The Anonymous Widower

V-2 Sculpture in Den Haag?

Outside of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Den Haag is this sculpture.

V-2 Sculpture in Den Haag?

Is it a V-2 exploding on takeoff? 

Because it is in the area that was devastated by RAF bombing, as they tried to stop the missiles.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Café de la Paix, Paris

The Cafe de la Paix is one of the most famous cafes in Paris.  So much so, that the French declared it to be an historic site in 1975.

Cafe de la Paix, Paris

My late wife and I went there by accident.  It was the only time we did too, but then it was also on the only day, that one of the horses we had bred, Diamond White, had won The Prix de l’Opera at the Arc meeting at Longchamp.  We had hurried away from the racecourse and the crowds made it difficult to get anywhere, but by reason of some luck, we were able to get a bus to the Place de l’Opera.

So we just stumbled into this famous cafe and as we had little time to catch the Eurostar back to Ashford, we asked the waiter what could be served quickly.

Everybody in the cafe surpassed themselves and within an hour, we were on the Metro towards the Gare du Nord.

If there is a postscript to this trip it happened on the train home.  The day had been disastrous for English punters and come the last race, The Prix de l’Opera, most had lost heavily.  So they put what they had left on Diamond White at 12-1.  And the rest as they say is history.

On the trip back, my late wife had needed a coffee and went to the buffet.  When she interrupted the party and told them that she had bred the horse that had got them out of trouble, everybody wanted to buy her champagne.

But she didn’t drink bubbles!

So on this trip to Paris, when the guy I was to meet on business suggested that we meet in the Cafe de la Paix, I accepted.

I had a very good gluten meal too!

Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg

The picture shows the first course!

Incidentally, the wife of one of the waiters was a coeliac, so this made them even more careful.

Would I go again? 

Yes! 

Even if it is very expensive, but then the decor, the ambience, the food and the wine are worth it.

Ceiling of the Cafe de La Paix, Paris

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Food, Sport, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Rolling on Rubber

Note that some of the trains on the Paris Metro run on rubber tyres.

Next thing someone will run buses in a tunnel to create a cheap metro.  On seconds thoughts after the fiasco of the Cambridge Busway, it would be much more expensive.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Tickets on the Paris Metro

Since my last visit to Paris, they have brought in new ticket machines.

But why is it that they are slightly idiosyncratic, although once you realise that you touch the roller to start they are no problem. They also use such simple French, that I don’t need to change the machines to English. Surely, all ticket machines should follow similar rules on a world-wide basis.

But both London and Paris are streets ahead of Montreal and Rotterdam, which have developed systems that can only be used by locals who speak the native language.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris

The Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume is a museum in Paris, with a nasty past in the Second World War, which now is a museum of contemporary art.

Jeu de Paume is the French name for Real Tennis and that was the original purpose of the building.  They must have been some courts!

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Two Obelisks, Paris

As I said I didn’t have too much time, but I did go to the Place to the Concorde and then walk back to Opera for lunch.

The obelisk is called the Luxor Obelisk and is one of three in London, New York and Paris, although it comes from a different place to the other two, which are a pair.  I must have seen the pair to the French one in Luxor.

The Place de la Concorde was where the guillotine was setup in the French Revolution.  The most notable person in my view, who was executed there was the founder of modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 3 Comments

The Paris Metro does History

I have posted several articles about how the London Underground is making sure that it restores old stations sensitively and creates new ones of class.

So here’s two pictures from Paris.

Pigalle Metro Station, Paris

This shows the entrance to Pigalle station near Montmartre.  The French have resisted any thoughts to change the design.

To match the Gillespie Road tiling, here’s the tiling at Concorde.

Tiling in Concorde Metro Station, Paris

Note too in the picture above that the instructions on how to use the Metro are shown.  They’ve also started to put maps of the area around the station on the platform.  This and putting maps upstairs should always be there.  London always does the latter and I always use them when I visit an unfamiliar station.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment