A Travellerspoint blog

March 2019

Liechtenstein.

Beautiful Mountain Scenery, Liechtenstein. - Liechtenstein.

Beautiful Mountain Scenery, Liechtenstein. - Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein.

I have been to Liechtenstein twice. The first time was in the eighties, the second in 2009. On our first visit we came across from Feldkirch in Austria for the day, but to our surprise the bus fare was much cheaper than we expected. We discovered that Liechtenstein was in the middle of a campaign to reduce traffic by making its public transport free, so instead of the intended day trip we found a bed and breakfast, stayed for a couple of nights and explored Liechtenstein for free. We also went across to Sargans and Buchs in Switzerland very cheaply as we only paid for travel past the border. This was a very enjoyable visit because in addition to seeing Vaduz, Liechtenstein's capital with its picturesque castle, we were able to explore the beautiful Alpine countryside of Liechtenstein, too.

Traditional Alpine style buildings. - Liechtenstein

Traditional Alpine style buildings. - Liechtenstein

Our second visit was much shorter. We only visited Vaduz briefly as we just stopped off for a couple of hours on our way back to Feldkirch from Buchs. We spent this time climbing up to the castle. We both noticed that the area between Vaduz and Feldkirch was much more built up than on our earlier visit. Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest country in Europe and the sixth smallest country in the world. It is a landlocked country located between the Swiss canton of St. Gallen and the Austrian province of Vorarlberg. The official language of Liechtenstein is German. Liechtenstein is a principality. The ruling prince is Prince Hans­ Adam II von Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein gets its name from the Princes of Liechtenstein, who purchased the County of Vaduz in 1712 and the lands of Schellenberg in 1699 and joined them together to form the Principality of Liechtenstein in 1719. These princes were originally from Upper Austria. Vaduz itself is an attractive place to visit with its mountain top castle, but our best experience was taking a bus out of Vaduz to Malbun then hiking back. The beautiful Alpine scenery was fantastic.

Vaduz Castle.

This lovely hilltop castle is quite a steep trek to get to but it is worth the climb. Vaduz Castle is the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein.The castle gave its name to the town of Vaduz. Vaduz Castle was originally built by the Counts of Werdenberg ­Sargans. It was later acquired by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein in 1712. The castle was restored between 1905 and 1920, and expanded in the early 1930s by Prince Franz Joseph II. It is not possible to go into the castle as it is still home to the Prince of Liechtenstein.

Vaduz Castle - Liechtenstein

Vaduz Castle - Liechtenstein

Vaduz Castle

Vaduz Castle

Vaduz Town Hall.

Vaduz town hall or rathaus is in the centre of Vaduz. It has some attractive looking bronze horse sculptures outside it. These sculptures are by Swiss sculptor Nag Arnoldi. These sculptures were placed in front of the town hall in 2002.

Vaduz Town Hall

Vaduz Town Hall

Cow Statues.

We first encountered lots of cow statues one summer when we visited Zurich. They were everywhere and nowadays they do seem to pop up all over the place. Vaduz was no exception to this growing bovine trend.

Cow Statues

Cow Statues

Liechtenstein National Museum

We did not have sufficient time to visit the National Museum, otherwise known as the Liechtenstein Landesmuseum, in Vaduz on our last visit. Apparently it has a permanent exhibition about the history, culture and landscape of the Principality of Liechtenstein. Its opening hours are: Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. ­ - 5.00 p.m. Wednesday 10 a.m. ­ - 8.00 pm. Monday closed.

Liechtenstein National Museum

Liechtenstein National Museum

Malbun.

If you have time to see some of Liechtenstein other than Vaduz, then I would recommend a trip to Malbun. I believe it is a popular place for skiing and snowboarding in winter, but we went in summer and found it wonderful for hiking as the surrounding Alpine scenery is very beautiful.

Malbun

Malbun

Malbun

Malbun

Getting To Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein is a small country and does not have its own airport. To get to Liechtenstein it is necessary to travel by bus from one of its neighbouring countries. Bus services to Vaduz operate from Feldkirch in Ausria and from Buchs and Sargans in Switzerland.

