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Postcards: Panthéon Paris (FR)

As a mausoleum goes, the Panthéon is a gorgeous one. Recently, four heroes and heroines of the Resistance were newly interred by the President of the Republic – although two of them were symbolic interments – and as part of the celebration, the Panthéon was free to visit over a few days. We took advantage of it to visit the building itself, rather than jostling through the long queues at the crypt.



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Postcards: Centro storico di Roma (IT)

It has been a good decade since I last visited Rome. I have forgotten just how enormous the buildings are, how many churches and cathedrals you can find within a stone’s throw, how chaotic everything could and would be, and how much I enjoyed hearing melodic Italian around me. However, I recall vividly the sheer number of people who flock to the main sights (even during the “shoulder” season)…



F and I started our two weeks trip to Italy with a quick stopover in Rome. How quickly? Just a little over a day. Frankly, I did not have the courage to brave the August crowd in the August heat, but when our schedule necessitated flying into Rome (but also out of Rome), it also seemed silly not to give F his first quick tour of the Eternal City.

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A sunny February afternoon

My dad’s cousin was in town with a few friends, and they got lucky as the weather turned from grey and dreary to blue and sunny overnight. On their first afternoon, I took them on a long walk and to show off a good number of the city attractions. They probably wondered if I was trying to punish them though, given all the walking they did with me… (Disclaimer: I love exploring Paris by foot and I am also a pretty brisk walker)

This walk also rewarded me by way of photographs that I’d like to share with you. This is Paris, all set to charm and to seduce, that it is hard not to fall in love with it all over again. Then again, as a friend pointed our recently, even in rainy weather, Paris has a way to translate that into a poetic romance.

Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens

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Project 365 – Week 9

Another gear has kicked in at work and the next two months will be full-throttle busy. I’m not yet sure how it will affect this project, but don’t be surprised if the photos are shot mostly between places I pass between home and lab instead of other Parisian neighbourhoods. The blame for lack of leisure reading now sits squarely on work too. I’m doing so much project-related reading that I have little wish to read more while at home…

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Paris snowy rooftop

25 Feb: It snowed overnight so first thing I did upon arriving at work this morning was to head straight for the top floor of the building. As it was still snowing at that time, the view was not as crisp and clear as I’d like. You could just about make out where the Eiffel Tower and the dome of the Invalides are in the shot. Oh how I wish I have an office on this floor of the building…

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Project 365 – Week 1

In 2012, I took a break from Project 365 after running it for a couple of years – that of 2010 as a personal project known to a handful few friends, and that of 2011 hosted on this very blog itself. During the break, I found myself spending significantly less time exploring parts of Paris which I don’t yet know well, which is a shame really.

It’s time to be more pro-active again, and hopefully with Project 365, I’ll get that extra dose of motivation to be out and about, particularly when it is dark/wet/dull outside and certain neighbourhoods lie just a little far/inconvenient to reach from where I am. Instead of updating photo daily, I will do so as a weekly photo blog post. Enjoy!

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Tour Eiffel from Centre Pompidou

30 Dec: Nico was visiting us and we took the opportunity to hit Dalí retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. We took advantage of late night opening hours to avoid long queues, and while waiting to enter, we were treated to the beautiful view of Paris by night. Eiffel Tower quite easily dominated the skyline.

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Day 346: Green, red and gold

It’s not often that I venture around town in the middle of a work day but since I was on my way to meet the agent of our new apartment, why not grab a sunny day shot instead of worrying what I can photograph later in the day when it’s rather late and all dark outside, right?

Seems like the city council of the 5th arrondissement is also trying its best to decorate the neighbourhood up a little. In front of the Panthéon tens of Christmas tree prettied up using red and yellow ribbons, while just across the street, the city hall itself has silver tinsels streaming along the height of the building. Rather impressive, I must say.

Day 299: L’Acteur grec

Now that autumn leaves are showing their colours, I could not resist going back to Jardin du Luxembourg, to this spot where I have in past love the view it afforded me, with colourful flower beds and the Phanthéon standing proudly in the background.

This sculpture represents a Greek actor in rehearsal, with the manuscript in his hand containing the lines that he ought to learn, and a mask that will disguise his true self once drawn over his face. I do wonder if it is a tragedy that he’s rehearsing for, or perhaps something more cheerful instead?

Day 279: Across the river

I’m beginning to believe that if you throw a coin at something in Paris, you’ll probably hit a landmark of some sort. Some more famous than the others, of course, but sometimes, even what seems to be something nondescript, could well bear a sign to tell you that someone famous used to live or do-such-and-such here.

Standing along Quai François Mitterrand and looking over the River Seine, on a large scale, it’s easy enough to spot Square du Vert-Galant, Pont Neuf, statue of King Henri IV (of France) and the dome of the Panthéon. With a navette throw in there for good measure. Could be nice with some blue sky over it though, don’t you think? Pretty please, I’d like the grey days to be over.

Day 98: Panthéon and Aimé Césaire

For a couple of weeks, from what I gleaned, the Panthéon was closed to the public in preparation to pay an hommage to Aimé Césaire on the eves of the 3rd anniversary of his death. A poet, writer and politician in his lifetime, he was deemed an inspiration and defended not only the Martinican identity but also of black Africans under colonial rules. He was the champion of civil rights movement in French-speaking overseas territories and islands.

Unlike many who were interred at the Panthéon, Césaire’s remains was not exhumed and brought to Paris, in accordance to his will. Instead, the commemoration came in the form of a dedicated plaque, unveiled in a ceremony on 6 April by President Sarkozy.

The Panthéon has since reopened and until Sunday (10 April) entry is free of charge, although when I dropped by today with Brian and Ivan, many sections of the crypt are still out of bound and the famous Foucault’s Pendulum in the great hall has been temporarily removed.

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