Paris

March 30th, 2007

24 hours before I leave France, and I thought those of you who’ve never been here (or haven’t been here since 1987, like me) might appreciate a quick tour of the highlights of the places I’ve been.

Oui?

On y va! Just follow the pink coat….

First stop, this gold leaf-covered statue of Joan of Arc. There are statues covered in gold leaf just sitting around ALL OVER THE PLACE in Paris, the way Starbucks sit around all over the US.

C’est formidable!

Next stop: The Musee D’Orsay, a former train station turned museum dedicated to mostly nineteenth century art. Check out the cool train station clocks they left in tact that you can stand next to and get your picture taken by (if you wait in line long enough):

This piece of art from the Musee D’Orsay would go really well in my bathroom back home:

(You are allowed to take photos of the art if you do not use a flash.)

Sadly art in museums is not for sale.

Of course we went to the Eiffel Tower, or Tour Eiffel as they call it here. We were taken to dinner at the Jules Verne Restaurant, which is halfway up the tower. And that is quite high up enough for me, merci beaucoups! The meal was fabulous, but I rediscovered a previously forgotten fear of heights midway up on the creaky elevator (which has windows so you can see how high you’re going…and how fast).

Here’s a really bad photo I attempted to take of the “sparkles” which go off on the Tower every hour from 8PM-1AM nightly.

I love them.

Next, it’s on to the Louvre which is a museum so large, it takes two photos—and several days—to see it all:

Marie Antoinette used to live here. Or something. So did Napoleon III. He liberated the palace and “gave it back to the people.” Here is a photo from the private apartment he set up there after giving the palace back to the people:

P Diddy, eat your heart out.

There are so many things to see at the Louvre that to see them all would take many days, so we settled for the paintings (and crowned jewels, of course) only. Here is a lovely painting by Ingres, of Joan of Arc. If you sense a theme in these photos, that is because I think Joan of Arc is cool, because she put on armor and kicked ASS:

I should mention that we managed to plan our trip to coincide EXACTLY with the spring break of MANY MANY high schools from MANY MANY countries. So with the exception of the teachers and a few seniors, we are the oldest tourists in Paris. We have gotten used to it, and no longer mind being carded. Also, I am quite entertained by all the French kissing. It is FRANCE, after all.

Anyway, the one thing every Spring Breaker in Paris seems to want to see while in Paris is in the Louvre. And that, of course, is the Mona Lisa, made famous for her starring role in the Da Vinci Code. If you come to Paris, it is a law that you have to come to the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa.

So of course we went to see her. Here is as close as we got:

(Note confused out of focus man in foreground wandering away. This is because he can’t find the Mona Lisa. Can you?)

After a long day of museum hopping and not buying things in Paris, it is important to have a picnic by the Seine.

But if it is raining, as it has been almost my entire stay, you have to have your picnic in your hotel room (don’t forget your remote control to tune in to MTV Francais, where they actually show videos…c’est encroyable! PS Ce picnic n’est pas vegetarian):

Of course, I made up for not buying anything at the museums by shopping at French department stores the whole next day, but sadly I could not find a copy of my lovely Venus for my bathroom.

However, some artists make a living going to museums and copying paintings…as illustrated by this sadly out of focus picture of this young lady making a very fine copy of The Young Martyr here:

So maybe that’s what I need to do.

In the meantime, I have to start packing. Gem and Henrietta await. As does my exercise regime because none of my clothes fit anymore. Oatmeal for breakfast instead of Nutella on baguettes for me from now on (well, starting on Monday. Maybe).


(Me being told none of the art in the museums is for sale. Note strategic hiding of Nutella belly.)

Au revoir!

More later.

Much love,

Meg