Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jenny & Gordon's Magical Adventure

Finally! My sincerest apologies for having been so late with this post -- my excuse is that I am just now crawling out from the weight of nearly 500 photos. I promise PROMISE to not darken your door with all of them -- but rather I will share a select few. Come to Paris with me...

This is our hotel room which I found on http://www.paris35.com/. It was cute and clean and just a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower.

See, off in the distance, over my head and a bit to the left you can just make out the image of the Eiffel Tower. That's me, hanging out the window of our hotel room.
At night it is spectacular, don't you think?

I can't say what my favorite part of the trip was... but the museums are up there near the top. The D'Orsay Museum was spectacular in the broad range of art it featured in such a small space (compared to the Louvre, the D'Orsay is miniscule.) Among the many statues and paintings and examples of important mid-century furniture styles and the requisite paintings of the Assenscion of Christ, there were dozens and dozens of impressionist paintings. There was Renoir and Gaugin and Rhodin and Monet and Toulouse-Letrec and Van Gogh. I felt I'd been dropped into the best art text and left there to wallow around in it.

Of course one can't go to Paris and not spend an afternoon at the Louvre. Never will I have a command of my words well enough to describe the spectacle of the Louvre. I am dwarfed in it's presence. I can not comprehend it's scope or it's structure. We ventured through only one floor of one wing. If I had a month in Paris it would not be enough to thoroughly explore all the galleries within.
I found just the outside friezes pretty awestriking.

Although Gordon was approproately impressed with all the art surrounding us in the museums and off the bridges and plopped onto street corners, he is really a cathedral sort of tourist. In the shadow of Norte Dame he just seems to breathe better, his color heightens. He beams. He probably would have been happier with this picture had I not hacked off the tops of the church spires... but to be fair, it's a pretty darn big church.
If it's all the same to everyone, I'll just go shopping. I must be a bred in the bone junk shopper. We saw Printemps in Paris and Herrod's in London -- but I really only enjoyed looking at and contemplated buying the junk. These little vendors are called "bookenists" -- in decades past they have been set up to sell rare and antique books... apparently the market for rare book has dried up of late. Although a few hold-outs remain, most of the vendors now sell souvenirs and second-rate art to junk-minded tourists.

The art and architecture aside, Paris might be singularly known for it's peculiar grip on driving skills. I really can't describe it other than to guess that collective population of France dreams of entering the Grande Prix. Here in the mass tangle on the Champs Elysees, facing the Arc de Triomphe, I'll stick to the safety of the bus.
And so, after all the art and architecture, the shopping and traffic hopping, the only sensible thing to do is seek a nice eclair...
Or a real dinner at an outdoor cafe with a good glass of wine.

And so, thank you for coming along. If you care to join me again in a few days there will be more bits of Paris before we take the train to Germany. Till then, Au Revoir.