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.
i dropped my bag at the hotel, then wandered. centre pompidou was right by my hotel. this is the fountain out back:
then i walked down to the iles. i liked all the little school kids on the way over 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').
i decided to go up to the top of notre dame. these were the very worn, scary stairs i went up.
the chimera were amazing! i loved the pensive one.
this guy was pretty rad, too.
nom nom nom nom.
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.
wine makes my cheeks pink.
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).
you know... 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.
i'm a sucker for impressionism.
me and some really pretty stained glass.
just look at this freaking building! amazing.
the central walkway/sculpture garden.
the old station clock, framing sacre couer in the distance.
this is one of the ones that made me wanna cry.
this lady has pizazz.
this room was pure, insane goodness.
the working clock inside 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!
really not even a little vertically challenged.
it's like where's waldo, only this one is "where's the arc du triomph?"
some nice british lady took my picture at the top.
look at the line!
view from the park.
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.
the view back down from sacre couer.
windy me and my big fat head blocking out 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!
i was enamored with this statue.
i managed to get to notre dame just in time to catch the sunset across the face.
i loved the light hitting that delicate spire.
the light going pink.
just damn beautiful. one of the many times i wished someone was there with me.
then i wandered over to the louvre on my way home - so glad i did.
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.
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.
i like the statue silhouette in this one.
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:
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).
seriously - look at that stained glass!
this statue was really old, so they tell me.
even the floor was cool.
the altar at st. chappelle.
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!