Friday, October 12, 2012

Retro Paris!

Paris, Paris!

A trivial conversation I had earlier with a French colleague made me realise that it's been awhile since we've been to the beautiful and incredibly romantic capital of France. And considering that it's relatively easy for us to get to as well, being only one train change away from where we live, we don't really have an excuse not to go more often. A forty minute train ride to London St. Pancras from the train station near us, then from there take the Eurostar and in just two and half hours we are at Gare du Nord station in Central Paris. 

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris 
Although we've been several times before, much to my surprise I realised that the last time we had been was way back in summer 2007. How time flies! I've never consciously thought, until now, how long it's been since we were there. In fact every working day, twice a day, there is a huge reminder hovering all over me to go and visit this city again (I alight at St. Pancras station en route to work, where Eurostar departs and arrives, and announcements are made in both English and French).

A very recognizable landmark, in a green and lush city
So as I ponder on when exactly to go back again (soon) for a mini break, it made me look at some of the photos we took last time we were there. So this is something of a retro post, which I don't usually do but thought it might be nice to share some of these photos at the same time that I reminisce.

We times our last visit on Bastille Day. And it was hot that day too. The joys of continental summers!
Some friendly Parisian birds...
And I'll make it garden and green centric too! As some of you would have noticed we try and visit botanic gardens, if there is one, whenever we go on city breaks. I remember on this trip we tried to visit one of the botanic glasshouses (which one exactly I can't remember) but it was being renovated at that time so we couldn't go in. 

A 'garden centre' in very central Paris. This is where we got the iron bell that now hangs in our garden (which we featured here previously).
Nothing unusual but not a bad selection either.
Nice! And one for the Idea Bank!
Ravenea rivularis
Now I safely presume it'll be finished by now so we'll get in it this time around. And with careful planning we might be able to check out Jardin des Plantes too.

Retro Paris!

One of Patrick Blanc's living walls or vertical gardens...
This one we saw en route to where the Eiffel Tower stands.
The bananas were lost in the borders, could do with bigger specimens for a summer display.

Which also reminds me, we have a goldmine of (exotic) gardening related photos from our visits to other cities and countries through the years. I ought to feature them from time to time. It's nice for us to look back at them again, and equally nice to share them in future blog posts. Sometimes it's good to look back to the past!

Mark

24 comments :

  1. Fantastic visit and photos. Not sure that I care for that living wall, although I've never seen one in person so maybe it's better in person. The nursery has some of the coolest things though.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Hi Cher, living walls can look great but it does need a lot more regular maintenance than terrestrial planting. The ones used in building have a really good irrigation system and there's a company that regularly keeps it looking good. Smaller versions in gardens can look good too. The plant shop was quirky and charming :)

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  2. Nice post, makes me want to go back to Paris as well...

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  3. You're lucky being so close. When we lived in Germany, we didn't do nearly enough traveling. I haven't been to Paris since 1984. Yikes!

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    1. It's funny how one can take it for granted and end up not visiting places that are nearby already. I haven't been to Scotland for example, and yet that's much nearer. You and your family need another European trip soon :)

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  4. I almost wish I'd have taken that trip, just to be able to say I was in Paris! (I've never been)

    Fabulous pictures and yes please do continue to post retro exotic travel pics, seeing them and reading your commentary is almost as good as traveling myself! Almost...

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    1. Loree, you and Andrew would love Paris :) should bump it up on the top of your travel plans for the future. Rail travel in Europe is relatively easy and cheap too, it's possible to round up several cities in a short amount of time.

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  5. Oh, I would love to visit Paris some day - how wonderful to be so close! I am amazed at the green wall!!!! Spectacular!

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    1. Holley, I wonder how that living wall is doing now, if it's even there. It'll be interesting how much it has developed or changed since we last saw a few years ago :)

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  6. I've been feeling a little green (the envy thing) over friends who are in Paris for three weeks. Now I feel a little less so, thanks to your post. Thanks!

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    1. Hi ricki, I'm glad our post has helped. But you must visit that city soon :)

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  7. Oh, don't get me going with reminiscing. Enjoyed your photos of your past trip and I have to tell you the train journey from Aberdeen to Cheshire where our daughter lives takes longer than does your Paris journey.

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    1. Alistair, we have very little excuse indeed not to go back there soon :) Paris beckons!

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  8. It's nice to look back sometimes at what you have done and where you have been. I have never been to Paris, but thanks to you i have had a nice glimpse of it.

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    1. You must visit the city soon Karen, you'll love it I'm sure :)

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  9. I have only been to Paris once when I was still at school and that was more years ago than I care to remember :) It's amazing how quickly the Eurostar can get you on your way to reaching other parts of France :) Hope that you get to return soon.

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    1. It's so handy with the Eurostar, especially as its an easy journey for us to get to the terminal too.

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  10. Happy memories for me too! Patrick Blanc's living walls are wonderful and also the fabulous long borders at the entrance to the Botanic garden - so many exotics, tender perennials and good bedding plants - wonderful traditional horticulture! No prairie plantings or wildflower meadows thank goodness!

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    1. Hi Ian we do like the living walls, these are just so successful. The long borders are lovely, and really work with the setting.

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  11. A reminder for me that I should return too, Boys. I haven't been for over twenty years! Thanks for the memories! D

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    1. You should go, don't leave it so long!

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  12. So close...So very close! It's amazing how we tend to brush aside nearby places by always thinking "It's so close, I can go any time" and then never go. One of the downsides of living in the Midwestern US is that nothing is close. From Chicago (where I currently live) we've got Milwaukee an hour and a half away (and not a whole lot going on there...), St. Louis is 5 hours south and Detroit is about 5 hours east. That's it. Allll farm fields in between. It was even worse when I lived in Minneapolis (which is still my favorite place ever so I'm certainly not talking ill of it). There is Duluth (a small port on Lake Superior which is kind of like going to the ocean) that is 2 hours north, Chicago/Milwaukee is 8 hours east, and the next major city west of Minneapolis is Portland Oregon, some 2000 miles west. Basically I'm just having a fit of jealous as a result of this post :-P Last time I got to see Paris I was 4 years old!

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    1. Hi Tom, Having never visited the States, the vast size is difficult to comprehend, here in the UK we are quite a crowded island, and with Europe on our door step there are so many cultures and places to experience, not to mention numerous languages too!

      We are now planning a trip to Paris in the not too distant future, so hopefully we can provide an update on the botanic gardens and living walls (although the time of year will prevent the exotics above from being outside!)

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