Monday, March 3, 2014

Montmartre, Paris, France

Walking through Montmartre cobblestone roads and alleys, one may discover either top tourist destinations, or simply enjoy the bohemian life style and Paris' panoramas!
Paris panorama - a view from Montmartre
The most famous windmill in Paris, Moulin Rouge was the starting point towards the hilltop of Montmartre, there where lies The Sacred Heart Basilica (La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre), facing the mighty Paris.

“Japonism”, a movement of Far-Eastern inspiration which used Japanese influences in French art, was at its height. Toulouse-Lautrec, with his famous Japanese engravings, was one of its most famous disciples at that time. The atmosphere fitted perfectly the appearance of the first cabarets, such as the Moulin Rouge in 1889. (
Japonism: a term employed by the art critic Phillippe Burty in 1872 to define a new artistic movement inspired by objects and art from Japan, shown for the first time in 1867 at the Universal Exhibition of Paris. (
Moulin Rouge
Le Moulin de la Galette / A Montmartre Legend
Fourteen mills located on the Butte Montmartre which served for milling the wheat and flowers, for pressing grape harvests, or crushing materials, alone two remain even today: Blute-fin and Radet, dating from 1717, fair above the restaurant. These two mills formed the famous whole “Moulin de la Galette”.
Wind Mill in Montmartre
Le Moulin de la Galette
Restaurant Le Consulat - a tall and thin building surrounded by cobblestone alleys.
Restaurant Le Consulat
Galerie Butte Montmartre

Looking on the web for "Galerie Butte Montmartre" as seen on this green sun shade from the picture above, I've discovered Editions Ephi, one of the brands of a "familiar company business acting in Paris and Barcelona editing poster art, postcards and so on".
Editions Ephi was born in Paris on 1967, editing Jazz performances pictures from music players like Miles Davis and Ray Charles.
That initial activity evolved into editing French's Arts Nouveaux poster art items from artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Théophile Alexandre Steinlen.
Galerie Butte Montmartre
Restaurant La bonne franquette
It's in the heart of Montmartre, you will find this old house, more than four centuries. It was here, while the last century, the meeting point of artists: Pissarro, Sisley, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Monet, Zola et Vincent Van Gogh…
Auberge de la Bonne Franquette
Place du Tertre
It would be hard to miss the place du Tertre, one of the most touristy spots in all of Paris. Although today it’s filled with visitors, buskers and portrait artists, it was originally the main square of the village of Montmartre before it was incorporated into the city proper.

The artists' workshops
Place du Tertre
Sacre Coeur/ The Sacred Heart Basilica

Rue Norvins (Street) reveals a first glimpse of The Sacred Heart Basilica (La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre).
Sacre Coeur
The Sacred Heart Basilica
The area in front of The Sacred Heart Basilica gives the tourist the opportunity to have all the Paris lies in front of him/ her.
Eiffel Tower behind some branches of a tree from Montmartre
Paris panorama - a view from Montmartre
The stair's steps in front of the basilica are the link between entertainment and religion.
Sacre Coeur
The Sacred Heart Basilica
Musee de Montmartre / Montmartre Museum
Certainly one of the most charming museums in Paris, the Museum of Montmartre was founded in 1960. It was built in the seventeenth century as the Bel Air House and is the oldest building in Montmartre.
During its heyday, 12 rue Cortot served as a residence and meeting place for many artists including Auguste Renoir, Suzanne Valadon and Émile Bernard, who held their studios here, as well as the fauve artists Emile Othon Friesz and Raoul Dufy.
Read more: Montmartre Museum

Musee de Montmartre
Montmartre Museum
La Maison Rose / The Pink House
Looking for the quintessential Montmartre bistro in a house that was the subject of a lithograph by Maurice Utrillo? Head for the tiny ‘Pink House’ located just north of the Place du Tertre. It’s not so much about food here but rather location, location, location.

La Maison Rose
The Pink House
La Maison Rose
The Pink House
Clos Montmartre
This vineyard dates from 1932 and has a surface of 1556 square metres. You can find 27 varieties of wine including 75% of Gamay, 20% of Pinot,some stocks of white Sauvignon, Riesling... The production is 1000kg.

Clos Montmartre
Clos Montmartre
Au Lapin Agile / To the Agile Rabbit
In 1875 the painter-caricaturist Andre Gill painted a sign of a rabbit jumping out of a saucepan: "La lapin a Gill" changed quite naturally into Lapin Agile.

