Sunday, April 14, 2013

Places in France

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris:

A wonderful place to visit.

  Beautiful stained glass windows, a statue of Louis IX, Saint Louis, by the altar and wonderful carved doors leading to a balcony upstairs with depictions of scenes from the Old Testament.  Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark.  This chapel is well worth visiting and quite beautiful.
Built in the 13th century and as a place for the religious relics of a true
piece of the Holy Cross and other religious items.

Staue of Louis IX

Wonderful stained glass: so beautiful, lovely colours and light.

Carving on door: the building of Noah's Ark:

The Sainte-Chapelle in on the Ile de la Cite, next to the Conciergierie. It is lovely
to wander around this area of Paris with the flower markets and the wonderful views of
the River Seine and the famous land-marks of the city.

Beautiful river Seine, Paris

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Places of beauty and colour

Pohutakawa trees flower a beautiful red in coastal regions of New Zealand in November, December and for Christmas. 
A pohutakawa flower in bloom from wikipedia:
These trees are magnificent. to view.  So special putting on a spectacular show at Christmas which makes the season seem so much more magical.  They flower along the Auckland waterfront and at many beach side areas and parks. 

Albert Park, Auckland:  Beautiful flower gardens can be seen at all times of the year.  In the winter there are often different varieties of flowers.

Floral Clock, Albert Park, Auckland from wikipedia:
The park is opposite Auckland University and its
landmark clock tower.  There is also a floral clock in the park.  When in Auckland
I have often enjoyed walking in this park.  It also reminds me of days at University
when I was often walking from the city to lectures.

Places of Inspiration and Beauty

Flower gardens St Sergiyev, Posad
Trinity Cathedral from wikipedia:
Assumption Cathedral from wikipedia:
The Monastery of St Sergiyev at Posad is of enduring beauty and inspires with the magnificent
architectural styles, the peaceful gardens and the beauty to be found there of the religious
paintings, icons and art in the churches.  A majestic place!
There is also a wonderful little gift shop.  I lived visiting this little town not far distant from Moscow.
The Baltic Sea: views across the Gulf of Finland from the coastal regions of St Petersburg:
Wild, windswept and beautiful.  I loved looking out over this area from the coast and to imagine Finland over the water.  A magnificent setting in its beauty of water and but so sky.  This was in October
and the weather was getting very cold.  The colours of sea and sky merged as the weather was often
Peterhof Palace and gardens: St Petersburg: from wikipedia:
A wonderful place to visit for the beauty of the interior and the magnificent gardens and fountains.
A fascinating history, built by Peter the Great who had visited and travelled in Western Europe.  He would have been inspired by the beauty of the architectural designs which he had seen while on his travels.  This palace may have been modelled on Louis XIV's Versailles as he would have taken inspiration from his travels in France.
River Thames, London
A beautiful scene of water, landscapes, architecture and sky seen from the Embankment and Temple stations.  I loved the view.  It was magnificent.  The water and sky again were overcast in grey, white and  silver colours and the landmarks stood out so vibrantly and clearly.  Not far from here was the Palace of the Savoy which was destroyed in the fourteenth century during a rebellion.  There were once landscaped terrace gardens on the banks of the Thames which would have been beautiful.
Hyde Park, London:
Wonderful in the autumn with the varying shades of trees.  A lively place with people walking their dogs and bicycling. 
Oia on Santorini: a Greek Island:
Wonderful to view the majestic sunset from high up on the hill which overlooks the beautiful blue
Aegean Sea.
Sunset at Oia from wikipedia:

I remember watching from between two white washed walls high up on a hill.  It was so peacful and beautiful and silent.  This is a beautiful place to visit.  There are also wonderful churches with blue domes on the island.

Limon Tree at Poros: Greek Island: a magnificent walk through countryside to a beautiful place called Limontree where there is a lemon grove.  Wonderful lemon drinks were available in the heat of the day and after the long walk.  There is also a maagnificent monastery on a hilltop where to view the visitors must don a robe to enter.  The architecture is wonderful with old stone columns and the scenry is beautiful.  Spiritual and peaceful.

A Sunset over the River Seine, Paris: so beautiful
a Sunset over vineyards: magnificent, with so many vibrant colours!
Many places of inspiration and beauty!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Miss Austen Regrets: a film

This is a wonderful film from the BBC of the novelist Jane Austen,

writer of romantic novels Pride and Prejudice, Sense and

Sensibility, Mansfield Park and Emma.

Jane was widely admired for her novels which were read in Paris

and enjoyed by royalty and yet her own story may not

have been quite so romantic as her heroines.

I enjoyed watching this movie. It is so different!

Jane lives in fairly straitened circumstances with her mother and sister

in a cottage on her impoverished brother's estate who is a widower

responsible for eleven children.

Jane wonders about her life and how it may have been different had she married

at an earlier stage of her life when she received a marriage proposal.

The film reflects a society with its different codes of

conduct and character of early nineteenth century tempered by its beautiful horses and carriages,

music and dancing, elegance and manners.

The beliefs of the times when people thought differently

about marriage make for compelling viewing.

It is an unusual film with wonderful settings of beautiful landscapes and authentic styles of clothing which reflected the times.

Strong emotions, quirks and foibles of the characters and an engaging story line enhance

the picturesque quality of this film. Jane Austen was a strong and witty character herself

like her romantic heroine in Pride and Prejudice.

Full credit to the makers of this movie! It is quite a masterpiece.