Archive for the ‘French Spirit’ Category
If you are lucky enough to be in Paris … or planning to visit soon … just 17 miles northwest of Paris, Auvers-sur-Oise is a charming little commune on the banks of the Oise River. This quaint ville attracted Vincent van Gogh and other famous Impressionist artists destined to translate their surroundings into cherished art.
A pleasant day trip from Paris, you will find your journey centered more on mood and imagination than on history. Catch the 10 a.m. direct train from Paris’ Gare du Nord, and in just 30 minutes you’ll discover a window into the world of Van Gogh, to see the sights he painted in a whirl of artistic expression in the last two months of his life.
I’m not a videographer, but this charming video offers a ‘walking tour’ and specific ‘how-to-go’ information in a quaint and helpful presentation. As always, double-check specific travel details should schedules and prices change.
The tortured and talented artist moved to Auvers to be treated by Dr. Paul Gachet, though he felt the good doctor in a worse condition than his own. Nonetheless, they were friends and, in an ironic twist of fate, Van Gogh’s “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” brought nearly the highest auction price of all of his paintings.
The artist was prolific in Auvers, where he produced many of his best-known works – The Church at Auvers, Thatched Cottages by a Hill, Wheat Field with Crows and more. A couple of standard stops include the handsome Chateau d’Auvers that pays homage to Impressionist painters and the Absinthe Museum that evokes the mystique of the potent green liquid that was Van Gogh’s favorite. To this day, rumors swirl about the so-called mind-altering spirit nicknamed “The Green Fairy.”
Even your visit to Van Gogh’s tiny attic is an understated experience, more in keeping with the bare solitude of an artist than an orchestrated emphasis on historic significance.
The genuine Auvers experience is less about museum visits and more about immersing yourself in a time and place that inspired the genius of many painters. Stroll along the river and through the village to see and feel the scenes that inspired the Impressionist paintings. Wander past the church to the famed wheat field and hillside cemetery where Theo and Vincent Van Gogh are buried.
Before your return to Paris, enjoy a lazy, memorable lunch at Van Gogh’s Auberge Ravoux, where the chef partners with local farmers and muses of yesteryear to create the traditional French cuisine of Van Gogh’s era. In the middle of the wayside tavern atmosphere, you will cement your experience with one more facet of the life and spirit of the Impressionist colony.
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Utopian formula for relaxation: A stunning boutique hotel, ultra-comfortable room, historic background, unparalleled views over the Bay of Saint Tropez and every moment enhanced by a hospitable, caring staff. Is it possible?
In a word – yes. Graced by the likes of Somerset Maugham, Ian Fleming and Winston Churchill; the Villa Mauresque enjoys a crisply-beautiful Morroccan atmosphere in a setting reserved for dreams, relaxation, creativity and yielding to nothing but the peace that surrounds you. The villa offers one of the few private sea front settings on the French Riviera.
Romantic dining and sea-view pools only add to your experience. I’ve touched upon this remarkable venue on France Daily Photo, but I’m not convinced that words or photos can capture the inherent wonder of Villa Mauresque. I am, however, more than willing to put that statement to the test!
I know, I know. I said I would launch on Monday in honor of Labor Day in France … but I’m kind of like that kid who can’t wait to give you your present 3 days before your birthday! And then there’s the tendency of everyone to check out Facebook on the weekend. In any case …. here ’tis! I welcome your feedback!
By popular request, Fired Up for France: The Promise of Paris E-book (pdf)
is now available!
3 Things You’ll Love about This E-book:
Easy-access, helpful planning guides and resource links
Specific accommodation, dining, sightseeing and shopping information – computer and mobile device access, printable pdf – hyperlinks to dynamic Paris resources – Paris Tourist Office, Currency conversion, museums++
Concrete tips & authentic information – delivered with warmth & humor!
Neighborhoods, cafes, flea markets, markets and fun excursions with captivating anecdotes
and real-life experiences – even wedding ideas – fabulous photos to whet your appetite for Paris
Inspires you to set aside your fears and take action!
The author eases the angst of travel planning and ignites your hunger for Paris. Every word is designed to move you from dreaming of a Paris trip to making it a reality to cherish for a lifetime.
$6.95 Easy-access e-book – File will be e-mailed to you
A super informative book! For some years now I have been making the trip to Paris & staying at “My Little Home in Paris” in the Latin Quarter. I came across your amazing book, while staying at the apartment …and just wanted to tell you what a super informative book it is. Having been to so many of these places, I feel you have captured them to perfection. Thank you again for the wonderful book on Paris.
