Sunday, April 15, 2007

La Paris - partie une

EDIT: This has been a totally crazy week - with my parents leaving, getting back into school routines (and realizing there are a hundred new responsibilities for this final school term), sleeping through my alarm friday morning, and a few nights of drinking with some new friends (the culminated in several of them getting in a massive argument friday evening... but that's a whole different story). I slept a lot yesterday, and basically lazed around, doing some marking. Here is the first installment of my Paris posts. I will try to add more pictures of the trip (the original total for pictures taken was 400, but has now risen to 930) in my photoblog.

I apologize for the delay in posting more details of the trip to Paris, but the last few days have been very hectic. The temperatures in London have soared into the mid-20s, with lots of sunshine and pleasant breezes - such nice weather in fact, that I keep forgetting I'm in England (weather seems more like California).

Also, my parents will be going back to Canada on Wednesday, so we've been trying to fit in all of the little things we didn't do before going to Paris. They still need to fit in visits to some of the places I've already been, like St. Paul's, The National Gallery, and the Globe Theatre (which I haven't been in, but have seen before). I wish there was something special I could do for them before they go, but haven't a clue about how to thank them for all of the wonderful things we've done...

The view from the Eurostar train from London to Paris - the French countryside

I posted a few pictures from the trip to Paris in my photoblog a couple of days ago, but here are several more - I took over 400 pictures in 4 days, and probably would have hit 1,000 if I'd been there a week. Never have I seen a more beautiful city.

Our hotel was in a fantastic location - walking distance of the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Tuilleries, La Place de Concorde, le Champs Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower.

Out the window of our hotel room: La Rue du Roule

Pont Neuf

Everywhere you look in Paris, there are examples of incredible architecture, old French Gothic Churches, and places that have been there for hundreds of years.

The Seine River is very picturesque, and a wonderful place to spend a day or two. We saw people performing on the riverbanks, while others sat in groups drinking wine and having picnics, while couple strolled over bridges hand in hand. Tourist boats and houseboats line the banks, where people took pictures or sunbathed, or just enjoyed the weather (it was gorgeous every day).

The area our hotel was in is called "Pont Neuf", which translated means "bridge nine". Doesn't sound as pretty in our language... Despite the lack of excitement of its name, Pont Neuf is home to bistros, clubs, dozens of flower vendors, shops like Luis Vuitton and Roxy, quaint hotels, and of course, the Louvre.

It's difficult to explain just how jaw-droppingly large and gorgeous this building is. As much as I like the pictures, they don't quite capture it's beauty.

If you have seen the DaVinci Code, then this should look familiar... I had to wait about 20 minutes for the crowds to thin out enough for some decent pictures. I think it was worth the wait...

The Pyramids
Simply amazing both in the day and night...

Since this is such a huge building, the only way I could get a photograph of the entire thing was from the Eiffel Tower. Even from hundreds of feet in the air, the Louvre is impressively large.

Just as with most of the places we visited, there is magic in the air. Walking into the main courtyard, you are surrounded by intricately decorated walls, with statues in the windows, carvings on the doors, and cobblestones at your feet. In the afternoon sun, the buildings took on an old-world feeling, and I imagined for a moment what it would have been like 400 years ago to walk through the same archway into the arms of this great building. Kings and queens have been there, old royalty from hundreds of years past, the rebels during the French Revolution were there - fighting against the riches that largely brought the treasures to that spot, yet determined to keep everything safe and protected.

It's easy to let the romance and history of this city sweep you off your feet.

Then, there was Notre Dame... but I'll save that for the next post.

Bonne Nuit mes amis!


  • At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow. Amazing Mel.
    I can't wait for the next post.

  • At 12:35 PM, Blogger Suldog said…

    Yes, this will be lots of fun.

    I visited Paris when I was very young - perhaps 10 or 11 - so probably didn't appreciate it as much as I might have at a more romantically-inclined age. I do remember being mightily impressed by The Louvre (before the pyramids) and actually seeing some pieces of art I had only heard of or read about. I also learned a life-long love for Steak Au Poivre :-)

  • At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You sure have a way with words. This post paints such a warm, fuzzy picture that I'm going to cut and paste it into my own photo album instead of using my own pictures. Love you. MOM


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