I arrived back in the United States on October 29th and have more adventures to share from my time in Paris. I have loved that city since I first visited it in 1972 and hope to visit many more times in coming years. Seeing the Eiffel Tower darken immediately after the recent attacks in Paris broke my heart. There is little to say about terrorist attacks and travel. My heart goes out to everyone affected, no matter where they live.
(1-5) After admiring Notre Dame cathedral and crossing the Lover’s Lock Bridge, we strolled along the famous Left Bank, to wander the narrow, twisting streets, some of which date from medieval times. This area is also known for trade in second hand books, many of which are sold in the green metal stalls along the riverbank. Next, we found our way to one of my favorite destinations, the Shakespeare & Co. English-speaking bookstore. Since medieval times, the Left Bank has been home to scholars, philosophers and poets. The bookstore that exists today is a reincarnation of the original from the 1920’s but has all the history and charm necessary to attracted large numbers of tourists. Sylvia Beach opened this store to support free thinkers and writers in Paris, many of the Americans and one of the most famous was Ernest Hemmingway. Shakespeare & Co. and home to many of the so-called “lost generation” who went to Paris to find themselves in the aftermath of WWI.
(6-10) At this point, we had to abandon the walking tour in order to get back to the apartment, eat, change clothes and make our date to see the burlesque show at the Moulin Rouge, known for its modern can-can dance revue. Located right at the foot of Montmarte hill, within walking distance of where we were staying, in the famous red light district known as Pigalle, this cabaret has been in operation since 1889. A social hot spot during the Belle Époque, which was an extravagant period of industrial progress cultural excess, this area of Paris was frequented by some of the most famous actors (Aristide Bruant) and artists (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec) of Paris. Walking in the haunts of these greats made me forget how tired I was. We decided to walk home, and even though it was nearly midnight, we stopped for a drink at Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat) an establishment every bit as famous the Moulin Rouge.
(11) Before crashing into bed to rest up for my second day in Paris, I laid out the souvenirs I had from the day for a photo. What a day! Metro rides to the Grand Palais for exhibits of Vigée Le Brun and Picasso Mania, lunch on the Champs-Élysées Blvd. and a walk to Notre Dame and medieval Paris, including a stop at the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, and then a show at the Moulin Rouge and a drink at Le Chat Noir. I was in Paris for sure!
(1 – 9) We crossed the busy Champs Élysées Boulevard and turned toward the the Louvre to walk through the Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden), stopping briefly for a lunch. I opted for a salad and some pommes ftites (French fries) for a meager 20 Euros. It was a beautiful fall day and people were out in force to enjoy the sunshine and autumn colors. “I love Paris in the fall.”
(10 - 17) After crossing the River Seine, we found ourselves in front of Notre Dame Cathedral at a place known as Point Zero. This small octagonal brass plate (see image) set in the ground marks the exact spot from which all distances from Paris are measured.
I have visited this cathedral before and we were short on time so we decided to admire the exterior and make our way to the Pont des Arts bridge where a controversy over “lovers’ lock” exists. Traditionally lovers have affixed a padlock to the bridge and tossed the key into the river as a symbol of their never-ending love. In the summer of 2015, the city removed some 45 tons of padlocks to save the bridge from the strain of added weight. Currently, the mayor of Paris is trying to encourage couples to capture their love with selfies rather than padlocks. A grass-roots campaign — No Love Locks, Free Your Love, Save Our Bridges — has begun an effort to get the locks banned in Paris. So far, they are enjoying little success.
My first day in Paris began with a Metro ride, including several transfers to the Grand Palais, located just off the famous Champs-Élysées Blvd. to see two featured art exhibitions.
The drive to the train station in Düsseldorf had a few exciting moments. Part of it was on a section of Autobahn with no speed limit and the Subaru Forester I was riding in went 110-km/hr. with no problem. Point of interest = that car also had two gas tanks, one for diesel and one for compressed natural gas (biomethane).
No traveler likes to arrive at a train station and hear the words: “That train has been cancelled.” Uhg! So, rather than being 1 hour and 20 minutes early, I had 2 minutes to get on a train to Köln to catch my train to Paris. Also not included in the directions was the fact that the train I was on arrived at a substation in Köln and I had to find a connecting train to get to the main station…, all in a day’s travel.
Arriving in Paris after 10:00 PM was not my first choice and, fortunately, all went well. My friend from London was standing on the sidewalk in front of the apartment I booked through airbnb.com to greet me. She and her traveling companion arrived at the a few hours before me. So, sleep and up to hit the streets and museums first things in the morning. Pinch me!!!
The apartment was in the 18th arrondissement (XVIIIe arrondissement), located what is known as the Right Bank and it is one of the 20 arrondissement (municipal neighborhoods) of Paris. The district of Montmartre contains a hill dominated by the Sacré Cœur basilica and the well-known Moulin Rouge cabaret.
Here are some pictures of the apartment and surrounding streets that greeted me the next morning.
These pictures are from the Connected Riding training in Germany. Peggy Cummings had 7 students who came together from Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. to deepen their understanding of Connected Riding (CR). I was excited to be on hand to help her and watch them learn.
CR offers riders answers to questions about how to help their horses and themselves that they won’t find anywhere else. Horses are born with extraordinary potential for movement and most training creates tension that destroys that potential. Few riders realize the extent to which their posture affects the horses they ride. CR reveals several indisputable truths about posture and function and shows riders how to make life better for the horses they love. Based in the concept that it is the person’s responsibility to change from static to dynamic and put dynamic oscillation back into the body of the horse, CR emphasizes functional movement and training methods that promote it.
Of course there are some great pictures of dogs and some kids doing groundwork with and riding ponies. Is this the future of Connected Riding? We certainly hope so!
Petra’s farm in Tönisvorst is so beautiful. These pictures will show you why I am so taken with the old, historic flavor of a place like this. There is humor in the photos of the outhouse and the dogs and beauty in the landscape, foliage and horses.
The Connected Riding instructor training is taking place in Tönisvorst, Germany, a tiny village near Düsseldorf. This village is located in the north of Germany where the land is flat and the buildings, nearly all made of brick, echo the style of houses found in Holland. These pictures are from a walk around town. You can go all the way around the single block in less than 15 minutes but there is so much to see. I think the thing that strikes me the most is the tidy nature of everything and how clean and well maintained the villages are, but the narrow streets are show stoppers for American eyes.
The weather was damp and cool, but nothing could dampen our spirits. Morning fog added an element of mystery to the German and Dutch landscapes.
The workshop, called Release Your Horse’s Body, teaches an easy to learn and highly effective routine that addresses tension and compensatory patterns in horses and explores the importance of good posture and self-carriage in riding and training.
Sid Erickson, DVM from Montana, developed it and I organized it into a workbook and illustrated it. I have taught this routine several times and enjoy sharing it with interested horse owners and riders.