Thursday Doors – Victoria

This week we’re taking a look at a couple of doors at Hatley Castle, a National Historic Site located on the grounds of Royal Roads University.

The property of this historic site includes several buildings and formal gardens, as well as first and second-growth forest where one can find large Douglas fir and western red cedar.

Unfortunately, at the time of our visit we were unable to tour the interior or visit the gardens. But that’s fine, because the entrance and exterior were worth the stop.

The first door we’ll look at is at the covered main entrance. There are several things going on, from the old iron hinges to the decorative archway with its faces.

Here’s a closer look at the intricately detailed door handles, and the borderline creepy door bell panel.

The second door feels a bit like a secret, hidden back from the main facade of the castle and up a few stairs.

I like the mix of stained glass, carved wood and impressive handle.

Fun fact..

Hatley Castle is a popular location for filming, and has been used in many movies and television programs – Spider Man, X-Men, The Professor, Smallville, Supernatural, MacGyver.. just to name a few.

Have you visited Hatley Castle? Comments below.


Thursday Doors is a weekly event facilitated by Dan. If you’re interested in participating, check out Dan’s blog.

Thursday Doors – Paris

This week we’re in Paris at Hôtel de Ville, or City Hall, which houses the city’s local administration. The building itself is striking, but I’m happy to focus on a couple of entrances today.

Look at this beauty, with its intricate iron work, glass and ornate gold touches. This is the door used by staff (at least early the morning I visited), and you can see a bit of the security scanner just inside.

And here’s the official main entrance with its beautiful engravings.

The inscription carved above the door reads, “In this place, September 4, 1870, the people of Paris proclaimed the Republic.”, referencing the Siege of Paris.

Hopefully one day I’ll be able to visit the inside of Hôtel de Ville, as I’ve heard that the function room was built to replicate the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Which reminds me to add it to my ever-growing list of places in Paris I want to check out.


Thursday Doors is a weekly event facilitated by Dan. If you’re interested in participating, check out Dan’s blog.

Thursday Doors – Reims

This week’s door can be found on the property of Basilique Saint-Remi. While it’s true that Champagne is what brought my friend, Stephanie, and me to the city, we quickly found several things that we wanted to check out during our visit.

One of those things was Basilique Saint-Remi, the UNESCO medieval Abbey church that’s home to St. Rémi’s tomb.

I’m sure that it’s gorgeous inside. From the photos I’ve seen online, I can tell it’s just the kind of space that I love to visit while on holiday. Sadly Basilique Saint-Remi was closed so we couldn’t make it inside. But we did find a nice relaxing place to sit for a while at the back of the property, which is where we are for this week’s post.

I’m not clear on what this old building was used for. Perhaps someone else can fill me in below, in the comments section.

Bonne journée!

Marla


Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments section over at Norm’s blog, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

La Dame de Fer

Ahh, the Iron Lady.

No, I’m not talking about Margaret Thatcher. What was initially built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), held to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower was only intended to stand for 20 years before being dismantled.

Thankfully its use as a wireless telegraph transmitter meant it was allowed to stay, and the Eiffel Tower is now one of the world’s most iconic symbols.

Did you know that the elevators travel a combined distance of 103,000 km a year? That’s two and a half times the circumference of the Earth.

A con artist has reportedly “sold” the Eiffel Tower as scrap metal – not once, but twice!

During WWII, Hitler instructed that the Eiffel Tower be demolished. His people rightfully refused. Speaking of war times, the Eiffel Tower played a part in the Allied victory at the First Battle of the Marne, in 1914. One of its transmitters jammed German radio communications, hindering their advance. She’s not just a pretty face.

The Eiffel Tower is repainted every 7 years, and 60 tonnes of paint is required to do the job.

The Eiffel Tower sways in the wind, moving upwards of 6-7cm.

Because of thermal expansion, the Eiffel Tower is 15cm taller in Summer than she is in Winter.

In 2008 a woman with an objects fetish married the Eiffel Tower, changing her name to Erika La Tour Eiffel in honour of her ‘partner’. Her Wikipedia page even lists the Eiffel Tower as her spouse.

There are 20,000 lightbulbs used on the Eiffel Tower to make it sparkle every night.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Thursday Doors – Paris

Fun fact: today is my birthday!

To celebrate, I’ve taken the day off from working from home and will pretend that I’m in Paris.

A Parisian Pandemic Birthday!

