La beauté de Paris

The Arc de Triomphe

The triumphal arch is in honor of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought. There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I where  the Memorial Flame burns and have made the Arc de Triomphe Paris a revered patriotic site. 







The Eiffel Tower


Constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world.  It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.






Musée d'Orsay

Located on the Left Bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh.









Notre-Dame de Paris

The cathedral's construction was begun in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the cathedral was the site of the coronation of Napoleon I and funerals of many Presidents of the Republic. Sadly, while undergoing renovation and restoration, the roof of Notre-Dame caught fire on the evening of 15 April 2019. Burning for around 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the timber spire over the crossing and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling.






Quai d'Orsay

The Sorbonne

Cafe St. Jacques


The Louvre

The Louvre is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement (district or ward). Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 782,910 square feet. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum, receiving 10.2 million visitors.













I.M. Pei died today, May 16, 2019

Au Revoir, Paris - The Eiffel Tower Celebrates 130!









Day One - Set Sail from Avignon

An early morning sail to Arles is the chance to experience many of the locks on the cruise.  ´Ecluse de Beaucaire. Following the development of the Vallabrègues dam, commissioned in 1970, the Beaucaire lock, built on an arm of the Rhone, was closed, thus condemning the port, located in the heart of the city, to become a dead end.



Efforts are underway to restore the lock and reconnect the Rhone to the Canal du Midi.

Day Two - Arles, France

The vibrant colors and striking quality of light have inspired artists for centuries. Arles is the site of many impressive Roman ruins, including Les Arénes, an arena that seats 20,000 and is still in use, as well as Romanesque monuments such as the Church of St. Trôphime, completed in the 15th century.


Castle Arles

Church of St. Trôphime
Les Arénes



Day Three - Avignon - The City of Popes

Nicknamed "The City of Popes," Avignon was home to seven popes from 1309 - 1377. The Palace of the Popes is a rambling maze of Gothic architecture that served as papal residence, fortress, church and palace.






Avignon - Châteauneuf-Du-Pape

Constructed in 1316 by Pope John XXII as a summer residence for the Avignon Popes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the town that grew up around it is one of the world’s most celebrated wine-producing regions.





A Little Touch of Home







Avignon-et-Provence - The Saint Bénézet's Bridge

Four arches of the famed Saint Bénézet Bridge (of the song “Sur le pont d’Avignon”) still reach out from the town, its Romanesque St. Nicholas Chapel still perched on the second pier. The Rhône currents had defied bridging until St. Bénézet and his disciples built the bridge in the late 12th century. Broken several times, it was abandoned in 1680. People did dance there, as in the song—not on it but underneath it, on the Île de la Barthelasse.