Odds and Ends of London

This is just a medley of different impressions of London.

St. Paul’s Cathedral charges GBP 18 p.p. entrance fee. We passed on that offer with only half an hour to spare before heading to the airport.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Some alleys lead to more interesting and quiet areas such as this courtyard area off of Fleet Street.

The bottom of the sign says: When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life. – Samuel Johnson

Johnson’s Court in London

 

 

What I Saw in Paris

There is nothing better than strong French coffee, a newspaper, and sunny weather.  We took it so easy on our first day in Paris. One of the things I wanted to do in Paris was to take an afternoon nap, which I did, but I spare you the photo. Napping in Paris is one of the best things to do.

DB and Parisien

We only took a walk around the neighborhood in Suresnes, where we stopped at a bakery, supermarket, and a little park. It’s great to eat croissants on a park bench in the early morning sunshine. When you’re done, you brush off the flakes, and you have instant bird feed.

We passed this little bistro with the biggest onion display I had ever seen. They were almost the size of cantaloupes.

onions

I love French chairs and  usually buy one or two on every trip to France. That is when we go there by car. This time, we went by train, so I didn’t buy any. My husband was pleased.

chairs

Getting married in Paris must be any young bride’s dream. The wedding couple lucked out as well, since we had 14°C  – 18°C that weekend (at the end of February!).

Wedding in Paris

Wedding in Paris

These wooden store fronts look so much better than what we have in Germany. Of course, this is a personal taste, but I find this much more inviting.

Le Navigator, Paris

Le Navigator, Paris

Along the Seine River, there are hundreds of vendors. When you get past the first ten, you realize they all carry pretty much the same merchandise – books, posters, cards, some souvenirs.

book vendors along the Seine

old books by the Seine River

Ah, these lock locks are quite an attraction. The vendors, lined up on the road  leading to that bridge, have them for sale at euro 5.

love lockets in Paris

love lockets in Paris

This happens on the Pont de l’Archevêché, a bridge which crosses from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Left Bank of the Seine. There are thousands of locks attached to its railings.  It looks very pretty in the sunshine – some come with colorful ribbons. One tourist asked me in broken English what they were for. I amazed myself by telling her what they were (common sense and being an experienced traveler) and where you could buy them (saw vendors selling them).

And no, my husband and I did not put one up – a strong bond does not need a lock.

Books, love locks, weddings, big onions, chairs – you can have it all in Paris.

 

On the Road in Canada – Restaurants in Halifax

We reached Halifax fairly late in the day and checked into our hotel. Afterwards, we walked down to the waterfront in search of a restaurant at 8:30.

We found one, but were greeted at the door with “I’m sorry, it is past the time. We can’t serve minors.” Our teenage (one underage) children were not really into drinks, just some decent food.

When the second place turned us away, we asked a bit more. Most restaurants have a license which allows them to serve food to minors until 9 p.m. As we arrived after 8:30, our children were too late to be served before that time.

One of the waitresses, after I inquired where in Halifax we could get something to eat, suggested two places she knew of which served children past 9 p.m. One of them was Salty’s (on 1869 Upper Water Street) and unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the other restaurant anymore. Both seem to be a rarity in Halifax, though.

Anyway, Salty’s is a good restaurant right on the waterfront. We sat outside and as usual, we ordered three dinners and shared it among the four of us. We learned from traveling around that most portions are too big anyway and food gets wasted.

Halifax waterfront

Halifax waterfront

We were tremendously relieved to have found a place to eat, so when the waiter suggested to get a pitcher of beer, we did not hesitate to order one.  We had almost downed it when he suggested getting another one. By then we were happy enough to have another one.

Then it came time to pay. When I saw the bill, I started laughing. Or maybe I was crying, difficult to say. Both pitchers cost us C$ 57,90. Then the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) of 15% gets added on. This brings the beer to a total of C$ 66.59. When we add on the 20%  tip, we have a new total of C$ 80.

In Germany, the average cost of a liter of beer (a.k.a. Maß) is around 8 euro = C$ 11,– including tax.

So three dinners, two pitchers of beer, and one 7-Up totaled C$ 125.93 and then we left a C$ 20 tip.

Before we got ready to pay, we were going to leave the second pitcher with half the beer behind. After I saw the charge, I drank it all.

What did I learn from this? Running a restaurant and serving minors past 9 p.m. requires a costly license. This in turn gets charged back to the customer.

Advice:

* If you are coming in late to Halifax by plane, eat your airline food. Running around Halifax trying to find a restaurant which serves your family is not very amusing after a full day of traveling.

* Ask your hotel receptionist for a list of licensed-to-serve-minors restaurants. We would have if we had known about this regulation.

Flora on Mallorca

Walking around Cap Ratjada/Mallorca, I took photos of flora, unknown in our parts of central Europe.

palm tree with seeds

I am not sure whether these are berries or seeds. But they are very pretty, circled around the head of the stem, right under the palm tree leaves.

a kind of pomegranate

These looks like miniature pomegranates, I wonder what they are. Yes, I have tried to find them on the internet.

a cactus and tree in one…

This tree and cactus became entangled early on in life. The tree itself is at least 5 m in height and the cactus has grown with it to about 4 m in height.

tree with yellow bell blossoms

This tree with all these beautiful yellow bells I found located in the front of a hotel where we stopped to pick up more passengers heading for the airport.

I wonder what this one is called.