Au Lapin Agile
To the Agile Rabbit
Au Lapin Agile
To the Agile Rabbit
Au Lapin Agile
To the Agile Rabbit
Le Bateau Lavoir
The birthplace of Cubism isn't open to the public, but a display in the front window details this unimposing spot's rich history. Montmartre poet Max Jacob coined the name (it means "wash barge") because the original structure here reminded him of the laundry boats that used to float in the Seine, and he joked that the warren of paint-splattered artists' studios needed a good hosing down (wishful thinking, since the building had only one water tap).

Le Bateau Lavoir
Boulanger et Patissier / Baker and Pastry Chef

Hungry after such a long walk? You might like to enter here! Just to gather your forces a little bit, because the tour is not over yet! Anyway the Abbesses subway station is not far from here, so you'll reach your hotel room quite soon!
Boulanger et Patissier / Baker and Pastry Chef
On this crossroads: Rue Garreau / Rue Ravignan / Rue des 3 Frères
The "I Love You" Wall

The “I love you” wall stands at the center of the Abbesses garden, and it was created by two artists as a rendezvous location for lovers and a lasting monument to eternal adoration.
The bursts of color on the fresco represent the pieces of a broken heart, the heart of a humanity so often torn apart and which the wall tries to gather together.” (Frederic Baron)

The "I Love You" Wall
The "I Love You" Wall
Abbesses subway station

This subway station is the terminus point for our walk on Montmartre. I am sure that there are many things to discover in such a wonderful place, but for just an afternoon, the walk was quite substantial! The evening was about to begin, and Quartier Latin / The Latin Quarter was waiting for us!
Abbesses subway station
Abbesses subway station
Abbesses subway station
I hope that you've enjoyed this photo walk in Montmartre as much as I did a few years ago!
Thank you for your patience reading this photo blog post!
Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences related to Montmartre!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Kaprun Alpine Reservoir

I noticed that many of us search for advice about visiting a place or another, so searching engines like Google or Yahoo! lead us towards travel sites or travel articles. So, no matter if travelling either for business or for pleasure, we want to know what is Top 10 "Things to do/visit" for a particular destination.

In Zell am See - Kaprun, a visit to Kaprun Alpine Reservoirs (1,068 - 2,040 m above sea level (asl)) is in Top 10, so one can take it as a recommendation! The round trip is described below of a step by step manner. I hope that it will be useful for your next trip in Kaprun, Salzburgerland! And if you are along with your kids, don't worry! They will not be bored up there! You'll see why around the end part of this post.

A view towards the dams
A view towards Wasserfallboden, Mooser and Drossen from Gasthaus Glocknerblick
The above picture was taken during the trip on Maiskogelweg, near Gasthaus Glocknerblick, a wonderful restaurant with a magnificent view towards the tallest mountain in Austria, Grossglockner (3798m asl, the smallest peak in this picture), and Kitzsteinhorn (the one on the right side). Wasserfallboden, Mooser and Drossen are in the center of the picture, just under the snow layer (Pasterze Glacier, the largest glacier in Austria). 1. I reached Kesselfall-Alpenhaus by car. Here I parked my car on a 6 storey garage. This is the "final destination" for my car (anyone's car actually). Buses are available from here "to the top".

Parking lot
2. A bus take me through the Lärchwand tunnel to the Lärchwand funicular valley station at 1,209 m asl. Garages and car parking, kiosks and restaurants are available here.

By bus
A bus for Lärchwand tunnel
3. Lärchwand Funicular is the Europe's largest open funicular. From 1,209 to 1,640 m asl it glides almost soundlessly through mixed beech woodlands and rugged mountain flanks. It travels a distance of 820 meters, and ascends an incline of 431 meters.

Lärchwand Funicular - the rails
Lärchwand Funicular
Lärchwand Funicular
4. Buses (again) take the tourists from the mountain station of the funicular located near the Limberg lock.
Bus driver
By bus / bus driver
From the bus (whenever it is not into tunnels) one can see the Wasserfallboden reservoir and the Fürthermoar Alp.

5. Two arch shaped walls, Mooser and Drossen, retain the water in Mooserboden reservoir (85 million cubic meters of water).
Mooser and Drossen
Mooser dam is the one on the left, and Drossen dam is the one on the right.
Pasterze Glacier
Pasterze Glacier
The main source of water of the Mooserboden reservoir (60%) is the melted water from the Pasterze, Austria's largest glacier. The link from the Pasterze and Mooserboden reservoir is a 12 km long tunnel (looks like the Austrians have a passion for tunnels!).