Posted by irenevt 06:55 Archived in Liechtenstein Comments (4)

Switzerland.

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Switzerland.

We have been to Switzerland around five times. Our first two trips were day trips from Liechtenstein. We had actually only intended to go to Liechtenstein for a day from Feldkirch in Austria, but to our surprise, the bus fare was much cheaper than expected and we discovered Liechtenstein was doing free public buses in an attempt to cut down the number of cars on their roads and the resultant pollution, so we booked a B&B in Liechtenstein for a few nights and travelled around Liechtenstein and into Switzerland. We only paid for the travel that took place across the Liechtenstein border. Our first trip into Switzerland was to Buchs; our second was to Sargans. Our third trip into Switzerland was a day trip to Basel. This was part of a journey across Europe by train ending in a holiday in Austria. On route to Austria we visited Brussels, Liege, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and Basel. We arrived in Basel by overnight train and left by overnight train so we were rather tired on this trip to say the least. Visit four involved taking advantage of a Swiss Air special deal from Hong Kong. If you travelled from Hong Kong by Swiss Air to Switzerland, you could get a free onward journey to almost anywhere in Europe. We used this deal to spend a few days in Zurich before flying on to Prague. Visit five involved travelling to Zurich, spending a few nights in Rapperswil, then heading onto St Gallen from where we visited Appenzell, then taking a train to Rorschach from where we boarded a boat across Lake Constance into Germany and Austria. In Austria we revisited Feldkirch, went into Liechtenstein again and revisited Buchs.

Switzerland is a landlocked country that borders France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Liechtenstein. It is made up of 26 different cantons. There is a German speaking part, a French speaking part, an Italian speaking part and a Romansh speaking part. Switzerland has stunning scenery with lots of mountains and lakes. It is a great place to visit, but it is expensive.

Buchs And Werdenberg.

We have visited Buchs twice. On our first visit we arrived by bus from Liechtenstein in the early evening. We were really looking for somewhere to eat as Liechtenstein was so expensive. We walked towards Werdenberg and saw the castle and lake, but did not go right up to the castle. On our second visit, we had more time and climbed up to Werdenberg Castle. We were glad we did; the castle and surrounding wooden buildings were really beautiful and the view from the castle across the lake was stunning. Werdenberg Castle is part of the ancient citadel of Werdenberg. The castle was founded in 1230 by Graf Rudolf the 1st of Montfort. Werdenberg Castle is now a museum and has been open to the public since 1956. The wooden buildings around the castle are also very picturesque.

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Sargans.

We travelled to Sargans by bus from Liechtenstein in the early evening to have a look at the town and find somewhere to eat. I remember taking a look at the castle, but unfortunately the photos I took of it are not in Hong Kong and may in fact just be lost all together. What sticks in my mind about the castle is that it had one extremely tall tower jutting out above the rest of the building. Sargans Castle dates from 1291. Sargans was once part of the Holy Roman Empire. Over time the castle gradually fell into a state of disrepair. The Municipality of Sargans bought the dilapidated castle building at the end of the nineteenth century and renovated it. Today Sargans Castle is a museum. In 1983 it was the Swiss Museum of the Year. It has a historical restaurant and an ancient wine press.

Basel.

We only went to Basel for one day. I remember looking over the River Rhine and walking down to the banks of the river, then crossing the river on a little ferry. There are four ferries across the Rhine. These are all located between Basel's five bridges. The ferries are called Wilde Maa, Leu, Vogel Gryff and Ueli. These ferries are powered by the natural movement of the river rather than by motors or oars. I also remember a large fountain containing various machines that moved the water around. To me the machines looked like spinning wheels and sewing machines. This fountain is known as the Tinguely Fountain. It was created by local artist Jean Tinguely. He specialized in creating moving pieces of art. The Tinguely Fountain is located in front of the Stadttheater. As the water is just moved around pointlessly and repeatedly, some regard the fountain as symbolizing the futility of life. Basel Cathedral is a large red sandstone building with twin towers. It is located on a hill looking over the Rhine River.

Basel

Basel

Basel

Basel

Zurich.

