B’lore 2017

New Years Day in Bangalore. Once again I’m feeling inspired by Indian trucks, reminding us to conserve water in a place where every drop really does matter. I saw this on my way to a lovely lunch with friends which included a fantastic Mangalorian fried fish with fish curry. Ashwin had fun playing with the kids.

A beautiful photo taken by our friend Nisha Ramdas.

Early morning in Malleshwaram. Ashwin and I were up before light listening to Namaz, the call to prayer at 5:15 am.

Looking down on Gopal working on his patio.

 

A quiet morning on our terrace, enjoying the sun and flowers. My mother-in-law, Sunitha doesn’t like this plant because it has big spiky thorns, so Gopal keeps the plants on the terrace where she rarely sees them.

A nice start to 2017.

Musee de Cluny and Sacre Coeur

Sorry, I guess I need to learn how to type with accents!

These places speak for themselves but I have to say, I went to the Musee de Cluny to see the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, and I was blown away by the building. It is an original medieval building begun in 1334 and rebuilt in the 15th century. The museum also includes an attached ‘frigidarium’ in which the remnants of the 3rd century Gallo-Roman baths can be viewed. My photos just couldn’t do it justice but trust me it is ‘tres cool’ (ha-ha frigidarium?). The tapestries are also well worth the trip and there are no lines or crowds here. Is this the best kept secret in Paris or what? 

Hotel de Cluny

Amazing door handle at Musee de Cluny.

Sundial, Musee de Cluny

Ashwin raced us to the top of Sacre Coeur, 300 steps! Although there are plenty of crowds below, there aren’t many people climbing to the dome. I think this is also one of the truly great things to do in Paris and Ashwin loved it!

Walkway at the top of Sacre Couer.

View from the top of Sacre Coeur.


I think Ashwin took this picture.

Crowded and happy..

Carousel at Hotel de Ville.


We went to some of the big tourist sights on Monday and Tuesday, thinking they might not be as crowded. Not so. Monday was very cool and rainy so we went to the Pompidou. It had a huge line…in the rain. Luckily Ashwin had his happy moment on the carousel because he was not happy at the Pompidou. This was his only really cranky day, but I don’t blame him, we were damp, tired, and everywhere we went it was crowded. My sandals felt like two wet pancakes and I was kind of cranky too.

The next day we went to Notre Dame quite early. There was already a line across the square waiting to get into the cathedral, and one going down the side for the climb to the top of the tower. So we decided to explore Ile St. Louis instead. It was quiet and beautiful – then we stumbled across Marie Curie’s house which made Venkatesh very happy. Afterwards we spent some time in the park behind Notre Dame where there were lots of kids and Ashwin could play. 

Ashwn fell off onto his head soon after this.

Back of Notre Dame.

We walked down along the Seine, and stopped into my happy place, Sennelier – full of the most beautiful art supplies and smelling of linseed oil. Heaven on earth! Then we walked across the street and  took a pedi cab to the Eiffel Tower. Don’t ever take a pedi cab in Paris – they take you to your destination and then try to charge you per person instead of per ride (they didn’t get away with it). 

The Eiffel Tower was surrounded by fencing and guess what? a line to get in. We decided not to go in and walked around the back to the park…which was fenced off too. But at the back there was another entrance to the tower and NO LINE! So we ended up going up to the second level and I’m so glad, it was breathtaking. The huge yellow and orange wheels of the elevator mechanism felt prehistoric and modern at the same time. Visually stunning. The park behind the tower was fenced off for the Euro Football Fan Zone. Masses of fans dressed in their countries colors (and sometimes liederhosen) were arriving for the night, so we decided to leave and take the long walk back to the hotel through small shopping streets. It was the night before the big sale season and everyone was applying ‘Soldes 50%’ signs to their shop windows. Shops stayed open late and there was a music fest going on. We stayed out late that night, eating, walking and listening to a new band around every corner. It was crowded too, but lively, and we danced in the streets until Ashwin got mad because he was feeling left out.

Earlier in the day we walked by Edith Wharton’s house and the plaque by the door had a quote: ‘My years of Paris life were spent entirely in Rue de Varenne – rich years, crowded and happy years”. And I thought, yes that sounds exactly right – crowded, but incredibly rich and I’m very happy to be here. Can we stay forever?

Paris – something worth writing about

Day one in Paris. We napped because Ashwin was falling asleep at lunch, so we were wide awake in the evening. I wanted to show Venkatesh and Ashwin a concert at St. Chapelle, which I believe is one of the most beautiful experiences in the world. We landed up at just the right time and it started pouring rain while we were inside. Suddenly near the end of the concert the entire space brightened as the sun came out and shone through the stained glass surrounding us. Lovely.
A great start to our next day with croissant, cafe creme, fresh squeezed orange juice and live music playing across the street. Four older men, Les 5 Doights at le Pouce, playing jazz-fanfare music (kind of like Dixieland). Wandered all over Paris afterwards, la Place de la Concorde, Tuillerie Gardens, and the Sunday bird and flower market. ‘Mummy can I have a bird?’

Taken from the top of the ferris wheel.

Tent Rocks, NM

This place was so beautiful. Sara and I had a great hike, a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and a fantastic dinner at Georgia in Santa Fe. We even shopped a bit in between. What does a rattle snake totem mean? This guy definitely presented himself to us today.

Our friend at Tent Rocks, a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

 I read about snake totems – ‘When snake comes into your life you can look for a rebirth into new powers of creativity and wisdom’ – Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. I have just celebrated a pivotal birthday and I have had a lot of time to myself, so I have definitely been thinking about my life up to this point and where I want to go from here. This sounds pretty good to me.