So it’s only fitting that this week’s door be in Paris. I considered going with a gorgeous and ornate door, but I chose this one instead. Because there is beauty to be found all around us, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. We just need to take the time to look for it.

I hope you are well, staying safe and enjoying the beauty around you.

Bonne journée!

Marla


Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments section over at Norm’s blog, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

Vaux-le-Vicomte, the Grand Salon

Today we’ll wrap up our visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte with a quick stop in the Grand Salon. This large room is the château’s central point, from which the rest of the elaborately decorated rooms spread out from.

The domed ceiling rises 18 metres above the ground and sprawling surface area of 400 square metres. I think I remember seeing somewhere that a major restoration is set for next year.

Of course I had to take a photo of the flooring with its centre mosaic design.

Once through the doors that lead outside, I took a few more photos before heading for the shuttle bus.

One last spin..

Bonne journée!

Marla

Vaux-le-Vicomte, A Bedroom Fit for a King

If you recall my first post in this series featuring Vaux-le-Vicomte, you might remember my mentioning that Nicolas Fouquet was Superintendent of Finances under King Louis XIV. So when Fouquet had Vaux-le-Vicomte built, he made sure to include a beautiful bedroom for the young King to enjoy during his visits to the château.

Unfortunately for Fouquet, King Louis XIV was led to believe that the he had built the château using embezzled funds. Fouquet was thrown in jail and the property abandoned, meaning that all of his careful consideration put into this gorgeous bedroom went to waste.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Vaux-le-Vicomte, The Room with All the Gold

I’ve completely lost track of what each room is at Vaux-le-Vicomte. Normally I can find the information in brochures I’ve held onto and bulk it up with help from online. Unfortunately I can’t find any papers in my stash and details for Vaux-le-Vicomte online are limited.

Continue reading “Vaux-le-Vicomte, The Room with All the Gold”

Vaux-le-Vicomte, The Dining Room

The fanciest of dining rooms I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating in have been at nice restaurants or hotels. At the time, I marveled at the decor of each location. But none of them could compare to sitting down for dinner in the dining room at Vaux-le-Vicomte.

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Just imagine being a guest here. Where would your eyes land? There’s so much to take on and you’d know that you were in for a treat.

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The large mirrors play a trick on your eyes, making the room feel much larger than it really is.

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James just looked over my shoulder as I’m proofing this post, and asked why I don’t decorate our place like this. That sounds like an absolute dream but I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Vaux-le-Vicomte, Looking Up

I took a lot of photos during my visit to Vaux-le-Vicomte. Of course I did. So many, in fact, that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with where to start. I have decided that looking up is as good of a place as any, and am sharing an assortment of ceiling photos.

If I’ve learned anything from the amount of times I’ve walked away with a kink in my neck, it’s that these fancy French chateaux rarely have a surface untouched.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Vaux-le-Vicomte – Dome with a View

Located at the back of the Chateau is an impressive dome that towers above you at an height of 25 metres. Climbing to its top provides a 360° view around the expansive estate.

In order to climb the tower, I had to pay an additional 3€ at it’s entrance. The woman collecting money looked down at my walking cast and seemed concerned that I wouldn’t make it up the stairs. Feeling quite confident, I assured her that I had been traipsing around Paris and would be fine.

Of course, as soon as I saw the stairs themselves I questioned my bravado.

What the hell had I got myself into?

I took my time, stopping along the way and forcing myself to not look down. Aside from my injured foot, I’m actually quite scared of heights.

When I had finally reached the top I turned around to look back where I came from. Truth be told, I was dreading heading back down the rickety stairs.

But the view of the gardens more than made up for my white knuckles experience. The tiered gardens stretch outwards for near 3 km and are self watered by canals.

The swirly design on the grass in the foreground is an art installation called, Ephemeral Ribbons, by Patrick Hourcade. They take the place of the previous boxwood hedges that were destroyed by disease.

If memory serves correct, I believe that the owners of Vaux-le-Vicomte live in the building in the distance.

One last look up towards the sky before I headed for the stairs

With trepidation, and an hand firmly grasping the railing, I made my way safely back down

Check back tomorrow to start the tour of the Château’s jaw dropping interior.

Bonne journée!

Marla

G is for .. Stained Glass

G is for Glass. Stained glass. Said like a certain famous fictional spy who likes his favourite beverage shaken, not stirred.

Yes, that’s right. In this installment of my Alphabet series, we’re headed to Reims to visit Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims.

Continue reading “G is for .. Stained Glass”