Zurich is a beautiful city located on Lake Zurich. There are plenty of places on the lake where you can go swimming. There are also lots of ferry rides. In addition to swimming in the lake, we also swam in part of the Limmat River. This had a very strong current. The current carries you along at speed without you having to put much effort into swimming. You have to grab on to something at the sides of the river to get out though rather than getting swept away. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is home to many banks and financial institutions. Most of Zürich's historical sites are located within the area on either side of the Limmat River, between the Main railway station and Lake Zürich. Zurich has many impressive churches such as the Grossmünster which is a Protestant church with two towers, the Fraumünster Church with its tall clock tower, and St Peter's Church which has a shorter clock tower. Zurich has two funiculars: the Rigiblick funicular and the Polybahn funicular. The Polybahn is more central.

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Rapperswil.

Rapperswil is located on Lake Zurich. You can get here by train or paddle steamer from Zurich. We spent a couple of nights in Rapperswil and absolutely loved it. Rapperswil is also known as the City of Roses and has several rose gardens. It also has a deer park, a castle, a main square where you can find its town hall, lots of churches and monasteries and several places where you can swim in the lake. Rapperswil Castle dominates the old town's skyline. The original castle dates back to around 1220. Due to wars and periods of neglect the castle gradually fell into disrepair. In 1870 it was leased by a Polish émigré, Count Wladyslaw Broel Plater. He had fled from troubles in Poland and settled in Switzerland in 1844. At his own expense he restored the castle and opened it as the Polish National Museum in 1870.

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Cows In Zurich.

On our first visit to Zurich there were life size fibre glass models of cows everywhere. We devoted a lot of time to tracking them down and photographing them. We especially loved themed ones. For example on the lake there was one on a diving board heading for a swim, at the hospital there was one on a drip. The idea of these cow sculptures originated in Zurich in 1998 and was the brainchild of artistic director Walter Knapp. The concept was bought by an American group and renamed Cow Parade. This is now the largest and most successful public art event in the world and has been staged in over 75 cities including: Chicago in 1999, New York in 2000, London in 2002, Tokyo, Brussels and Dublin in 2003, Prague and Stockholm in 2004, Mexico City and Sao Paulo in 2005, Buenos Aires, Boston and Paris in 2006, Milan and Istanbul in 2007. At the end of a cow parade event the statues are auctioned off and the money raised by them is donated to a variety of different charities.

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

St Gallen.

After Rapperswil we spent a few days in St Gallen. St. Gallen is in the northeastern part of Switzerland. It is located about 700 meters above sea level and is one of the highest cities in Switzerland. It gets a lot of snow in winter. The town of St Gallen developed around the hermitage of Saint Gall which was founded in the 7th century. St Gallen has many lovely old buildings as well as the Abbey of St Gall. We also went to the Drei Weieren, the Three Ponds, to swim. These ponds were originally dug out by monks to satisfy the water requirements of their monastery. Later water from these ponds was used to put out fires and as a raw material in the bleaching industry.

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

Appenzell.

From St Gallen we took the Appenzeller Railway to Appenzell. Appenzell Village is the capital of the smallest of the Swiss cantons. It is surrounded by beautiful mountainous scenery and has some wonderfully painted old wooden buildings. We bought some Appenzell cheese while we were there. This was delicious but completely smelled out our hotel room. We ate most of it on the ferry crossing Lake Constance and had to eat it on the outside deck due to the overpowering smell.

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Rorschach.

We knew we were leaving Switzerland by catching a ferry somewhere on Lake Constance. I chose Rorschach because I have a degree in psychology and associated the town with the famous ink blot personality test. In fact that test is not named after the town but named after its creator Hermann Rorschash. We did not spend a lot of time here, but had a walk by the picturesque lakeside then
boarded the ferry.

Rorschach

Rorschach

Rorschach

Rorschach

Posted by irenevt 00:49 Archived in Switzerland Comments (4)

Monaco.

Christmas Day 2015.

The casino reflected in a Christmas bauble. - Monaco

The casino reflected in a Christmas bauble. - Monaco

Monaco.

