Paris. Oh, Paris. Where does one start with this city?
I loved walking around on cobblestone streets for hours, finding a sidewalk cafe and drinking coffee. Walking into a tiny bakery and eating some of the best tarte I have ever had in my life. Watching the French men schoomze their women, because they think they invented the art of romance. Just being in the city that inspired so many writers, musicians, artists… it was delightful to see in person the things I have seen in my history books for so many years.
I walked about 15 miles a day. Only 10 were necessary, but my sense of direction is SO bad. In fact, I wore out my map, and still ended up lost every single day. I decided a long time ago though that “lost” is just a term, and I prefer to call it “exploring”. So, I explored an extra 5 miles a day, and discovered some little corners of Paris that I otherwise would not have seen.
I must organize my thoughts in lists. And since there are just one too many lists for a single blog post, here is Paris, part 1:
Favorite Places. These are not necessarily in order, because it was difficult to decide on favorites:
1. Musee D’orsay. The arch, the huge space to breathe in, the marble statues. I got to enjoy the largest collection of Impressionist paintings I’d ever seen. You know what was delightful? They did not allow cameras in the actual exhibits. It was wonderful to watch people put their cell phones and SLRs down for a moment and actually look at the artwork. I stood and breathed it in, and for a moment was transported to a meadow on a spring day. What can I say? Impressionism suits me.
(this was the cafe at the museum, so pretty!)
2. The gardens at Versailles. The actual palace was closed, but I wandered around some of the property… “some” being the keyword here. It was so extensive that I could have walked for miles and still not seen all of it! I would SO love to return in the summer when everything is in bloom and the fountains are doing their thing.
3. The town of Versailles:
4. Sacre Couer. “The Church on the Hill”, so spectacular. Cameras were not allowed inside here either, which was too bad; the mosaics were phenomenal. To get to this cathedral, you have to either take a lift, or walk up 300 steps. Once you are standing on the balcony (which looks like something from “Beauty and the Beast”), you have a view of the cityscape. Breathtaking.
5. Notre Dame. Crazy crowded, crazy noisy, but it was a must. I am in awe of how people built structures this massive, and this detailed, without all the building assistance used today. I stayed for a bit of noon Mass, but it was in French, and the priest sounded very tired, so I ended up just ogling at the ceiling instead.
6. The Louvre. I know I already talked about this visit, so to hear of my raptures, you can look here.
8. St. Michel, the “Latin Quarter”. I didn’t really get any great pictures here, but I did enjoy the best meal of the week in this spot!
9. The Eiffel Tower, at night. It lights up and twinkles every hour. I didn’t know that!
10. Montmarte, the shopping district just below Sacre Couer. The only shopping I did was for the perfect crepe, but there was some cute stuff to look at here.
Apparently, I would not do well as a real travel blogger, being that I didn’t take a ton of photos at each place. Good thing I can just write what I want!
Other tidbits that were noteworthy:
I was walking along the Siene in the evening, and went under a bridge. Said bridge had dance music, a disco ball, mirrors and lights flashing. Just in case you needed a little party in the middle of your evening jog.
This statue made the think of my friend Nathaniel Lewis, because he’s out hunting a deer to go over the fireplace in his sister Molly’s new apartment. I particularly like the way the tongue is hanging out on the deer; it adds character.
I could have stopped at every bridge and photographed the sculptures on them. Each one had a story too, although now that I have these photos to post, I don’t remember their exact ones.
And last but not least, I had to visit here. Duh.