Wanderfulescapades.com 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 45,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


A Perfect Day in Paris: Sights and Sounds

For sure, a day is not enough to explore Paris.  Yesterday sure was tiring but there are so many to see and experience in this cultural melting pot.  One cannot get enough of the vibrant, tranquil and picturesque life in Paris.

The French themselves are the best advocates for visiting France.  They believe that their way of life is the best and that their country is the most civilized on earth according to the book Eyewitness Travel Guides. 

The French celebrate food and wine like no other.  Their literature, art and architecture are expansive, diverse and stimulating. I was lucky to witness some of these in Paris and I am just really excited to share them to you.

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C’est la vie !




Un Jour Parfait à Paris

What to do when in you are in the most romantic city in the world?

How to spend a day at the City of your dreams?

How can you make a visit to Paris perfect enough to reminisce until the day you see it again?

Anyway you spend a day wherever you are will be just right for as long as you are having fun. Here’s how to make a day in Paris perfect.

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Indeed, it was un jour parfait !

Musée du Louvre: There’s None Like It

The Musée du Louvre is one of the world’s largest museum and by far the most immense and the grandest I have ever been. Ranked as the most visited museum and historical landmark in the world, it would be a mortal sin to miss the vast richness of the museum when in Paris or maybe when traveling in Europe. 

Someone will have to spend a day just to browse the expansive collection of precious paintings, sculptures, drawings, artifacts and objects traced back from the earliest times. But many locals claim surely that one must spend two weeks to completely appreciate everything.  The  enormous anthology represents the arts of not only Europe but the rest of the world.

Create your itinerary in Paris ( if you can) that would fall on a first Sunday of the month for a free entrance, otherwise paying a few Euros to get in is more than worth it.  I enjoyed the free entrance making this experience all the more ‘priceless’.

They allow people to take photos and I took hundreds of them.  All of the over 35, 000 objects in the museum are photo-worthy.

A visit to the Louvre is definitely a must.  It is my pleasure to present to you a slide show of a few of my favorite photos in this once in a lifetime escapade inside the Musée du Louvre.

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Château de Versailles: A Garden of Royal Proportions

The expanse formal gardens of the Château de Versailles is majestic.  No need for further introductions, just see for yourself.

The short walk towards the royal estate of Versailles.
The interiors of the château is inconceivable but there’s more outside the palace walls that can truly blow you away.  The vast gardens of the King.
The view of the gardens can ‘take’ you back in time, the grandeur of the old France is still depicted in this wide expanse.
Geometric paths and shrubs are features of the gardens.

France’s amazing love for sculptures portrayed in the entire estate.

Four marble basins rise to the statue of the goddess Latona.
The garden extends to as far as the eye can see.  The Grand Canal was the setting for Louis XIV’s boating parties.

Turn around and gaze at the remarkable Chateau de Versailles.  Its astounding architecture is Royalty at its finest.

The Chateau as seen from the vast gardens.

I therefore say, it is truly a garden of royal proportions.

Until next time.

Château de Versailles, il est magnifique!

Château de Versailles est magnifique !

Perhaps, even the adjective ‘magnificent’ is an understatement to describe the bravura that is the Chateau de Versailles.  Let me show you the interiors of the Chateau.  It was my first to see a palace, learned exactly what it is about and never realized its grandeur until that day.  Believe me, it was nothing I have ever imagined.  I was completely blown away.

Under Louis XIV, Versailles became the center of power in France.
All the Glory to France
This beautiful interior is decorated with Corinthian columns and white marble, gilding and Baroque Murals. This is the first of the many fascinating features one will find inside the Chateau.
The hallway leading to the main chambers are adorned on each side with the busts of France’s royalties.
This room is adorned with huge paintings of Napoleon.
The Hall of Mirrors were great state occasions were held.
This room stretches 70 meters along the west façade of the château. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was ratified ending the World War I. It was overwhelming to be in the same place where great piece of history took place.
This huge mural that stretches from the floor to the ceiling and covers the entire wall depicts Mary Antoinette’s coronation.
This is one of the salons inside the château adorned with amazing marbles, stones and wood carvings.
Each of the state rooms inside the château is dedicated to an Olympian deity. This is yet another statue of intricate details.
This is just one of the many statues with intricate designs inside the château.
From the floor, to the walls and up to the high ceilings, it’s simply breath-taking.

The foyer leading to the chambers on the second floor is indescribable.
King Louis XIV’s dining table.
The view from the salon of Queen Mary Antoinette is the vast garden of Chateau de Versailles.

The vast garden of the Chateau is featured on my next blog.  A separate blog will be dedicated for that wonderful work of art.

Eiffel Tower: The Height of Enchantment

Enchante ! This is how the French would say how nice it was to meet you.  But when the time came to meet the world-famous Eiffel Tower (la Tour Eiffel) on my recent visit to Paris,  I was practically speechless, teary-eyed even and totally enchanted.

If there was ever a moment in my travels so poignant and exhilarating, it would have been the time when I first had a  glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.  Our visit to this French landmark came about on my second day in Paris.  When I arrived the day before, I was already enthralled with  the marvelous city that is Paris, I forgot about the next day’s itinerary which include the musee du louvre and the Eiffel Tower.  I never knew that I was in for a wonderful surprise !

I was under the spell of the Eiffel Tower for I don’t know how long.  I was just fixated.  I marveled and gazed at this amazing structure so high that we had to wait for quite sometime for the fog to show its captivating beauty.

Never have I felt a feeling so strange, it was wonderful.  I hope my photos give justice to the beauty of Eiffel Tower.  It really just took my breath away.  J’aime la Tour Eiffel.

My first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower half covered with fog. Even nature played along in giving me a ‘suspenseful’ vantage point of the tower.
This moment was so special.  I was in awe.  After traveling half-way around the world.  I was only a few meters away from another dream  to come true. Thanks to Gustave Eiffel for designing this world-class masterpiece. It is a gift to humanity and the pride of France.
At the foot of the Eiffel.  The first level is 57 meters high and can be reached by taking the elevator or walk up 345 steps.
The 2nd level is at 115 meters or 376 feet. It is (only) 359 steps above the first level or a few minutes via the elevator.

View from the Trocadero.  I patiently waited for the fog to reveal the Eiffel in all its glory.
Finally, after quite sometime, the Eiffel Tower revealed itself.  This tower was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, and to commemorate the centennial of the Revolution
At the height of 320 meters or 1,051 feet, the tower stood as the world’s tallest building until 1931 when New York’s Empire State was built.
The tower was sternly decried by 19th-century aesthetes. Who knew that this would have become one of the world’s most popular landmarks. This was  from the river Seine.
The 3rd level of the tower is 899 feet above the ground. That is where that beam of light is coming from. It can hold 800 people at a time.
The Eiffel Tower can be seen from every direction when at the heart of the world’s most romantic city.
The Eiffel Tower is adored by millions from all over the world and makes a wonderful backdrop for group photos like this together with my friends.
It is gold, it is rich, it is the one and only la Tour Eiffel

Eiffel Tower is truly enchanting.