Europe | France | Paris – Paris
The City of Light, the City of Love, the City of the Louvre cest Paris and cest fantastique!!!! Ive arrived on the last day of Springtime in Paris, ready to celebrate the beginning of summer like only the French can do.
Paris is a place where it’s supremely pleasurable to walk the narrow streets or grand boulevards, stopping for a café or glass of wine, discovering hidden parks, crossing back and forth across the Seine River with a turn of every corner revealing another museum, church, and monument. Or for 24 Euros, a four-zone Metro/RER train pass will take you almost everywhere for a week. Add a three-day museum pass at 36 Euros and youre set for seeing much of what this city has to offer.
SpringTime in Paris
Rabbits hopping out of the bushes along the way, I finally arrive jetlagged at my hotel near the airport on this, the last day of Springtime in Paris. After check in and a shower, its off to the Musee Du Louvre. The Louvre is home to the Mona Lisa, the Venus De Milo and so much more. Ive died and gone to art heaven! Great works of painting and sculpture by the masters of western civilization are on display in a building that is itself, a masterpiece of architecture. Even the gardens are a relaxing place to spend a few hours exploring the hundreds of sculptures, both ancient and modern.
La Fete De La Musique Summer Begins!
Its June 21st, and Im about to discover one of the greatest days of all to be in France. Today is the day that France celebrates music, and the beginning of summer!!! The first stop is Le Defense, a large square with an architectural structure. La Defense is a huge modern arch office tower complex set in the business district of Paris. Emerging from the Metro, the huge square is full of music with a concert in progress starring the French musician Cali. In the distance, I see that 9 kilometers down Triumphal Way, is the Charles de Gaul Arc de Triomphe. A violinist boards the Metro with me and plays along the way to Charles De Gaul station. Nine avenues intersect where the tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies underneath the Arc de Triomphe. I wander down the Champ – Elysees past Les Maisons du la Monde, four Navaho musical groups, an accordion player, an opera singer, and a blues band. Eventually, I make my way along the River Seine to the Eiffel Tower where the premiere concert of the days celebrations in underway. Thousands of Parisians sit on the lawns and dance in the street cheering for their national pop and hip hop superstars. On my way home, I stop in the neighbourhood of Saint Michelle, just across the river from Notre Dame. Frances biggest street festival continues into the wee hours with bands on every corner. People sing along and clap their hands to the rhythms of the night, forgetting in the moment that once the sun comes up, they will have to go to work. For me, I will be moving to a hotel in the center of Paris.
Chateau de Versailles and Musee DOrsay
After spending my first night in the center of Paris at lHotel Exposition near the Eiffel Tower, I take the C Train to Versailles to visit the world heritage listed Chateau de Versailles. Fortress of the Kings of France and home of the hall of mirrors where the treaty of Versailles was signed, the Chateaus chambers are an unending series of ornately decorated rooms that are well that are fit for a king! In the gardens where over 400 sculptures are on display, people row boats down the lagoons while I enjoy an ice cream resting in the shade by a fountain. Back in Paris, once again, I die and go to art heaven at the Musee DOrsay where every major impressionist painter and a good portion of Rodin sculptures are on display.
Le Flame DOlympique visits Paris
Paris, candidate city for the 2012 summer Olympics is celebrating the arrival and tour de Paris of the Olympic Torch. Climbing down from the tower at Notre Dame where Ive enjoyed taking a good number of gargoyle photos, I make my way via the Musee Rodin to the Eiffel Tower. After Ive taken in the panoramic views on level two, I watch the Olympic Flame descend from the first level in a dramatic ceremony. The bearer of the flame is lowered via a guide wire that extends from the tower to the celebration stage far below. Following the ceremony, I watch the French go down in defeat against Greece in Euro 2004 on the big screens. Fittingly, at the end of the game, a rather poor fireworks display goes off from the tower.
I had planned to make a full day of museuming today, but I got sidetracked at a photo exhibition on one of Pariss bridges, then sidetracked to the Ecole Des Beaux Arts, then sidetracked by the River Seine, and again at the Louvre, and at Virgin bookstore picking up maps and camping guides for France, so it was after 3 p.m. before I made it to Musee Picasso, where there were, well
a lot of Picassos: Picasso heads of a woman; Picasso breasts of a woman; Picasso nudes of a woman; and lots of Picasso guitar sculptures and paintings.
Then by way of the Bastille where Pride in Paris was in full swing, I eventually made it to the Pompidou Centres Museum of Modern Art with just over an hour to see some of it before the nine oclock closing time.
Sunday is a day to enjoy the morning market, catch up on internet, take the Batobus around the city, and prepare for departure. What was supposed to be three days in Paris has turned into one of the most wonderful weeks of my life.
Jadore tu Paris!!!
A la prochaine Paris!!! See you again soon!