, Malmaison, Le Vesinet, and Enghien-les-bains. There is that famous Chantilly castle said to "float" on a lake, and as being a "chateau-lover," I had to visit it no matter what. City of Ruiel de Malmaison is where Chateau de Malmaison locates, in which Josephine Bonaparte resided and adored. Le Vesinet and Enghien-les-Bains are backgrounds for another 2 Arsene Lupin stories–La Cagliostro se venge (The Revenge of The Countess of Cagliostro), and Le Bouchon de cristal (The Crystal Stopper).

There I had about 5 days to get ready before I hopped into another journey…good thing I still got my lovely Eslite bookstore, trustworthy TomTom GPS system, omnipotent Google, and very helpful friend…

5/24/2008 冒險第十四天: 巴黎–杜樂麗花園, 協和廣場, 亞歷山大橋, Pierre Herme 甜點屋, 西提島 (Adventure 14th day: Prance through Paris– Tuileries garden, Concorde squre, Alexander III bridge, Pierre Herme dessert shop, Cite)

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Today is my last day in France. Since my flight is at 7 pm, I decide visit several famous spots in Paris. It is quite cloudy and a bit windy today.
This is Tuileries garden (杜樂麗花園)(Jardin des Tuileries). It is not far from Louvre museum and a popular place for picnic and relaxation.
A grass world map is under construction: 
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The obelisk at Concorde square can be seen from here. Concorde square is just next to Tuileries garden.
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Concorde square (協和廣場)(Place de la Concorde). It is octagon shaped and the largest public square in Paris. City of Paris commissioned the construction of the square in 1748 for Louis XV, and his architect completed the project in 1763. However, the hordes of revolutionists during the French Revolution seized the square and used it as the execution place–about 2,000 people were guillotined here, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
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Probably the most elegant and poetic bridge that spans Seine river–Pont Alexandre III. (亞歷山大橋) It’s named after Russian Tsar Alexander III to signify the Franco-Russian alliance in 1892. The construction began in 1896 when Alexander III’s son, Nicholas II, laid the first foundation stone; the bridge was completed in 1900.
The bridge is ornamented with Pegasus and nymphs on each end, and adorned with “Art Nouveau” lamps that illuminate the bridge so it looks very romantic at night.
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The supreme court: (is it??)
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Ah~~~ Pierre Herme’s dessert shop~ Pierre Herme is said to be “the Picasso of pastry;” he’s the French pastry chef who started as an apprentice when he was 14 years old. By 24, he became a pastry chef and worked at Fauchon–a luxury food shop in Paris. In 1996, he started his independent pastry business. One thing unique about him is that he is generous in sharing his recipes and even opening workshops to demonstrate the exact procedures of his pastry creations.
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Oh~ yum yum yum~ Pierre Herme’s desserts change themes seasonally. Look at these colorful desserts… don’t you just want to try EVERY OF THEM??
Coffee tart–this one is creamy with a slight hint of bitterness of coffee.
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This one is HEAVEN!!! Ispahan–if not because of Pierre Herme, it’s still only a name of a type of rose. When Pierre Herme created this pinkish dessert, people were suspicious about it because it comprises of strawberry “macaron shells” with lychee paste and raspberries in the middle–this combination was too “exotic” and foreign for people that time. However, this eye-catching dessert has proved that it’s not only mouth-watering, it became one of the wonders of Pierre Herme and quickly caught people’s hearts.
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Okay, so you ask where to find Pierre Herme’s shops? Here’s the website: http://www.pierreherme.com/. The one to which I went was on Bonaparte street, which is a branch road of Saint-Germain street. The full address is: 72 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris. It’s actually on the same street as another famous pastry store: Laduree. The website for Laduree is http://www.laduree.fr/. The address is: 21 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris. (I heard that Pierre Herme worked at Laduree before?)
Who can tell me what this is? I forgot..(The problem with taking too many photos and not sorting them immediately…) This one should be at “Ile de la Cite” already.
Thanks for the information from Ling: that building with the tower is the Sainte-Chapelle.(聖禮拜堂); the building below it, within the gates is the Paris Supreme Court (Palais de Justice complex) (巴黎高等法院).
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The bronze statue is Archangel Michel 
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While I was at Ile de la Cite(西堤島), it started to rain…It’s almost 3:00 pm, time for me to gather my belongings and head toward to the airport. I took metro back to my hotel and took metro again to Paris Opera House. From there, there were shuttles going to the airport.
On my way to the airport, the bus went through several streets and areas in Paris before it went on the highway; I looked through the window…good bye, beautiful France, hope we meet again soon~ Au revoir~

5/23/2008 冒險第十三天: 巴黎–楓丹白露宮, 巴黎街頭 (Adventure 13th day: Paris–Fontainebleau, Parisian street views)

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City of Fontainebleau is about 70 km south from Paris and in where Palace of Fontainebleau consists. The palace is dated as back as 12th century where it served as a residence for kings Philip Augustus and Louis IX. Later on, during 15th century, king Francois I commissioned the architect, Gilles le Breton, to create the edifice as mostly seen today. In 16th century, another extensive renovation was undertaken by king Henri II and his queen, Catherine de Medici, making it one of the largest French royal palaces. During the French Revolution, many furnishings were sold, but Napoleon Bonaparte, during his reign, began to restore Palace of Fontainebleau and tried to make it his symbol of power. However, it was also where Napoleon announced his abdication before he was exiled in 1814.
If you want to go to Palace of Fontainebleau from Paris, you can take metro to St.Lazare station then change to the train to Fontainebleau-Avon. When you arrive at Fontainebleau-Avon, you then take a bus in front of the train station to Chateau de Fontainebleau.
The front view of Palace of Fontainebleau with two sets of large stairs: 
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Interior of Palace of Fontainebleau:  
This is the room in which Napoleon Bonaparte signed his abdication on that small round table:  (這裡是拿破崙最鬱卒的地方吧… )
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A church in Paris–Who knows what this church is? I don’t remember…
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Paris Opera House, very grand style and elaborately decorated:
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歌劇院前面有一條街裡面全是日本拉麵店跟料理店, 東西大多差不多. 只是法國所謂的”日本料理店”實在蠻有趣的… 如果不是拉麵套餐就是串燒套餐. 拉麵套餐大家都知道–就拉麵加一些小菜小水餃. 串燒套餐就有意思了… 這法國道地的日本串燒套餐是這樣: 一碗飯, 一碗”味增”湯(不是非常味增的味增湯), 一盤冷冷扮酸酸醬的高麗菜絲, 一盤teriyaki醬調味的串燒. 看你當初點什麼肉的跟點的餐包括幾串串燒, 約6歐元到9歐元. (這價格在法國的餐廳吃算很棒了, 保證吃得飽加上又有熱熱的湯喝.) 也有賣一些sushi跟sashimi, 可是種類不多. 雖然歌劇院前面一些街道裡全是像這樣的”日本料理”店, 可是每一家生意都超好, 有些甚至排隊排到外面來. 只是我覺得法國人真的把這些認為是道地的日本菜吃得很快樂耶… 是不錯吃, 可是這不是日本料理吧? 這也難怪我在美國都會吃到一些不知所云的中國菜了. 看來世界各地的菜色到了別的地方都會變身一下以適應當地的生活, 包括在台灣的日本菜, 法國菜, 義大利菜…
法國還是有”真正”的日本料理的, 但是是那種超貴餐廳吃一餐要上百歐元的…
Nice residential area in Paris. I think this is a newly developed area with more modern apartment buildings. It is also near Seine river: