red bag

i think every person needs a bag which is able carry everything one may need that day.. besides the usual, wallet, mobile, keys and lipstick, you could put your laptop, book (or in my case a space-saver, kindle), and even your groceries.
well.. maybe not every person.. but i know i do..

so, this is my “big-bag” – where i can put all the above. aaaand.. it is red! and very very pretty!

red bag_2a

this lovely zadig&voltaire bag is big enough to take in everything i need daily. it is strong enough to carry everything.. it’s got even this little red wallet for my passport.. and a little butterfly just to spice things up.

i have it for several months only, but it’s already my favorite. and as you could see, it goes well with vacation mood.

red bag_1a

ps. the first photo was taken (but slightly modified) from zadig&voltaire website, while the second took my husband during our vacation in france.

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historic centre of avignon, no. 228

historic centre of avignon: papal palace, episcopal ensemble and avignon bridge have been on the unesco heritage sites’ list since 1995. as it is known to many, in the 14th century this city was the seat of the papacy.

the palais des papes, an austere-looking fortress, dominates the city and the remains of a 12th-century bridge over the rhône. beneath this marvelous example of gothic architecture, the petit palais and the romanesque cathedral of notre-dame-des-doms complete an exceptional group of monuments that testify to the leading role played by avignon in 14th-century christian europe.

in 1309 the frenchman bertrand de got, who had been elected and crowned supreme pontiff in 1305, refused to go to rome, choosing instead to install himself temporarily in the dominican convent at avignon. seven popes were to reign there until the election of martin v in 1417 and the return of the seat of the papacy to rome.

With 15,000 m2 of floor space, the palais is the biggest gothic palace in all of europe and, due to its many architectural merits, one of the most important in the world.

1_avignon

saint bénézed bridge, most comonly known as the pont d’avignon, was originally built in the 12th century. it is spanned 900m over the river rhône but it suffered several collapses in the following centuries. a flood in 1668 swept much of it away, and since it was not rebuilt since, only four arches (out of the original twenty-two) remain.

2_avignon

we have visited avignon two weeks ago. even if unable to appreciate deeper meaning of the papal palace, we were impressed by its architecture and position. the deep-green color of river rhône & surrounding trees was natural complement to yellowish shade of palace and buildings of avignon. when talking a walk around the town, we got to admire charming medieval town and its atmosphere.

3_avignon

a glimpse of provence

last week we’ve managed to organize a small holiday in the garden of france, maybe even all of europe -> provence. an area of this kind can be covered only by road trip – which happened to be our favorite. we’ve seen a lot of interesting sites (the total distance traveled was approximately 1500 km), starting from ancient towns of arles and nimes, papal avignon and student town aix-en-provence to coastal villages of biot, vence and saint-paul. in addition, we were rewarded by a lovely scenery along the road.

in the in this post i’ll present several random photos we took during our trip. the following posts will be dedicated to unesco sites & specific details from that corner of the world.

charming arles
1_arles

aix-en-provence
2_aix-en-provance

somewhere along the road..
3_provence

hilltop village of biot
5_biot

on wednesday we have gone to a famous market of arles (old-style!) to get some breakfast before driving further and we stayed there for about an hour.. it was simply too beautiful to be passed.
finally, the only “souvenirs” we brought from provence are from that market ->
herbs, homemade marmalade & tea..

4a_souvenirs

paris, banks of the seine, no.600

after dedicating my last post to several highlights of paris, i have decided to dedicate this post to highlights of “classical” paris, the unesco heritage site no.600.

in 1991. some of the most significant architectural masterpieces realized on the banks of the seine were added on the unesco heritage sites list, such as notre dame and the sainte chapelle, louvre, palais de l’institut, les invalides, place de la concorde, école militaire, la monnaie, grand palais des champs elysées, eiffel tower and palais de chaillot.

i have spent an entire day walking down the river seine, enjoying the sunshine & brisk breeze, and taking pictures.

Seine_1
eiffel tower & bridges on the seine

Seine_2
banks of seine & île de la cité

Notre Dame_3
notre dame de paris

Louvre_4
musée du louvre after the rain

while walking down the river seine, i remembered what i’ve read in the unesco website, while reading about this heritage site: “paris is a river town. ever since the first human settlements, from the prehistoric days and the village of the parisii tribes, the seine has played both a defensive and an economic role. the present historic city, which developed between the 16th (and particularly the 17th) centuries and the 20th century, translates the evolution of the relationship between the river and the people: defence, trade, promenades, etc.”

river seine was the heart of paris through history, and it still is. there are 37 bridges within paris and dozens more outside the city. throughout the history it played an important role: the ashes of joan of arc were thrown in the river seine in 1431; at the 1900 summer olympics it hosted the rowing, swimming, and water polo events; it was one of the original objectives of operation overlord in 1944; and during the 19th and the 20th centuries the seine inspired many artists, such as henry matisse, camille pissarro, etc.

i have enjoyed my walk along seine. i think it is the best way to see and appreciate the splendor of paris.

highlights of paris

they say that paris is always a good idea! and i will add – especially when you get to go with your sister, like i did last week.
i will dedicate this post to a couple of highlights of my short trip.

highlight #1 – pompidou centre

32_pompidou2

pompidou centre is without any doubt the building like no other. the centre was designed by italian architect renzo piano & british architect richard rogers. the project was awarded to this team in an architectural design competition, and the building was completed in 1977.
even though the building is very popular now, in the 1970-ties the reactions were divided for its “inside-out” architecture, since the design was quite ahead of its time (for example, national geographic described the reaction to the design as “love at second sight.”). just a bit of trivia, all of the functional structural elements of the building are colour-coded: green pipes are plumbing, blue ducts are for climate control, electrical wires are encased in yellow, and circulation elements and devices for safety are red.
ps. you wouldn’t want to plan your visit to pompidou centre on tuesday – like i did.. and found it closed!

highlight #2 – la défense & grande arche

32_ladefense3

la défense, business district of paris, was named after a stand against the prussians in 1870.
the district was founded in 1958. with the first generation of skyscrapers and it kept its appearance until the early 1970s, when in response to great demand, a second generation of buildings were realized.
a third generation of towers began to appear in the early 1980s – which lead to construction of the grande arche, the main landmark of la défense, in the 1989.
after the stagnation in the 1990-ties, la défense is once again expanding and is now the largest purpose-built business district in europe.
i loved how the architecture of la défense was mirrored in its continuous building over the years; you could see the skyscrapers from the 1980-ties together with the buildings of a newer date. and i loved how the entire district was grouped around the grande arche, its natural centre.
oh, and i was also very proud of my photo!

highlight #3 – a walk in marais

32_marais

once a swamp, now hip&trendy neighborhood – i loved marais! i loved its small-scale buildings, cosy cafés (i would recommend “le loir dans la théière”, where i had lunch) and lovely boutiques (i found all my favourite boutiques – comptoir des cotonniers, sandro, zadig&voltaire, and a bunch of new ones). i came to marais the first day with my sister, but i couldn’t resist coming back at least one more time.

highlight of highlights – my sister!

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three days in paris with my sister were just what i needed.