Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ah, Paree

I awoke fitfully this morning...I took a sleep enhancer, and finally drifted off around 6 am Paris time...I got some sleep, thank goodness, and woke up with bells on my toes!

After buying a baguette and some juice, Mark couldn't live without his morning coffee, so we found the only fastfood joint in the entire quarter--a very empty Starbucks...and he was reprieved.

My cat socks...they're still smiling...in amazing shape after the journey today...walking, running, hiking, laughing, meditating...

We started this morning rather late, but we more than made up for our slow start.

We headed out immediately, with the Louevre being the destination...after a confusing bus ride since we really didn't know if we were reading the bus routes right, we made it to the Louvre, and the building itself was unbelievable, with or without the art. It's massive, and every inch of it is ornate and lavish--we were pretty amazed by it. Inside, they have an extensive collection of classical art--we tried to get a picture of the Mona Lisa, but the without flash photography, and the fact the artwork is somewhat hidden away by plexiglass, it was a fruitless task. Mark got a little upset about not being able to get a good shot of it, but I told him not to worry, in all honesty, I never saw anything very amazing about that painting--it's just pure hype IMHO, and there were many other paintings in the Louvre, by Ingres, David, Gericault, Botticelli, that I thought completely blow the Mona Lisa off the map.

The only sad thing about the Louvre is that it still has no Impressionist collection...I guess they still think like old Paris Salon in thinking that the Impressionists were heretics and not artists, and since many of Paris museums are on strike right now, we don't know if Musee D'Orsay is open, and that is where the Impressionist paintings are--it would be sad to think I'd get here and not be able to see the Impressionist collection they have, but that only means one thing--I'll have to come back!!

After leaving the Louvre, we set out to see Notre Dame, and that was another amazing landmark. It was so beautiful, decorated for Christmas, with the mammoth tree in front. The interior is so lovely and gothic, with the dramatic, soaring arches and buttresses, symmetrical columns and intricate stained glass...built for God, out of love and respect. Unbelievably mind blowing. I lit a candle for my Grandmother, since I know she would have loved this place.

We went on a wild underground Metro ride after, but somehow found our way back to Monmarte just as dark was falling and the rain came...didn't matter though, since we esconced ourselves at a bistro and had a nice warm meal, then headed in.

It was quite an enjoyable day!

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