Let’s Have Lunch

There are so many choices when it comes to eating in Paris. Cafes line streets, vendors sell there wares in the street and deciding where to eat can be a challenge.

My friends and I settled on the Cafe Leone in the area surrounding Notre Dame. I would recommend this charming little restaurant to anyone looking for a quick bite. Their pizza was delicious.

Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile

The Arc de Triomphe, was commissioned by napoleon in 1806. It wasn’t until 1836 when it was inaugurated in King Louis-Philippe. The monument is dedicated to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire.

Within the small arches are engraved The names of 600 military leaders who served during the French First Republic and the First French Empire. Underlined names signify those who died on the battlefield.

The Unknown Soldier was buried at the base of the arch in 1921. The flame of remembrance is rekindled every day at 18:30. Every year on November 11th a special ceremony is held.

Of the four statues on the Arcs pillars is Le Départ de 1792 or La Marseillaise by sculptor, Francois Rude. The sculpture celebrates the cause of the French First Republic during the August 10th uprising. Above the volunteers is the winged representation of Liberty. During World War I it served as a recruitment tool and encouraged the French to buy war loans in 1915–1916.

La Marseillaise is the French National Anthem. Originally known as The War Song For The Republic Of The Rhine. The melody became a rallying cry for The French Revolution and became La Marseillaise after army volunteers from Marseillaise were heard singing it in the streets.

To help you plan your own trip to visit this monument check out the official website.

https://www.paris-arc-de-triomphe.fr/en/

Flower Bike Man

Along the bridges and streets of Amsterdam keep your eyes peeled for the Flower Bikes. These are the handiwork of an American man named Warren Gregory, Flower Bike Man. When his wife had difficulty finding her bike, he decorated hers with colorful flowers so it stood out. He also decorated a number of abandoned bikes and staged them along the route home to their houseboat so she wouldn’t get lost.

Souvenir and Window Shopping

As I walked along the canals of Amsterdam, I noticed these funny little boys in a window.

Among the items for sail are items of Blue Delft ceramic. These delicately painted vases and plates were crafted at a 33 different “porcelain” factories. Only one of them is still in business, Royal Delft. These items are made of earthenware but were designed to compete with Chinese porcelain.

Some of the most popular Delft Blue items are the Kissing Couple. No one knows for sure the true history of the young lovers. Some think they are based on a photo taken in 1920.

Wandering the streets of Amsterdam you can find Antique Shops, Sweet Shops, Bakery’s and Dutch Cheese Shops. There’s literally something for everyone.

Seven Country Houses

Architect Tjeerd Kuipers, is most famous for the aptly named Seven Country Houses. The row of seven houses represent the architectural styles of Europe. Exotism is the term for a romanticized longing for what is far away. Each of the houses is built in a different architectural style representing seven different countries in Europe.

Germany, France, Russia, England, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands are all represented in architectural styles of their respective countries.

If you’d like to see these for yourself head to…

32II Roemer Visscherstraat
Amsterdam, 1054 EZ
Netherlands

52.3615, 4.8770

Please remember these are people’s homes and businesses so don’t be a nuisance.

Fishing Village to Modern City

The Dutch capital of Amsterdam in The Netherlands started out as a fishing village in the 13th century. Today it is a cosmopolitan city full of historic neighborhoods and an exciting nightlife.

The 17th century is considered Amsterdam’s Golden Age. Thinkers and artists such as Rembrandt and Descartes called Amsterdam home.

Along the canals, the narrow houses were built by merchants. They had their businesses in the front with access to the canals and lived in the back and above. A trio of canals Prinsengracht, Herengracht and Keizergracht encircle the historic city center. The waterways gave the merchants a means to bring goods and materials into the city. The houses average 25 -35 feet across and have steep gabled roofs.

You can lose an afternoon wandering the streets of Amsterdam. Every facade has a story to tell.