Monday, May 6, 2013

A London Saturday and a Paris Sunday, April 27-28th, 2013

Scott and Bill at the portobello market

pretty spring scene in portobello area

ruins of an old church at St. Mary's Abbots (kensington high street)

the lovely, very old church of saint bartholomew the great. the oldest church in London, dating back to 12th century

smithfield meat market on sat afternoon when it is closed. hangings took place here in medieval times, as well as "wife selling" in early 19th century. divorce was difficult so the menfolk brought their wives and other goods to the meat market for sale. 

the lovely guildhall art gallery (free). the mosaic pavement with black lines denotes the area of the amphitheatre.  Lots of paintings showing the history of London are exhibited, as well as a nice, small Pre-Raphaelite collection (one of my favorite art genres). By now we had lost the crowds!

recently discovered Roman amphitheatre in basement of guildhall gallery

a lovely d.g. rossetti pre-raphaelite painting "La Ghirlandata"

I always love the pre raphaelite angels/women

the gallery was a lovely, calm, very quiet space 

Alam Tadema's 3 ladies

view toward the front of building with natural light coming in

henry VIII and cardinal Wolsey who we spent a lot of time with the day before at  Hampton Court Palace

We were lucky to get into  Guildhall which is used for many high ranking British ceremonial  events. Lovely, lovely building. The current building was begun in c. 1411, and it is the only stone building not belonging to the Church to have survived the Great Fire of London in 1666. Roof has been destroyed twice and rebuilt.

another view of market

view toward inside of market

a very British scene
we moved on to the Victoria and Alberto museum, beautiful altarpiece

a mosaic from San Marco in Venice, 8th century (V and A musuem)

a new wing of the museum with medieval church columns, sculptures, paintings - nicely done

 tapestry ankhs from upper egypt 400-600 a.d.

 A great way to end the London portion of  trip with an elegant and fun Saturday night dinner with wonderful friends at their gorgeous London home.

On to Paris and viola' the Eiffel Tower is never far

was a quiet Sunday afternoon with not much open. we went to the Guimet Museum of Asian Arts to see the show on Chinese bronze antiquities. bowl dating back to 15th century b.c. The ages on the pieces displayed were amazing.

another lovely bronze, water basin, 15-14th century b.c 

series of  cooking bowls, 7th century b.c.

interesting ablution bowl,  7th -6th century b.c.

later bronze, 4th -3th century b.c.
when heading toward notre dame we stumbled onto this lovely, gothic  church

stained glass from 14 or 15th centuries

 I liked this angel

our caffe stop, St Regis,  on the left bank

Notre Dame, beautiful as always 

View of Seine and Notre Dame
Saturday in London was action packed yet again and very cool and so windy. Started off at Portobello market which was ridiculously crowded as it was Saturday. We strolled around till we were all too cold and then found a nice, biological product restaurant for lunch. all their ingredients were imported from their farm. We defrosted a bit and then headed over for a walk to the Saint Bartholomew church,  Guildhall and Guildhall art gallery, being Saturday that area was almost deserted. Guess everyone was at  the Portobello market! We then arrived, in very late afternoon, to take in an hour or so of the always pleasing Victoria and Albert Museum, always learning more and more. Back to hotel for a quick change and then to a friend's house for a wonderfully entertaining and fun last evening in London.

Paris- took chunnel train from St Pancras (such a great train station). In 2.5 hours you arrive at the Gare du Nord.  We had a nice walk, adding in the Chinese exhibit, and then to a one star restaurant for dinner. Sunday evening one does not have much to choose from in Paris. Dinner was good but I always cringe when the check arrives.

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