When I realised Nice was very close to Monaco, I knew we had to go and take a look. We decided years ago to visit all the tiny countries in Europe, so far we have managed the Vatican, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and now Monaco. That leaves us with Andorra and San Marino to fit in some time. It is easy to get to Monaco from Nice. It is possible to get there by train or to get there by taking the number 100 bus from the Port of Nice. The bus journey only costs 1 Euro 50 cents. We went by bus. I planned out the trip with the intention of getting off at the first stop in Monaco and starting by exploring the old town, but as my husband suddenly decided we should stay on the bus all the way to Menton in France, we ended up doing Monaco the other way round. We started from the side nearest Menton and walked across the country looking at various sights on route.

My first impression of Monaco while travelling across it by bus was not good. There was a Christmas fun fair on at the sea front and there were barriers blocking this off from the road, so as a bus passenger you had tall mountains enclosing you on one side and metal barriers on the other. This made me feel very claustrophobic. I almost did not want to return from Menton. However, fortunately my first impression was wrong, Monaco did not feel claustrophobic when I was off the bus and wandering around. Instead what took some getting used to was how steep it was. Everything seemed to be either up above you or down below you and unless you knew the best way to access things, places were not that easy to get to. We began our visit by walking through a residential area. There were no sights as such, but it was interesting to observe how people lived. The slopes and tall buildings actually reminded me of Hong Kong. The first sight we visited was the Japanese Garden, then the famous casino. After that we enjoyed the views towards the old town. Finally, we walked to the old town and enjoyed more spectacular views and visited the prince's palace and the cathedral.

The Principality of Monaco is located on the French Riviera. France borders it on three sides and the Mediterranean Sea is on its fourth. Monaco has an area of just 2.02 km square and a population of around 37,800, making it the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world. Prince Albert II is Monaco's head of state. He belongs to The House of Grimaldi who have ruled Monaco since 1297. Monaco is well known for its casino, for being a tax haven and for being a playground for the rich and famous. It also hosts the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Hermitage Hotel, Monte Carlo: A posh address in a posh location.

We did not stay in this hotel; in fact we did not even venture inside it; we just happened to wander past it and I took a photo as I thought it looked lovely and Christmassy with the elegant carousel standing outside its front door.

The Hermitage Hotel, Monte Carlo - Monaco

The Hermitage Hotel, Monte Carlo - Monaco

Larvotto Beach.

We were walking through the residential area above Larvotto Beach while gazing down on it. As it was winter and a slightly overcast day, it was not busy. However, I am sure it would be in the summer time.

Larvotto Beach

Larvotto Beach

Larvotto Beach

Larvotto Beach

The Japanese Garden.

The Japanese Garden came as a pleasant surprise to us. We reached it just before we headed to the casino. It was free to enter and had public toilets. The gardens have ponds, bridges, fat golden carp fish, stone lanterns, zen gardens, tea houses and everything else you would expect in a Japanese garden. Very beautiful and a pleasant place to stop and sit for a while.

The Japanese Garden - Monaco

The Japanese Garden - Monaco

The Japanese Garden - Monaco

The Japanese Garden - Monaco

The Japanese Garden - Monaco

The Japanese Garden - Monaco

The Japanese Garden - Monaco

The Japanese Garden - Monaco

The Casino of Monte Carlo.

I am not even remotely into gambling, but you cannot go to Monaco without having a look at the Grand Casino of Monte Carlo. It's a sumptuous building. In front of it there is a constant stream of flash cars. To one side stands the Hotel de Paris, to the other the Cafe de Paris. Nearby it has attractive gardens and several interesting statues. There was a lavish Christmas display in front of it when we visited, complete with fake snow, Russian dolls and Christmas baubles. Monte Carlo Casino is not just a casino it also includes the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, and the office of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo.

Outside the casino of Monte Carlo. - Monaco

Outside the casino of Monte Carlo. - Monaco

Adam and Eve statue outside the casino. - Monaco

Adam and Eve statue outside the casino. - Monaco

Gardens of The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Gardens of The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Statue outside The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Statue outside The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Peter outside The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Peter outside The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Gardens of The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Gardens of The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

When we walked away from the casino, we followed the waterfront for a while and were rewarded with great views over the port of Monaco and towards the old town of Monaco where the prince's palace is located.

