Our Christmas present to each other this year was a visit to Paris and to Lonlay l'Abbaye last month. Paris was already glittering for the holidays on rue Royale and its passages.
From the Grande Roue, an enormous Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde, we could see all the way up the Champs-Élysées to La Défense, which has grown to resemble Oz just beyond the city limits:
Inside a café on the Champs-Élysées afterward, we had scotch and hot chocolate while we watched the world rush past us.
Then we stepped outside to capture some of the boulevard's lights and traffic.
Our first night in Paris, we stayed at the Hotel du Quai Voltaire. 40 years ago it was the first hotel I stayed in in Paris - in 1976! The view out the window of the Louvre and the Seine is incomparable.
We had bought tickets months before on the internet for a modern ballet performance at the Garnier Opéra house. Always a memorable experience, but Kylián's choreography was a revelation to us.
Compared to the holiday glitz of Paris, the Norman countryside was peaceful and quiet. We were very happy to be there too, and most especially to discover the charms of Le Presbytère, a bed and breakfast run by an amazing couple in St. Bomer les Forges, just a few miles from our work in progress at Lonlay l'Abbaye. www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1232081-d2199957-Reviews-Le_Presbytere-Saint_Bomer_les_Forges_Orne_Basse_Normandie_Normandy.html
More to come soon... Happy Holidays and a festive New Year to all!