Sunday, December 1, 2013
2013 Travel Dispatch #s 27 and 28 (Paris)
Hang on to your hats. This could be a bumpy ride. Well at least a full one. This was my first visit to Paris and we've only been here for two and half days -- not very long in such a subject rich environment. As a newbie, it was difficult not to behave like a typical tourist and try to check off as many of the traditional sites as possible. In the time we had, I think we did pretty damn well. I've taken more photos in the short time we've been here than I've taken other places where we've spent more time. This is a city teeming with photo ops. But don't panic. I've narrowed the selections down to just some basic markers to highlight the highlights. It's still going to be lengthy though as I'm combining the two days into one post. Grab a cup of whatever and come along for our lightning tour of Paris.
The weather here has not been all that great -- a lot of grey. But our first evening there was some nice late light near the Seine and there were some occasional moments of sun.
The last shot is across the Seine from the Left Bank looking at the Louvre which was going to be our first destination early the next morning.
Crossing the river the next morning, we encountered this. The mesh retaining walls of the bridge literally covered with locks. Padlocks. Like this...
Apparently it's a thing in Paris to write names and/or messages on locks and lock them to the mesh of the bridge. There are a LOT of locks.
We arrived early to get in the ticket line and got to enjoy the sight of the sun rising over the Louvre. None too shabby.
Outside and inside the museum. The lower shot is looking down the Grande Gallery -- it is grand, long too.
We, of course, saw lots of great art.
We even saw some new art being made -- maybe not so great. He was copying the painting meticulously, right down to the frame.
From there we wandered to the nearby Comedie Francaise.
The occasional home of one of my personal heroes . . .
. . . Moliere. We tried to get tickets to see a Cocteau show there, but they were sold out. So much for not planning ahead. Leaving the theatre, we stumbled on this delightful little confection shop.
Everything was so attractively displayed that we just HAD to get something. I'm not sure Clarisse, the sales girl, was all that thrilled with our selections.
And she probably wouldn't be thrilled with me including this particular picture of her, but the chocolate and the caramels we got were very good.
The Arch de Triumph was our final check mark of day one before we returned to our hotel to collapse prior to venturing out once again for a delicious dinner at a restaurant recommended by our Australian friends. Yum.
Next morning it was museum time again and this time we headed to the Musee d'Orsay. We discovered after we got there that the first Sunday of each month is "get in free" day. We were thrilled with that but not with the "No Photo" policy. Interesting that the Louvre allows it and not the d'Orsay. In any event it spared you a few more pictures of art. I did manage to sneak a couple of shots of the interior of the museum itself, a former train station.
We had two more sites to check off during the afternoon and it required a couple of Metro trips. One was the Eiffel Tower, of course.
Which interestingly, to us at least, has a lovely little carousel sitting right at the base of it.
From there we zipped across town to Notre Dame, where we were also able to check out one of the best old bookstores. . .
Needless-to-say, it's been a fantastic journey, but it's nearing the end. Tomorrow we make our final two flights toward home and after spending the night in another of the world's great cities, we will get in our own car and drive ourselves back to our own little home town and our own cozy house. It's been great knowing there are interested folks out there to share this adventure with. I don't know how many photos I've included in these posts, but I do know I have accumulated 3156 photo files -- that I've kept. So you see, I really did spare you the bulk of them. And thanks for the comments you've made along the way. It was nice to know someone was following along.