Paris – A Hi-Tech Mashrabiyya

World Arab Institute, Paris

Drawing inspiration from traditional Islamic Mashrabiyyas (Lattice worked enclosures), architect Jean Nouvel designed this fantastic facade for the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. That elevation isn’t just decorative though. It is in fact a giant ocular device. Its several hundred light sensing diaphragms regulate the amount of light penetrating the building by altering the size of their apertures….quite […]

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Notre Dame de Paris – D’autres Vues

Notre Dame, Paris

Once a little Gallo Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, this Gothic masterpiece celebrates its 850th anniversary this year. A thirteen meter high temporary structure built across from the entrance, works like a mini amphitheater for celebratory events in the Place du Parvis, and is a great, if rather ugly, vantage point to view its magnificent facade. […]

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Paris – Les Meilleur Macaron

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It seems to me like the whole world and its brother, considers Ladurée the Mecca of fine macarons. I personally know several people whose only request to friends visiting Paris, is to bring back a box of Ladurée goodies.  So off I went to Ladurée on our first trip a few years ago, with the greatest expectation […]

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Paris – A Moveable Feast!

Not many might be aware of French gastronomy having been declared ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO.  But it shouldn’t come as a surprise really, knowing the French obsession with things culinary. Cuisine is greatly valued in many European societies. But the French take it up a notch. Here cuisine isn’t food. It is a tradition. A symbol […]

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Paris – L’ancien Et Le Moderne

Much of the Paris we see today is the product of the gargantuan nineteenth century ‘remaking’ of Paris by Baron Hausmann, that ripped out and restructured entire neighbourhoods, with scant attention to more than 2000 years of accrued history. Its ancient labyrinth of narrow, snaking streets and cramped dwellings, transformed into this sumptuous and alluring […]

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A Sunday In Paris

The biggest allure of a visit to France for me is her array of neighbourhood markets. And Paris is undoubtedly a mecca for market enthusiasts, boasting more than 80 of them, some covered and permanent, and most temporary roving markets  – called marchés volants – sprouting up a few days a week. Our Sunday morning starts with […]

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Paris – An Edible Masterpiece

The Ispahan No, not the city in Iran or the Damask rose. This is a concoction of fragrant rose cream with chopped litchis and luscious, whole raspberries, sandwiched between two crunchy, startling pink macaron shells. And topped with a single raspberry and a velvety rose petal, complete with a glistening sugar dewdrop.Enjoyed in the Place Saint […]

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Paris – Pyramid du Louvre

I M Pei’s sparkling masterpiece of an entrance – albeit controversial – to an abode of exquisite masterpieces. It is said that of the 8 million average annual visitors to the Louvre, nearly 50% come for the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Pyramid!Until next time…happy travels no matter where life takes you.

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France – Haut De Cagnes

Haut de Cagnes

High up on the hills bounding the French riviera, like some lofty nests of birds of prey, sit the villages perchés. The perched villages, originally built as defensive fortifications against marauding pirates and invading armies, fell into disrepair postwar, receiving a new lease of life over the next decade, when coastal residents restored the crumbling buildings to their former glory. […]

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France – The Window Tower Of Uzes

Uzes was an impromptu stopover on our way to the Pont du Gard, part of the 1st century Roman aqua-duct, built to supply water to Nimes. This lovely medieval village in the Languedoc province, lies at the source of the Fontaine d’Eure and is the starting point of the aqua-duct. The first thing that catches your eye […]

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Paris – Nymphéas

The Musée du Louvre is the most visited museum in Paris, perhaps in the whole world, and rightly so. I doubt I will ever find enough time to do justice to all it has to offer. But when you are done here, a short walk down to the Musée de l’Orangerie can be a highly rewarding […]

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Paris – The Splendid Stained Glass Of Sainte Chapelle

The stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle, on the Île de la Cité in Paris, are a sight to behold. Fifteen such windows surround the nave and apse of the second floor chapel with a huge rose window at the opposite end. Two thirds of the 600 sq meters (6,458 square feet) of glass is […]

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