It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood ~ Paris, France

Want to experience Paris, but not willing to dole out extravagant amounts of money?

paris_map3Welcome to the neighborhood of Calaincourt Hostel, located in the Montmartre, a hill in the north region of Paris, France. If you check out the map above, we are located  just  north of #18 Sacre Coeur, located at the summit of the butte Montmartre. (Click on links for more info.)

2014Paris-1070930cl All five of us are crammed into this little room, but it is actually a wonderful spot to be and the price is right.  Breakfast included with all the coffee/tea you can drink(Sadly, not many bathrooms in the city so we had to limit consumption of liquids),  happy hour each day with a great view overlooking our steep steps, so we can look down and see/hear the people passing by. Bonus points for having our own bathroom/shower, and the bunk beds double as drying racks!

2014Paris-1080124dmvFront view of our hostel with a nice laundromat  located nearby. Thank you, Italian Family On Holiday for the interesting visit as we shared the laundromat facilities.

2014Paris-1080126dmvWe really are situated on a hill as our hostel window is upper left. Lots of beeking (eavesdropping?)  opportunities as people pass by on these steps. I am surprised that French does not seem to be the predominant language spoken as the chatter of Middle Eastern and African languages pepper the air as we listen through the window.

2014Paris-1080175dmvcrRandy finds an English-speaking French man to share dog stories.  Kind of looks like our old dog, Sandy.

2014Paris-1070982Fragrant smell of sausage and bread.

2014Paris-1080109dmvKids are kids the world around as they eye the yummy looking items in the window of a nearby candy store.

2014Paris-1080111dmvPopular mode of transportation.

2014Paris-1080119dmvThe name of this restaurant, Le Cafe Qui Parle,  reminds me of home ~ Lac Qui Parle County in Minnesota, but it is out of our price range. (Click on the link to view info and menu.)

2014Paris-1080121dmvcrWe purchase food and beverages at our local little grocery store and at a nearby supermarket.

2014Paris-1080177fp20pop30crThis little gal is ready to leave the cafe at the bottom of our steps before her parents have finished visiting.  Just like home.

2014Paris-1080184dmvDown the street, this gentleman sits at this spot waiting for handouts and is dressed in this attire each day we are here.

2014Paris-1080186dmvOne afternoon, I did see him standing in a small sandwich shop. I don’t know his story, but it seems to be a boring life.

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Photo credit: Joan Rigdon – Ipad

So, here’s to Paris and our new home away from home!

Au revoir… until tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

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Strolling Santiago de Compostela

2014Camino-1070857dmvView from our small third floor room with 5 bunk beds for a total of 10 persons in our room. Cozy…

 

2014Camino-1070858plcrWe call Roots & Boots our home for two nights. It is in the old part of town, three levels of multiple rooms down narrow hallways with as many bunk beds as they can possibly put in each room.  We had two bathrooms for our floor, so we had to be patient or find an open bathroom on another floor…maybe.

We shared a room with sheep farmer from Portugal, college students waiting for housing and a grandfather/grandson pair (Sweden? ), as well as another silent partner that did not converse with us.
2014Camino-1070813dmvcrRandy is wearing his strolling attire today, so let’s start exploring.
2014Camino-1070810dmv Interesting, but I don’t think I’ll put these sculptures on my deck.

2014Camino-1070830plThank you, Random Strolling Ladies, for following the photography Rule of Three and Odd Numbers.

2014Camino-1070832dmvcrShe must be my relative since Pemble women are known to wear bright red attire.

2014Camino-1070834dmvObviously, she draws the attention of old and young alike.

2014Camino-1070838dmvcrSign reads:  Painter looking for work urgently – I’m hungry. 

2014Camino-1070881dmvcrYou’re going strolling whether you want to, or not!

2014Camino-1070829plBeggar outside the coffee shop.

2014Camino-1070855dmvNeighborhood near our hostel.

2014Camino-1070871dmvWe crossed through Alameda Park several times as it was between our hostel and the city center. The origin of the park goes back to the donation of the grounds to the city by the Counts of Altamira around the middle of the 16th century.

2014Camino-1070824plcrHarry Potter influence here?

2014Camino-1070867dmvWe see many monuments amidst the garden area of the park.  Mirador da Alameda.  Translation: Viewpoint of Alameda

2014Camino-1070883dmvWe are thrilled to meet up with Al, our Spanish friend that we met at the pilgrim meal in Fonfria just past O’Cebreiro. I sincerely hope he is doing well with his new job in South America.

2014Camino-1070889dmvThese Italian pilgrims are all smiles and glad to be done with their journey.  We shared the trail frequently with them the past few days. A smile is comprehended in any language.

2014Camino-1070841dmvWe attend the Pilgrim Mass and they did not swing “the thing.”( Botafumeiro) We are 0 for 2 on this, so if I ever return to the Camino experience again I will not be leaving until they do swing “the thing.”

2014Camino-1070845dmvOutside the church, I notice this beggar who is prepared for rain with an umbrella tucked behind her.  I’m guessing she is a Gypsy, which is a slang term for the Romani people that frequent European countries.  More to come on this topic in future blog posts.

2014Camino-1070826plcrThese gypsies appear to be quite stern.  Is this an omen?

 

Oh, Segovia…you take my breath away.

Segovia, Spain, which was destroyed and reconstructed by the Romans in 80 B.C., became one of the first Roman towns in Spain.

The aqueduct transported waters from Fuente Fría river, situated in the nearby mountains, some 17 km (11 mi) from the city in a region known as La Acebeda. It runs another 15 km (9.3 mi) before arriving in the city.

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As the aqueduct lacks a legible inscription (one was apparently located in the structure’s attic, or top portion), the date of construction cannot be definitively determined. The actual date of the Aqueduct’s construction has always been considered a mystery although it was thought to have been during the 1st century AD.

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Today, two niches are still visible, one on each side of the aqueduct. One of them is known to have held the image of Hercules, who according to legend was founder of the city.Spain-1040902rshp

The other niche now contains the images of the Virgen de la Fuencisla (the Patroness of Segovia) and Saint Stephen.

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At the end of the 20th century, a German archaeologist managed to decipher the text on the dedication plaque by studying the anchors that held the now missing bronze letters in place. Using this method, he was able to determine that in actuality it was the Emperor Domitian (AD 81-96) who ordered its construction.

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The aqueduct is built of unmortared, brick-like granite blocks. During the Roman era, each of the three tallest arches displayed a sign in bronze letters, indicating the name of its builder along with the date of construction.
Spain-1040856rsWe walked about a mile or so to find the channel that brought the water into town.
The water was first gathered in a tank known as El Caserón (or Big House), and is then led through a channel to a second tower known as the Casa de Aguas (or Waterhouse). There it  was naturally decanted and sand settled before the water continued its route. Next the water traveled 728 m (796 yd) on a one-percent grade until it is high upon the Postigo, a rocky outcropping on which the old city center, the Segovia Alcázar, was built.         ~All information was sourced from Wikipedia

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I’m not sure if this little block filled with water at the top of the aqueduct  was the base of a former column or there for another purpose.  We see many groups of Spanish students, as well as other countries, touring the monument.

Spain-1040961Requirement to go up the stairs to the VERY top is to pass by this forlorn, senior citizen beggar.

Spain-1040963bwI pay my new beggar friend his modeling fee and take a close up. Sun is glaring and bright so it’s not the best lighting and I over exposed the image.  I should have used my new shawl  to block the bright light so I could have some nice diffused lighting.

Would-a-could-a-should-a…