Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Eiffel Tower



The famous landmark, recognized around the world as a symbol of France, is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received is 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

The tower itself stands 1, 063 feet tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man0made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 17 feet. Not including broadcast antennas; it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct. The tower has three level for visitors. The third level observatory’s upper platform is at 915.7 feet, the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the fist level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is usually accessibly only by lift.

The first and second levels have restaurants that are famed throughout the world and can take awhile to get reservations. The Eiffel Tower is a must see if you’re in Paris. To learn more, visit the official website at http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/en.html. Make sure and take a lot of pictures from all angles at different times of day, it is truly an amazing feat of human ingenuity.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spotlight: Prosperite



Prosperite is one of the top barges in France. In 2003, Prosperite was created by an American hotelier and represents a successful new approach to barge cruising. Original ideas such as the demonstration kitchen and the “open refrigerator” with drinks, snacks and desserts available 24 hours a day, reflect modern living and entertaining. Time seems to stand still as Prosperite slowly motors by quaint stone churches and well-kept houses, periodically pausing at moss-covered locks, as it makes its leisurely way from one town to the next. Catch up on your reading on deck, enjoy a delicious, gourmet meal from your private chef’s kitchen, and simply relax to the gentle sounds of water lapping against the hull.

Enjoy the quite sensation that comes with unplugging yourself from the world on a luxury barge cruise. This cruise is ideal for the person who wants to escape to a quite and peaceful deck, slowly winding through the French countryside. During the seven days and six nights, the 128-foot long Properite will serve as your floating home away from home. She is designed and constructed to meet the expectations of upscale travelers desiring to experience the luxury of five-start travel, where no expense has been spared. Our goal is to provide guests with the ultimate in luxury and accommodations while they travel with us.

A Prosperite cruise offerssome of the largest rooms and highest level of amenities you will find on any of the barges in France. Enjoy the space and comfort of luxury accommodations; you truly won’t want to return home after a week in one of our staterooms. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the Prosperite barge cruise features daily excursions in our accompanying Mercedes bus into the surrounding countryside. You will explore the local chateaux or sip the fruits of one of the many local vineyards. Whether your goal is to unwind on the decks and enjoy the scenery, or get out and experience the surroundings first hand, we have something for you! To learn more, please visit the France Cruises website at http://francecruises.com/~francecr/barge-46-Prosperite-190.html, or call U.S. toll-free 1-866-498-3920.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Louvre



One of the world’s largest museums and a historic monument is a central landmark of Paris, France, and located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square meters. With more than 8 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum. The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the alte 12th century under Phillip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Verailles for his household, leaving the Lourve primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first series of salons. The Academie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nations masterpieces.

The museum opened on August 10, 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum renamed the Musee Napoleon. After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire,  the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Spotlight: Golden Odyssey


The Golden Odyssey is designed to bring classic 5-star yacht quality to the European waters. Newly rebuilt with the finest materials to the highest international yacht Standards, Golden Odyssey marks a departure from the usual barge cruise experience. Originally names Drie Gezusters (Three Sisters), and launched in 1926 for a Dutch captain with three daughters, Golden Odyssey spent her working life carrying cargo to all part of Europe. At what seemed like the end of her career she was bought by a yachtsman who admired her fine lines and high quality construction. The painstaking conversion that followed was guided by the twin watchwords of quality and taste. Thus the reborn barge yacht has conserved her lines, but all else in new.

While many guests will simply overlook the main engine and associated systems, for others it is the subject of deep appreciation. Industry diesel motors are legendary among older generations of barge captains and the Golden Odyssey’s has been totally re-built to ensure that she still benefits from the technology developed later on. As to the other systems, it will take a more dedicated engineer to maintain his interest, but trust us when we say that the ship has been completely remodeled to maintain its historic relevance as well as maintain the significance of its part and history of shipbuilding.

The canal barge Golden Odyssey is designed to bring classic yacht quality to the European canals and rivers. Newly rebuilt with the finest materials and to the highest International Yacht Standards, she marks a departure from the usual canal barge cruise experience. Colden Odyssey is a luxurious barge with all the amenities of a 5-star hotel. This spacious ship measures 110 ft. in length. There are three onboard cabins that provide plush accommodations for six passengers, however, with special request there is a fourth cabin that can be prepared to allow more travellers. This cruise is perfect for a small group to enjoy an intimate cruising experience through France.


If you would like more information of the Golden Odyssey, please visit the France Cruises website at http://francecruises.com/barge-192-Golden%20Odyssey-1690.html#conttt, or call U.S. toll-free 1-866-498-3920.
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