6. If you want an adventure (hiking), there is a well-marked alpine path between Mooserboden, Sedlgrat and Kleiner Grießkogel summit (about 90 minutes). Don't forget to take a break at Mooserboden Mountain Restaurant prior to proceed to hike! I did not followed that path due to the fact that I planned to take a trip to Kitzsteinhorn right after the visit to Mooserboden reservoir (I was lucky enough to catch the latest cable car on my way back from Kitzsteinhorn!).

Kitzsteinhorn - 3203 m asl
7. After crossing the tunnel between Mooser and Drossen, I noticed a path towards Höhenburg (2,108 m asl). I followed it, and although I was not quite in a good shape for hiking, after a few minutes, I reached the top. Some 70 meters above the lake, the view is spectacular! One can enjoy the view of both dam's walls and the (relatively) eternal ice of the glaciers (I am not sure about this "eternal" when we are speaking about ice and about the rising temperature of the atmosphere...).
Höhenburg - 2108 m asl
8. I wrote at the beginning of the article about the fact that if you are accompanied by your little children, they will not be bored up here. Little "fairy electricians" are telling short stories about electricity and power generation in simple words for your kids!

You may notice a little yellow propeller as backpack. It is a Pelton propeller, and on my website are some details about what is a Pelton propeller: Impulse (Pelton) Turbines.

9. Between the two retaining walls of the dam (Mooser and Drosen), one can visit the interactive exhibition "Power & Ice".
Power and Ice
Power and Ice - Strom und Eis - the entrance
Technical details, the interactive screens, the videos, the photos, and all the other objects from the exhibition are really interesting, but for me the most interesting was the "Ice" part of it!

Power and Ice
Power and Ice - objects at an exhibition
I really appreciate the accurate reproduction of a glacier arch!
Glacier arch
Glacier arch at Power and Ice exhibition
You can find more information about the Kaprun Alpine Reservoirs on VERBUND Tourism.

Enjoy your trip!
Originally shared on Three Years After blog, it now finds its place on this new photo travel blog!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Severin - Dubova, One Day Trip.

A while ago, Tripadvisor has published my review about a one day trip between Drobeta Turnu Severin and Dubova Bay, in Mehedinti County, Romania.

I was posting the material on Sleepless Bobby in order to add some more information. Now I am copy-pasting it here on the reason mentioned in the first post on this blog: to methodize my travel photos...

Starting by car from Drobeta Turnu Severin, you can follow E70 towards Timisoara.

After 15 km you can stop at Iron Gates 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), in order to visit its museum. After chronologically arranged artifacts from the area, starting stone age, continuing with bronze, iron, Roman period, and Otoman/Turkish one, you will have a visual description of the construction and the hydro power units of the Romanian side of the HPP. You will also have a glimpse of the machine hall (approx. 220 m long, 25 m tall), descending by an elevator.
Iron Gates 1, dam and hydroelectric power plant
After visiting the power plant, continuing towards Timisoara on the Romanian shore of the lake formed by the Danube River behind Iron Gates 1 dam. There are more than 30 viaducts and bridges over many golfs formed by the Danube. You are already in the Iron Gates Natural Park, so obey the specific rules.

After driving 5 km, you will see a road sign to the right, indicating 1 km to Vodita Monastery. Worth a visit!
Vodita Monastery
Continuing 5 more km on E70 you will reach Orsova (now you will leave E70, continuing on DN57), the city rebuilt after the level of the lake raised 30 meters! You will enjoy a walk on the Danube's shore, and in the evening take a break near the ship yard or the train station in order to take some photos of the city lights reflected on the water. In Orsova you can rent a ship and take a cruise on the Danube!
Before leaving Orsova towards Eselnita, go to St. Ana Monastery.
Orsova - Dragalina Park, and a cruise ship in background
So you are about to leave Orsova, and after 15 km you will reach Mraconia bay, the place where a sculpture of Decebal is carved into the mountain.
Decebalus Rex - Dragan fecit
I think that you've had many stops and you are already hungry or at least thirsty, so continue 3 more km to Pensiunea Melba, located on the shore of Dubova bay. "Papanasii" (home made donuts) are my favourite desert there!
Pensiunea Melba: Reflections first...

Bon apetit!
Delicious! Siting at the table, enjoying your meal... can you see where the Danube is entering the gulf/bay? There is its narrowest and its deepest point!
Dubova bay (above and below)
Can you notice the Ship Shaped Shadow in the center of this photo? :-)
Well, this is a 100 km tour in the the SW of Mehedinti County, and enough places to visit for a day!

Travel safe!