Gloria's Travel Blog

here's to a year of travelling…

Archive for March 2009

PARIS

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     So as many of you should know I went to Paris from March 15-22nd.   It was amazing!!!  I stayed with my wonderful friend Nancy and had a blast.  There’s too much to say so I’m going to give you the highlights of the trip.

   Sunday when I arrived we took a free walking tour (by donations) for 4 hours    and saw all the main highlights of Paris!  There was so much to see and tell and that’s why it lasted so long!  After our overview we met up with some friends and had a nice picnic outside as the weather was nice.  Later I managed to check out Nancy church in French which was cool.  

    Monday I did the Marais walk & found myself in the Jewish section in Paris.  We  tried some yummy falafel & I spoke Hebrew to the guy.  It was quite interesting even though I can remember most of my French from school 10 years ago; I found myself speaking and Hebrew & Italian would come out at times.  It is quite strange especially since I think I know more French words.  I walked around the avenue des Champs-Elysées, saw the Lafayette galleries, and opera house.  I ate a wonderful crepe & had a drink with friends later. 

    Tuesday I went to the musée d’Orsay & the petit palace and saw some beautiful   artwork!  Wow remarkable pieces that get you to just stare in awe. Later that day I saw my first ballet at Opéra Bastille.  It was entitled the “Troisiéme Symphonie de Gustav Mahler” It was wonderful to see about 70 dancers along with an orchestra & an opera soloist.  We had remarkable seats at 6th row for only 15 Euros as we came 15min. before the show.  A real treat for sure.  When coming back we had some green beer at the pub next to Nancy’s place as we realized it was St. Patty’s Day. Lol well any excuse really. 

   Wednesday we went to Versailles which I’ll explain about later.  Thursday we were back in Paris So I went to the Louvre.  I was dreading this from my experience about 13years ago when I went with my family and we saw every single museum & castle and at that age there isn’t too much to appreciate you just want to sit and eat.  Anyways I Loved it!!!  It was a worthwhile experience for sure with famous pieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and Vénus de Milo.  There was so much to see and admire.  I spent 3 hours gladly and it would have been longer yet there was a strike in Paris and so the 2nd floor was closed along with a wing of the first floor.  I didn’t mind though because I was able to appreciate so much.

  After saw a mini protests on the street from the strike.  Then I went to Notre Dame & took a mini tour explaining the history.  I tried to climb the stairs yet due to the strike it was closed.  There’s not too much affected from the strike but I found a few of them.  I went to the Layfayette galleries again and bought some clothes and food and a book “Cathedral of the Sea” by Ildefonso Falcones.  I’ll have to add it to the piles of books I already have J  I went to see the Moulin Rogue and then up to Montmartre at night where we enjoyed a nice café on the steps.  We had 2 guys at different times try to come and talk to us.  We talked for a bit and then went on our own to admire the beautiful view of Paris.  After we took the metro over to enjoy the Trocadéro scene and see a light show of the la tour d’Eiffel.  There’s always so much to see and admire. 

    Friday I went to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed the 284 steps.  It was so easy especially after getting a workout visiting Nancy’s house.  I counted that she had 131 steps to get to her place and of course no elevator.  Now you do that 3 times a day and you get pretty good at it.  At the top of the Arc de Triomphe you can see all of Paris.  I managed to catch a nice hip hop show on the street.  Later I went to Invalides where the Army musée is & the tomb of Napoleon. It was interesting to see how many tombs he is covered in.  I was really impressed with the WWI & WWII musée!  It had a fantastic display and it actually made me really sad.  I’m not sure what it was but when entering the museum I was really touched for all the people who fought and gave up their lives.  In the evening we went to a Spanish dinner where there was Guspatcho & Paella.  Surprisingly I was allergic to both meals but I had lots of drinks, some pickles and cheese & later had hashbrowns.  The people were all really nice and we had lots of fun. 

Saturday we went to Chartres which I’ll touch on later.  On my last day I slept in a bit and we went to see the Catacombs.  For some reason I’ve wanted to go here ever since I was little and I read this book about this girl who was uncovering the truth and then some people were trying to catch her so she hid in the Catacombs.  I don’t even remember what book this was but if you do tell me please.  It was quite interesting and kind of creepy actually.  Apparently the bones of the Man in the Iron Mask are laid there too.  We had a nice meal where I had this great (French) Onion soup and then we took a nice walk in the Luxemburg gardens before I had to go off to the airport.  It was a wonderful week in Paris!  Nancy was amazing and great to spend time with.  Thank you so   much for a fabulous week in Paris.  Until next time   

Purim

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   Purim is a festival they celebrates the deliverance of  the Jewish people from the Persian Empire.  It is the famous story of Esther.  In Israel they celebrate with 3 days of parties.
    This year being my first year was so much fun!  On the First day I went with my mom & nephew to Apollonia, ruins of an old Crusader fortress off a cliff.  It’s been around since the Persians in 586BCE.  It has a beautiful view and from what was uncovered it was nice to see, but I’m sure there’s more still to be uncovered below.
    The evening of the first day is when everything begins so after a nice dinner where I made this spicy cucumber soup which was a hit.  My sis & I went out to meet my sis & her husband to go to the Florentine street party.  Yes that’s right, street party!  There were over 10,000 people out in Tel Aviv alone and I’m sure most were at this party.  It was filled with adults dressed up having a good time, drinking beer outside and dancing.  I dressed up like a cat, my sis as pochahontas, the other as an Indian in a Sari.  It was lots of fun to go and see.  I really can’t believe how many people showed up.  It was like going to the fireworks but with everyone in costumes and all in about 20blocks together.  You could hardly move by.  It was a blast I stayed up til 3:45am!!
    The second day I was exausted but woke up and we went to a carnival near our house.  A nice family event.  Then we were invited out for a special lunch with a family with all the things you’d have at a normal purim meal.  There was lots of food.
   The third day we went to Jerusalem.  I ended up seeing the city of David remains.  It’s near the Arab quarter and sometimes can be dangerous so I haven’t ventured out before.  I saw this great 3d movie about the Bible and what was previously there;  it was really lifelike and informative.  I saw Hezekiah’s tunnel with the water from the Gihon but chose the cannanite dry tunnel.  It was really great to finally visit.  After we went to the Western Wall and off for a really tasty burger.  So many people were dressed up and drunk.  It’s apparently biblical to be drunk on purim and so all the religious people are smashed.  It’s quite funny to watch.
    The 3 days just ended so Eitan is back to school and I am recovering from little sleep.  Can’t wait for next year!

Written by gloriastarr

March 12, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Sushi

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I love to have sushi.  Well the kinds I can eat.  I’d likely eat Japanese & Chinese food 2-4 times a week in Vancouver.  Here it’s so expensive and not as good.  I did find this place that was reasonable yet my lips would get a bit puffy after I ate some, meaning there’s some cross contamination. lol I know who ever has to think about this but me.  Well, well that’s life.

So yesterday I decided to make sushi at my place here.  I’ve made sushi a few times before and it turns out well but then it takes a while to roll enough for the family.  I made about 72 rolls yesterday with cucumber, avocado, carrot & a mixture in between.  I used this special receipe for the sushi rice too and it turned out better then usual.  Ummmm I love vegetable sushi, I’ll have to make it more often.

Written by gloriastarr

March 2, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Posted in Food

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