Vernon, castle on the Seine

Vernon is in Normandy on the Seine downstream from Paris.  It’s castle, built in 1204, served to protect Paris.  The mill ground flour, which could then be readily transported on the Seine.  It is a very short distance to Giverny, where Monet established his studio and residence.  There is also a museum of Impressionists.     … Read moreVernon, castle on the Seine

Charmed again: my dinner with Agnes

I find our evenings with friends in Paris especially charming.  Could it be the views?    Tonight, yes, with a balcony facing the Tour Eiffel at night when the weather permits an open window to the balcony.  The Tour flashes at night and the searchlight on top spins 360 degrees.   Could it be the … Read moreCharmed again: my dinner with Agnes


Bonjour de Paris! Flew here on Monday from Ukraine’s beautiful capital. Staying at a friend’s house while she is visiting family in the US. Yesterday we went to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. There is a community of retired barge owners and workers, and the boarding school for the children of same, still in operation. There are lovely views … Read moreConflans-Sainte-Honorine

St. Cyril’s Monastery

St. Cyril’s Monastery has a 12th century church with a baroque exterior, however the interior retains much of its 12th century decor, called Kievian Rus.                                 I do not think that this ceiling piece is 12th c, but it is wonderful … Read moreSt. Cyril’s Monastery

Kiev, long history, superb architecture

Kiev is a beautiful city and a center of industry, science, education, and culture.  it has a thriving high-tech industry and quality universities.   There is an extensive public transportation (a bit inconvenient from our location however), including a metro system.   What struck me right off is the large number of superb buildings.             … Read moreKiev, long history, superb architecture

Photos of the 12th c. frescoes of St Cyril Monastery, in Kiev

  August 9, 2018 Today we visited St Cyril Monastery on top of a hill on the north side of Kiev.  It dates from the 12th century.  The frescoes date from as early as the 12th century.  This first piece is the most dramatic.  It is so clean and bright that I can not imagine it is … Read morePhotos of the 12th c. frescoes of St Cyril Monastery, in Kiev

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

The Soviets destroyed the cathedral in the 30’s, and in a telling moment, the Ukrainians rebuilt it to match the original after the fall of the rust ridden Iron Curtain.  We can see it in all its glory today. The interior is almost as astounding as the exterior   In 2013 protesters took refuge here … Read moreSt. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

Klezmer band called ‘Muzykant’ in Praga

August 5, 2018 This band played in our neighborhood last night.  I would call their music Klezmer, although I do not know what they call it.  Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe dating to the Renaissance.   We do not possess musical notation of the earliest forms, however when Jewish musicians came to … Read moreKlezmer band called ‘Muzykant’ in Praga

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