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

Views Towards The Old Town From Monte Carlo.

View from behind The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

View from behind The Casino of Monte Carlo - Monaco

Grand Prix Statue.

As we were walking towards the port on our way to the old town, I noticed a statue of a racing car and driver. There was a plaque nearby telling me the driver was William Grover Williams who won the very first Monaco Grand Prix in 1929.

Grand Prix Statue - Monaco

Grand Prix Statue - Monaco

Grand Prix Statue. - Monaco

Grand Prix Statue. - Monaco

Grand Prix Statue - Monaco

Grand Prix Statue - Monaco

Views over the port from the old town.

As we climbed up to the prince's palace perched high on its rock in the old town, we got great views over the port of Monaco, the ferris wheel and the mountains. The view alone is well worth the climb.

Views over the port from the old town. - Monaco

Views over the port from the old town. - Monaco

Views over the port from the old town. - Monaco

Views over the port from the old town. - Monaco

Views over the port from the old town. - Monaco

Views over the port from the old town. - Monaco

Prince Rainier III statue.

As you climb up the hill to the prince's palace you will pass a statue of Prince Rainier III. He was born in Monaco in 1923 and died in 2005. He ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost 56 years. He was married to the American actress Grace Kelly. They had three children. He helped reform Monaco's constitution and expand the principality's economy beyond its traditional casino gambling base.

Prince Rainier III

Prince Rainier III

Statue Of Francesco Grimaldi.

Just outside the prince's palace, there is a statue Francesco Grimaldi known as the Cunning. Francesco Grimaldi was the Genoese leader of the Guelphs who captured the Rock of Monaco on the 8th of January 1297. He did this by disguising himself as a Franciscan monk. He was then greeted at the gates of Monaco's castle, only to seize the castle with his cousin Rainier I, Lord of Cagnes, and a group of men behind him.

Statue Of Francesco Grimaldi

Statue Of Francesco Grimaldi

The Prince's Palace.

Perched on top of its rock, the Prince's Palace is quite an attractive building, especially at night when it is lit up. The Prince's Palace is the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. It was built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress. Since the end of the thirteenth century, it has been the home of the Grimaldi family who captured it in 1297.

The Prince's Palace - Monaco

The Prince's Palace - Monaco

The Prince's Palace - Monaco

The Prince's Palace - Monaco

The Prince's Palace - Monaco

The Prince's Palace - Monaco

The Prince's Palace - Monaco

The Prince's Palace - Monaco

Fontvieille.

We ran out of time before we could explore the Fontvieille area of Monaco, but we did enjoy the fantastic views over it from just outside the prince's palace and from next to the cathedral. Absolutely beautiful.

Views Over Fontvieille From The Palace

Views Over Fontvieille From The Palace

Views Over Fontvieille From The Palace

Views Over Fontvieille From The Palace

Views Over Fontvieille From The Palace

Views Over Fontvieille From The Palace

Views Over Fontvieille From The Palace

Views Over Fontvieille From The Palace

Monaco Cathedral - The Cathedral of St. Nicholas.

Monaco's old town is also home to its lovely cathedral. Saint Nicholas Cathedral is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Monaco. Many of the Grimaldis are buried here, including Grace Kelly and her husband, Prince Rainier III. The cathedral was built between 1875 and 1903.

Monaco Cathedral - Monaco

Monaco Cathedral - Monaco

Monaco Cathedral - Monaco

Monaco Cathedral - Monaco

Monaco Cathedral - Monaco

Monaco Cathedral - Monaco

Monaco's Old Town.

Monaco's old town is home to its palace, cathedral, the gardens of St Martin, the oceanographic museum, churches, statues, shops and great views. We arrived here just as it was getting dark. It is also beautiful at night when it is all lit up.

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

Monaco's Old Town

The Views From The Palace At Night.

The old town is worth visiting at night. The castle is at its prettiest lit up. The streets look pretty and the views over the port of Monaco are beautifully lit up. I was very glad we saw the old town in both the light and dark.

The Views From The Palace At Night.

The Views From The Palace At Night.

