Saturday, June 14, 2008

part 3, europe trip recap: paris!

i have a little time this afternoon (tonight thomas and i are going to a square dance! which sounds horribly not-fun, but apparently they are REALLY fun...), so it's time for the paris update!

by the time i got to paris, my knee was seriously messed up. it still is a little. i think the combo of walking a ton and falling in placa catalunya set up the perfect storm, so i didn't really get around too much in paris. well, i did, i just took the metro a lot and hobbled around until i finally got some super duty aspirin.

some things about paris - i can't even think of how to describe my arrival in paris. i got off the train, hopped on another train, and got off at the notre dame stop, which was relatively close to my hotel. i walked across ile de la cite, on which notre dame and st. chappelle sit. and i was just in awe from the very start. everywhere i looked, beautiful buildings, weird little statues, stone faces everywhere. i was just amazed at everything i saw from the moment i got off the train, in spite of my heavy pack. i also came to wish, REALLY wish, i had SOMEone there with me. a friend, thomas, my mom, any would have done the job to varying degrees. i just wanted to exclaim to someone about everything, i wanted company while sunning in front of sacre couer, i wanted to watch the sun set over the seine with someone. i was very lonely in paris, basically.

my first bridge trip across the seine.
080526. what's up, dude? over the seine.

i dropped my bag at the hotel, then wandered. centre pompidou was right by my hotel. this is the fountain out back:
080526. outside centre pompidou.

then i walked down to the iles. i liked all the little school kids on the way over to ile de st. louis.
080526. the kiddies on the way to ile de st. louis.

i wandered there for a bit, then headed back towards ile de la cite and notre dame. here's notre dame from the back - flying buttresses everywhere! (hee... i said 'butt').
080526.coming up on, ohmygoodness, notre dame!

i decided to go up to the top of notre dame. these were the very worn, scary stairs i went up.
080526. weathered stairs.

the chimera were amazing! i loved the pensive one.
080526. pensive and.... not.

this guy was pretty rad, too.
080526. keeping watch.

nom nom nom nom.
080526. hungry much?

i found a grocery store (and saw TWO different protests my first afternoon there!) and bought some wine for that night in the hotel room. i also found an emergency dentist just to take a look at my lack-of-tooth area and make sure all was well. 20 euro later, i got a clean bill of health. so this was that night, drinking wine and being silly in my hotel room.
080526. yeah... i'm like that.

wine makes my cheeks pink.
080526. clowning in a paris hotel room.

the next day was REALLY rainy, so i walked down to musee d'orsay. this was waiting in line out front. musee d'orsay is AMAZING. it is my new favorite museum of all time, partially because the building itself is so cool (it was a train station in its previous life).
080527. waiting in the rain to get into musee d'orsay.

you know... dancing.
080527. dancing.

it was such an awesome thing seeing these in real-life. i felt the need to cry a number of times, in a good way, of course.
080527. yeah, and this one almost made me cry, too. i'm a dork for art.

i'm a sucker for impressionism.
080527. so serene.

me and some really pretty stained glass.
080527. me and stained glass.

just look at this freaking building! amazing.
080527. about to take off.

the central walkway/sculpture garden.
080527. god, was musee d'orsay ever cool.

the old station clock, framing sacre couer in the distance.
080527. clock and sacre couer.

this is one of the ones that made me wanna cry.
080527. another one that almost made me cry.

this lady has pizazz.
080527. i love this lady.

just stunning.

life-sized ballerina.
080527. i love this girl.

this room was pure, insane goodness.
080527. riches.