Paris comes off the page and into the heart in this gem of a travel book After reading The Promise of Paris, I was ready to abandon tasks at hand and board a plane for France. This charming volume provides the first-time visitor, as well as the most experienced traveler to Paris, insight into off-the-tourist-beat places to eat, shop, sight-see and museum-visit. For the arm chair traveler, the intriguing photos of people, buildings and items on display in shops make owning a copy of the book worthwhile.
Erase any fears or hesitation ….Manages to erase any fears or hesitations you may have about visiting Paris – language barriers, negotiating the metro, where to eat, where to stay, etc. – and provides you with just the right amount of information needed – down-to-earth and easy to digest and embrace. She helps you feel ‘at home’ in Paris, before your trip has begun! Most of all, she invites you to have your own experience, to discover the Paris of your dreams….Inspires you to take the plunge, make the trip, and discover for yourself the magic of Paris that keeps calling her back.
Easy to read – this book will prepare you for Paris This book will prepare you for Paris, so that you can blend in like a long-term resident instead of a tourist. It is like a good Parisian friend meeting you for coffee at a sidewalk cafe – effortless and amusing way to brush up on the City of Lights.
Fresh and original! Just what the world needs: another Paris guidebook! Sandra Sheridan’s book is NOT a guide book, nor does it pretend to be. It’s fresh and original and motivates and inspires those who have always dreamed of seeing Paris but keep putting it off, or who have been meaning to return ‘one day’ … to do it! I was struck by the honesty of the book – or should I say of its author.
Accompany the author on her frolics through Paris Through her exuberance for everything French, the author invites you to accompany her on her frolics through Paris. Her book weaves and wanders with great delight through the narrow cobblestone streets and the grand avenues of the 20 districts that make up Paris, taking a ‘wrong’ turn and finding yourself happily lost in paradise. Discover quiet, hidden neighborhoods close to the bustle of the city, art, architecture, artisanal crafts, monuments, museums, history, culture, cuisine, practical info and tons of ambiance, spiced with captivating anecdotes straight from the heart.
Paperback print on demand – 128 pages – allow 10 days for shipping.
Don’t hesitate to contact S. Sheridan with questions or specific requests!
I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need. ~ Auguste Rodin
Sculpture draws me, as if it wraps a silk scarf about my waist and tugs ever so gently, until I come into the fold. Naturally, Musée Rodin topped my initial list of things to do and see in Paris. But this museum eluded me. First visit – closed. Second visit – a minor ‘strike’. Third visit – a friend’s wallet went missing, before we ever arrived.
Finally, I was able to step into the mansion and through the gardens. The museum is housed in the magnificent 18th-century hôtel particulier known today as Hôtel Biron. Officially opened in 1919, the museum and all of Rodin’s works in plaster, marble, bronze and stone, as well as all of his drawings were given by Rodin to the French nation. What a miracle of time and preservation to be able to see the alabaster marble figures, to fathom the birth of sculpture from sketches and paintings.
And, then, to walk among the garden figures – the shy and shame-filled figures of Adam and Eve, the Gates of Hell and – bien sur! – The Thinker. My husband and I retraced my original steps during a recent visit. Time had taken no edge from the spectacular beauty of Rodin’s works, but we did notice the march of time and tourists over patched parquet floors and well-worn walls.
We were delighted to see that a 16-million Euro restoration took place from 2012 to 2015, restoring the lovely mansion, opening new visiting rooms and renewing the museography of Rodin’s collections. One of the most exciting changes was the redesign of its interior to reveal the creative development of Rodin’s work and that of some of his contemporaries, including Camille Claudel. Visitors now literally see can trace the works’ movement from plaster to completion in bronze or marble. For the first time, we see the sculptor’s genius evolve.
On our return to Paris, we definitely will spend a morning at this lovely museum and end our visit with lunch in the garden. Just imagine – the wonder of visiting Rodin’s enchanting home, immersing yourself in his work, wandering through the sculpture garden and lingering over lunch like privileged guests.
Sadly, there are no more extended evening hours, but no problem. We would not miss this precious experience. We also look to add to our experience with the discovery of The Villa des Brillants, Rodin’s Meudon residence and studios, where he lived with and later married Rose Beurret. They are buried here in Meudon, their tomb dominated by an imposing, full-size copy of The Thinker.
I really can’t help but compare the cost of this dual experience of museums – 13 Euros per person ($13.83) to the cost in Orlando for a movie or museum. Incomparable – and one of the many reasons Paris spoils us!
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