The Views From The Palace At Night.

The Views From The Palace At Night.

The Views From The Palace At Night.

The Views From The Palace At Night.

Nativity Scenes.

I love nativity scenes very much. Viewing them is one of the best things about travelling at Christmas. In a square in the centre of the old town there was a lovely display of various different nativity scenes.

Posted by irenevt 00:00 Archived in Monaco Comments (4)

Montpelier, France.

Christmas 2015.

Buskers. - Montpellier

Buskers. - Montpellier

Montpelier.

We flew to Nice in December 2015 and booked our return flight from Barcelona. The train journey from Nice to Barcelona is quite long, so we decided to break it up by finding somewhere on route to stay overnight. Without really knowing anything at all about it, we chose Montpellier. Montpellier is the capital of the Languedoc Roussillon region and the eighth largest city in France. Nearly one third of the population is made of students from the city's universities. The University of Montpellier is one of the oldest universities in the world. It was founded in 1160. It was suppressed during the French Revolution but was later re-established around 1896.

Crucifix, Montpellier. - Montpellier

Crucifix, Montpellier. - Montpellier

We stayed in a hotel just off the Place de la Comédie. We enjoyed exploring this lovely square as well as exploring Montpellier's charming old town with its narrow winding streets. We also visited Saint Peter's Cathedral, the Porte du Peyrou triumphal arch, the Place Royal du Peyrou, the Saint Clément Aqueduct, the Jardine du Champs du Mars and the Antigone District.

Ibis Montpellier Centre Comedie: Comfortable stay.

We just stayed in this hotel for one night. The hotel is very centrally situated between Montpellier's main square Place de la Comedie and the Paragon Shopping Centre. To get to reception, you take the lift down. Check in was efficient. Check out was a bit slow. Our room was clean and comfortable. We were at the back of the hotel, facing a carpark so for such a central hotel it was wonderfully quiet at night. We slept well here. Like all Ibis hotels, the hotel had no fridge or safe. There was a convenient supermarket in Place de la Comedie. The hotel was handy for the train station (about 10 minutes walk) and for shopping and for sightseeing. The old town of Montpellier and the Antigone area are very nearby. We did not eat breakfast at this hotel. The hotel is conveniently located for restaurants. The hotel had free wifi which worked well. Address: Allee Jules Milhau, Immeuble Le Triangle, Montpellier, Languedoc Roussillon.

Our room. - Montpellier

Our room. - Montpellier

The Place de la Comedie.

The Place de la Comedie is the main square of Montpellier. It is home to The Opéra national de Montpellier Languedoc Roussillon. At the center of the square is a fountain called the Three Graces, built by sculptor Étienne d'Antoine in 1790. During our visit this fountain was surrounded by floral tributes to those murdered in Paris by terrorists on November 13th 2015. The square was also home to a Christmas market, an ice- skating rink, many restaurants, hotels, cafes and buskers.

The Place de la Comedie at night. - Montpellier

The Place de la Comedie at night. - Montpellier

Carousel on Place de la Comedie. - Montpellier

Carousel on Place de la Comedie. - Montpellier

Floral tributes to terrorist victims. - Montpellier

Floral tributes to terrorist victims. - Montpellier

Floral tributes to terrorist victims. - Montpellier

Floral tributes to terrorist victims. - Montpellier

The Three Graces Fountain.

The Three Graces fountain stands outside the front of the Opera House on Place de la Comedie. It was built by sculptor Étienne d'Antoine in 1790. During our visit this fountain was surrounded by floral tributes to those murdered in Paris by terrorists on November 13th 2015. One of the three graces had been blindfolded using a French flag.

The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

Tributes by the fountain. - Montpellier

Tributes by the fountain. - Montpellier

Peter in front of The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

Peter in front of The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou.

The Porte de Peyrou is a large triumphal arch which leads to the Jardin de Peyrou. It was designed by François Dorbay and was completed in 1693. Its reliefs show four major events from the reign of Louis XIV.

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Promenade du Peyrou.

