Saturday, September 22, 2007

Back from Paris

What can I say....C'est Magnifique!!!! I want to go, now. I loved Paris. History, art, architecture, fashion. We had six full days...not near enough. Our hotel, Relais Medicis, was perfect. Only 16 rooms, but what a wonderful and charming place. When I was trying to decide on a place to stay, someone told me..."you know the rooms don't really look like they do on the website". They do here...even better and the staff was wonderful. Anyway....when we got there on Thursday, we had been up for almost 24 hours...but when you arrive at don't go to bed. So we fueled up on a couple of Croque Monsier's (ham and cheese sandwiches which are so much better than any that I have had here...they throw an extra layer of cheese on the outside of the sandwich and then broil it to get the cheese bubbly and brown)...and we headed for Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is located on and island (Ile de la Cite) in the middle of the Seine. It is breath-takingly beautiful. Started in the 1163, it took 170 years to finish. I could have spent hours there just looking at the stained glass windows.

From there we wandered over to the other island in the Seine, Ile Saint-Louis. There were street musicians playing on the bridge so we stopped to listen for a while and then wandered on to find a chocolate shop that had a chocolate fountain. Below is my Louis on Rue Saint Louis en L'ile. Everywhere we looked things were named Louis. We even saw a restaurant named Chez LouLou.

So after being up for 30+ hours we crashed until the next day.

On Friday we wandered around St-Germain-Des-Pres, which is the neighborhood where we were staying on the Left Bank. We stopped at Les Deux Magots for some coffee. This is a famous spot where Hemingway, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Jean-Paul Sartre used to hang out. It is now populated with tourists but was fun for people watching. There was a woman there that made the saying..."you can never be too rich or too thin" a joke. She was striking and had obviously been beautiful when she was young. She was in her late sixties, practically skeletal, and her makeup was hideous. She used a very pale, almost white foundation, black eyes, dark red lips, and a big black hat. She was with a man probably in his late 40's. We couldn't figure if he was her son or lover but neither one of us wanted to consider the later. We debated whether she was sickly or just desparately trying to hold on to her youth. Every few minutes she reapplied her lipstick and eye shadow. I found her very sad. No mater how thin or rich she was...she was a living caricature.

From there we went to the Musee d'Orsay. This used to the the Paris terminus of the Orleans railroad company and was slated for demolition in 1970, but public outcry saved it. It is home to some of the most famous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. I was in heaven seeing paintings by Cassett, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, and Lautrec. This collection was definetely one of the highlights of the trip. Below is the ground floor sculpture gallery

Below, the view from the roof of the Orsay of the Louvre on right bank.

More later

1 comment:

nancy said...

Hi Gail.....I'm reading your blog. Can't wait to see all your pictures at Christmas and hear about the vacation. It looks wonderful.