080527. so bright.

the working clock inside musee d'orsay.
080527. other clock at musee d'orsay.

it was still raining when i got out of musee d'orsay, so i sat at a streetside cafe and had a coffee, then a beer, and wrote thomas a letter. i wandered through the louvre gardens and did a little shopping, then had a quiet night in my hotel. the next day, if the weather was good, i was planning on the eiffel tower and sacre couer (thank goodness the weather WAS good).

it was staggeringly massive - this was standing in line to get to the top. i'm glad i got there when i did. the line got a LOT longer!
080528. spreadeagled.

really not even a little vertically challenged.
080528. waiting in line.

it's like where's waldo, only this one is "where's the arc du triomph?"
080528. arc de triomph.

some nice british lady took my picture at the top.
080528. a nice british lady took my picture.

look at the line!
080528. line for the eiffel tower.

view from the park.
080528. just... wow...

then i managed to successfully navigate the metro to get to montmartre and sacre couer. i bought a pain au chocolate and sat in the grass for a while.
080528. what one can do with rocks.

the view back down from sacre couer.
080528. looking down.

windy me and my big fat head blocking out sacre couer.
080528. me and sacre couer.

i went back to the hotel to shower and chill out a bit, then, given it was my last night in paris, i decided i had to go see the sights all lit up at night. i'm so glad i did, even though i wasn't sure if my knee would make it. first, i went to the louvre gardens. there was a great blue heron hunting for fish in one of the fountains!
080528. great blue heron.

i was enamored with this statue.
080528. arachnophobia.

i managed to get to notre dame just in time to catch the sunset across the face.
080528. sunset on notre dame.

i loved the light hitting that delicate spire.
080528. sunset on notre dame.

the light going pink.
080528. sunset on notre dame.

just damn beautiful. one of the many times i wished someone was there with me.
080528. sunset over the seine.

then i wandered over to the louvre on my way home - so glad i did.
080528. louvre at night.

080528. louvre at night.

the first ten minutes of every hour, they light up the eiffel tower all crazy-like. it looked like a giant sparkler! i like how everything is blurry in this picture except for the eiffel tower.
080528. eiffel tower all crazy lit.

then it was my last day in paris, and my knee was really messed up at this point. i couldn't get too far. i went to notre dame and st. chappelle, which i had been wanting to do, and did a lot of streetside cafe sitting until my overnight train to venice. notre dame was really dark.
080529. notre dame.

i like the statue silhouette in this one.
080529. notre dame.

st. chappelle was next, and it was kind of funny. the downstairs is pretty and all, but you know... just sort of basic. and i was like, "what?! i paid 7.50 euro for THIS?!" and then i went upstairs to the hoity-toity chapel, and i was literally stopped in my tracks. amazing. this is the downstairs:
080529. st. chappelle.

and then you walk upstairs - floor to ceiling stained glass. seriously intricate stained glass, telling the whole story of jesus' life (apparently... i didn't check for myself).
080529. st. chappelle.

seriously - look at that stained glass!
080529. st. chappelle.

080529. st. chappelle.

this statue was really old, so they tell me.
080529. st. chappelle.

even the floor was cool.
080529. look at the freaking floor!

the altar at st. chappelle.
080529. st. chappelle was amazing.

that day, i chilled out, ate a nutella crepe, checked my email, then trekked it over to gare bercy (bercy train station) to catch my overnighter to venice. next update - venezia, baby!


Charisse said...

great photos - I want to go to Paris right now! Looking forward to the next instalment :)

Whitney said...

I have to tell you...I happened upon your blog while searching for knitted items (I'm a knitter and just bought some yarn I want to start something with), and seeing/reading your entire Paris post here just...brought me back. It was as if I was reading my own account of my trip there last April. Yes, April in Paris, and it was a beautiful time there. I felt sad for you not having someone to share it with, as I know how I would have felt seeing all that I did and not being able to OOH and AHH with anyone. But all that aside, you took some truly beautiful photos and I just wanted to tell you that I loved reading this entry.

Thank you.

famousthecat said...

whitney, that's so sweet! yeah, paris was gorgeous but a little rough with the lack of company. i still milked it for all it was worth, though!

and charisse, thank you! i need to get on venice and rome (so what if it's a month after the fact by the time i post them?).