The Promenade du Peyrou is located behind the Arch of Preyou. It is a large garden occupying one of the highest locations in Montpellier and thus has beautiful views over the city. Construction of the Promenade began in 1689. In the centre of the gardens there is an equestrian statue of Louis XIV, the sun king. An old legend states that none of Montpellier's buildings were to be higher than his outstretched arm. A beautiful old water tower the Château d’Eau is also located in this park. It dates from 1768.

Water Tower in The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Water Tower in The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Water Tower in The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Water Tower in The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Carved face at The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Carved face at The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Water Tower, Montpellier. - Montpellier

The Water Tower, Montpellier. - Montpellier

Statue of King Louis XIV. - Montpellier

Statue of King Louis XIV. - Montpellier

Aquaduct Saint Clément.

Behind the water tower of the Promenade du Peyrou stretches the seventeenth century Aquaduct Saint Clément which stretches across Montpellier for 800m. At one time it was used to bring water to Montpellier from the St Clément spring 14 km away. The aqueduct used to empty into a water tank near the triumphal arch. From the water tower the water would run downhill to fill fountains and public water points.

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

The Saint Clément Aqueduct. - Montpellier

The Saint Clément Aqueduct. - Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint Pierre De Montpellier.

Montpellier Cathedral, also known as The Cathédrale Saint Pierre de Montpellier, is a Roman Catholic cathedral and the seat of the Archbishops of Montpellier. The cathedral was badly damaged during the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants in the sixteenth century and was rebuilt in the seventeenth century.

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

These gardens are not far from the main square Place de la Comedie in Montpellier. They have an ornate pool, statues, a museum, a war memorial and a monument to some of the victims of Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps. Explore during the day. These gardens are not quite so safe after dark.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

Antigone.

Antigone is an interesting area of Montpellier. Its unusual neoclassical architecture was designed by Spanish architect, Ricardo Bofill. Antigone is built on the grounds of the Joffre Barracks. It stretches from the Polygon Shopping Centre to the River Lez.

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Montpellier Old Town.

One of the many pleasures of a visit to Montpellier is just to wander aimlessly around the old town enjoying its narrow, winding streets, cafe filled squares and beautiful old buildings. Montpellier is a very underrated city.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

The opera house at night. - Montpellier

The opera house at night. - Montpellier

NEM Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant: : Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

While we were in Montpellier, we enjoyed a very pleasant meal in the NEM Saigon Vietnamese restaurant. We had a chicken curry dish and a chicken with ginger dish, plus some bowls of steam rice. Both were very good and very filling. We washed it all down with Chinese and Thai beer Tsing Tao and Singha. Nothing like a bit of international variety. This restaurant is at 4 Rue Vanneau 34ooo Montpellier a side street behind the Place de la Comedie. Address: 4 Rue Vanneau, 34000 Montpellier.

Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

Posted by irenevt 22:03 Archived in France Comments (2)

Cannes.

Christmas 2015.

sunny

The Hotel de Ville, Cannes. - Cannes

The Hotel de Ville, Cannes. - Cannes

Cannes.

We decided to visit Cannes for the day during our recent holiday to Nice. It is easy to get to by public transport from Nice. The fastest way is to get the train, which takes about thirty minutes. However, we took the number 200 bus which leaves from the Rue Verdun/Albert 1ere bus stop, between the Meridian Hotel and the start of the Promenade du Paillon gardens. There are also several stops along the Promenade des Anglais. This takes around an hour and a half. It costs 1Euro 50 cents.

Cannes began life as a small fishing village. It was later made popular as a winter resort with a mild climate following the visit there of former British Royal Chancellor Lord Brougham in 1834. He subsequently began to popularise the town among royalty, artists and writers. After the Second World War many luxury hotels were built there. In September 1946 Cannes held its first international film festival in the Casino Municipal. This festival is now held every May. Famous historical visitors to Cannes include Guy de Maupassant, JMW Turner, Victor Hugo, Renoir and Picasso. Nowadays Cannes continues to be associated with the rich and famous.

We began our visit to Cannes by looking at its picturesque old town. I especially loved the church. We then walked along its beach, visited its port, its famous film festival hall, where we paused to have our photos taken on the red carpet ­ and its Christmas market. We found it a very pleasant place to visit and explore.

