It’s been a while since i wrote and I have a lot to tell you about 🙂
I have stayed mainly in Goettingen but taken some time out to visit The Netherlands (more on that in the next post). At the moment i am heading to Rothenberg ob der Taura. But before i jump to that, let me tell you a bit more about Goettingen.
Goettingen was one of the towns that was protected from bombing in World War 2 (there was an arrangement between Germany and UK to not bomb each others university towns). So, because of this, Goettingen still has many of it’s old buildings. If you go into the town centre you will see a lot of these old buildings dating from 14th century. Most have dates on so that you know when they were built…handy if you don’t know your architecture. The other thing to note is that a lot of streets and buildings have names on them of famous scientists. Now, that shouldn’t be a surprise because Goettingen is the town for science. Over 40 Nobel Prize winners have come from here.
In the town, next to the Town hall there is a statue of a young girl herding geese. This has become a well known statue because of the many PhD students who kiss her after getting their PhD (and nope don’t think about the multiple germs possibly on her lol).
Marais is an old part of Paris with medieval and Renaissance buildings in it and it is still laid out like it was back then. Now the interesting thing is this: Marais doesnt appear on many lists of places to visit while in Paris and to be honest…that is CRAZY!! I spent today following a self tour on the Trip Adviser app (gives you directions to some of the main highlights of the area) and I spent a lot of the time doing an awful lot of WOW!!! This is really a beautiful area with fascinating places to explore. I walked around the gardens of Sens Mansion which was built around the 16th century (and as you know I am doing this trip on the cheap so the fact this was free was a bonus) it has an amazing garden. If you can find the entrance to the building (yep i couldnt lol) then you can go in because this is a public library.
I then wandered around the Saint-Paul Village which was filled with cute shops. The village is divided into a number of squares (all given a different colour) so make sure you go to each. Eventually I got back onto the tour and headed for Sully Mansion (Hotel de Sully) on the Rue Saint Antoine. This is a 17th century building which used to be luxury private mansions when this area used to be habited by the aristocrats. Now it is the offices for the National Monuments, so you can’t go in it but again you can wander around and trust me it is sooo worth the wander:
As you carry on walking on the tour you will find yourself in these archways which surround a garden. This garden is the oldest planned square in Paris. Further down you will come across Victor Hugo’s mansion (which you can look around). Now an interesting reflection…you dont see street people much in Paris and yet under these archways was a large mattress with a guy asleep on it, it struck me the contrast …beautiful ornate buildings with the oldest square in front of him and yet here was an example of the poor of Paris.
The oldest planned square in Paris
From here i walked to 23 Rue de Sevigne to go to Carnavalet Museum (Musee Carnavalet) can i just say at the start here…WOW!!! This is a museum worth going to (and it’s free!!!) it is an extensive museum spread over two old hotels dating back to 1500s. It has rooms decorated in the design of the times, art, history, jewellery and paintings over the entire room (yep entire…including the roof) I loved it and can’t recommend it enough.
After spending hours at the museum I set back out on my walk and ended up walking past a number of other great buildings and also the Jewish quarters of Paris (called ‘Pletzl’). In this area you can visit Picasso’s Museum, Musee Cognacq-Jay (another collection of arts), the Hunting and Nature Museum (yep those of you who know me know i wouldn’t go in there, but the write up says it is fun), Museum of French History (National Archives in Hotel de Soubise), and finally the Hotel de Ville (government buildings since 1300s, though only buildings from 1800s are standing here now).
Well at the end of it I was tired, had a great time and really want you to go to Marais if you go to Paris. Also, I highly recommend the Trip Adviser app for the self tours. Hope you have a great day 🙂
Having explained earlier…I like walking 🙂 so this outing was going to be a long one. With water bottle in hand (Australia has had it’s impact on me, where we always travel with water lol) I started by getting the Metro from Anvers to Charles de Gaulle. As soon as you come out onto the street level you are faced with the Champs-Elysees running both directions and the Arc de Triamphe in front of you. To get to the Arc walk to the underpass and it will bring you up under the Arc where you can look around and also see the Arc in all it’s detail. This is definitely worth visiting. For a small charge you can also go into the Arc. I didn’t this time, but will later.
From the Arc, I looked around the skyline and spotted the Eiffel Tower, so figured I could walk there. I didn’t have the SIM in my phone working yet which meant i didn’t have a map app to help me, so I just followed my nose and headed in the direction of the tower. After going down a number of side roads I came out to a bridge crossing the Seine river, the Eiffel Tower was on the other side (I have to admit I was pretty pleased with myself at having found it lol). Now, full confession time here (and I will probably offend a few people as well as all of the French people throughout the world :-/) I didnt find the Tower as big as I thought it would be. I had kinda imagined it to be this huge towering structure, but in fact it is quite small. Yes it is beautifully made with some wonderful details on it, but it was about a third to half the side I thought it would be 😳 Is it worth visiting? Yes, so that you can tick it off your list but in all honesty it isnt something I would be dying to go back and see. After taking the typical photos of it, I headed off back towards the river and walked along the Seine towards the Louvre.
This was a really lovely walk, very peaceful but it does take some time. I crossed the Seine further down and walked through Tuileries. I can’t recommend this enough, very beautiful buildings and statues on each side and really worth the walk.
I got to the Louvre, which was busy even in winter, and had a look around the outside. The buildings are really worth seeing. I also found out that you can enter the Louvre free on the first Sunday of every month, definitely worth noting if you are on a budget like me 🙂 After arriving at the Musee du Louvre I headed north to get back to Anvers. This walk took me along a major shopping area and again past some beautiful buildings.
Finally after approx 4 hours of walking I had done a loop from Anvers to Charles de Gaulle down to Tour Eiffel, along the Seine to Musee du Louvre and back up to Anvers. Was it worth walking rather than using the Metro all the way? Absolutely!! I saw some wonderful places that I would have missed if I had just used the Metro (and it’s good for the body 😉 ). Now I have a list of places i want to re-visit.
Went with a friend for a drive today. We went through the mountain range by Mount Rainer. The snow is here (though not a lot of it this season) and the lakes are nearly frozen over. God paints the most beautiful landscapes (sunset in the mountains):
Also, saw some Elk on the way home, seemed tame though i was warned not to get out of the car !!! Lol
My mind is preoccupied with the upcoming trip, last thing i am trying to organise is the insurance, and debating whether i should go to the dentist about my tooth that i cracked the other day…lol i know…go!!! But i hate dentists soooooo procrastination time 😉