Tour du Masque'

Climbing up to Cannes old town known as Le Suquet, we passed the Tour du Masque also known as the Tour du Mont Chevalier. This twelfth century tower takes its name from the well known Man in the Iron Mask. It is said that he spent his last days in the tower after escaping the Bastille on Sainte­ Marguerite Island where he had been imprisoned for eleven years. His ghost is alleged to still haunt the tower. 9, Rue du Mont Chevalier,

Tour du Masque - Cannes

Tour du Masque - Cannes

Tour du Masque - Cannes

Tour du Masque - Cannes

Cannes Bus Station.

The bus station in Cannes has quite an interesting painted tromp l'oeil style painted wall. In keeping with the rest of Cannes it is based on the subject of film stars and movies. It is quite cleverly done.

Cannes Bus Station

Cannes Bus Station

La Castre Museum.

At the top of Le Suquet Hill stands La Castre Museum. This museum was set up in the ruins of the medieval castle of the Lérins monks in 1952. We are not all that into museums, so we did not actually visit it. Apparently its highlights are the twelfth century Chapelle Sainte ­Anne and an art gallery featuring the works of local artists. Its address is 1 Place De La Castre, Cannes. Its opening times are July­ - August 10am - ­7pm and October­ - March 10am­ - 1pm and 2­pm - 5pm; April - ­June and September 10am - ­1pm and 2­ - 6pm. Closed Mondays from October to June. Free admission the first Sunday of the month.

La Castre Museum - Cannes

La Castre Museum - Cannes

La Castre Museum - Cannes

La Castre Museum - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d’Espérance.

Next to the castle museum stands the lovely Eglise Notre Dame d’Espérance. This gothic church was completed around 1627. It has a selection of beautiful paintings including a fresco by George Roux depicting the baptism of Jesus. As it was Christmas when we visited, this church also had a wonderful nativity scene. When you paid a Euro, the scene lit up and all the parts started to move. Address: 1 Place de la Castre, Cannes'

Nativity in Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Nativity in Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet.

When you climb up to the top of Le Suquet, you get beautiful views over Cannes including the picturesque houses of the old town, the old port, the modern city and the long sandy beach of La Croisette. Well worth seeing.

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Beaches.

Cannes has several long sandy beaches. These were fairly popular on a warm, sunny winter's day. I would imagine they would be very crowded in summer. Even in December the odd brave soul was in the sea. The beaches were also in part lined with restaurants and had volley ball courts and other sporting activities.

Cannes beach. - Cannes

Cannes beach. - Cannes

Cannes beach. - Cannes

Cannes beach. - Cannes

The Old Port of Cannes.

We walked past the old port of Cannes or Vieux Port as it is called in French. This is a pretty area filled with a whole assortment of different kinds of boats. Somewhere for the millionaire to moor his boat.

The old port of Cannes. - Cannes

The old port of Cannes. - Cannes

The old port of Cannes. - Cannes

The old port of Cannes. - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals.

Cannes is of course very famous for its International Film Festival which is held every May in the Palais des Festivals on the waterfront. The steps of this building are lined with red carpets which gives the lesser famous of us a chance to pose like the famous. Quite good for a laugh and an interesting photo opportunity.

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Cannes Walk of Fame.

Outside the Palais des Festivals in Cannes you can see the Cannes Walk of Fame. This consists of the hand prints of a very large number of famous actors and actresses. It is quite interesting to stroll along it and see how many of the big names you have heard of.

Julie Andrews - Cannes

Julie Andrews - Cannes

Sophia Loren - Cannes

Sophia Loren - Cannes

David Lynch - Cannes

David Lynch - Cannes

Jack Nicholson. - Cannes

Jack Nicholson. - Cannes

Sylvester Stallone - Cannes

Sylvester Stallone - Cannes

Ice- Skating next to the beach.

At Christmas time across the road from the waterfront and Palais des Festivals you can find a Christmas Market and next to the market is the ice­-skating rink. Both seemed very popular and busy during our wintertime visit.

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Christmas Market. - Cannes

Christmas Market. - Cannes

Posted by irenevt 07:10 Archived in France Comments (4)

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