October 11th-19th, 2012
This trip was the reason I bought the camera that I did (I'll review it in a future entry). What follows are the photos of my time in Paris, along with, what I consider, my best video segment yet. As promised, the narration has been kept to a minimum. Join me now as we walk through Paris…
The First Few Days
My first few days in Paris, I stayed in the apartment of Valentina and Thaes–two girls who had moved to Paris for school and had recently graduated. In a future post, I will review the resource I used to find this apartment stay. I used it three times, once in Amsterdam, once in Paris, and once in Rome. Excellent travel tool.
La Rive Droit: The Right Bank, or, Paris above the river Seine.
From the Balcony to the Street: the view from where I stayed.
At the Bastille, a short wall from the apartment.
Île de la Cité: The island in the middle of the river Seine.
Looking across the Seine at the Conciergerie on the Île de la Cité. (Not so hard to say, right?)
Viewing the backside of Notre Dame de Paris, you can really see her flying buttresses.
The façade of Notre Dame de Paris.
Inside Notre Dame de Paris, the stained glass windows give the walls and ceiling an incredible--yet subtle--array of colors.
A clever use of the stained glass window to simulate, I presume, the glory of God shining on the Bishop in his last moments. The inscription translates to: May my blood be spilled to the last! His exclamation just before being shot.
On several bridges, locks have been attached to the fence, left as messages for loved ones. Some people give the key to the recipient of the message and send them off on a hunt for their lock. One must hurry, however, as the locks become so heavy they threaten to damage the bridge! Every few months, they are removed by city officials.
La Rive Gauche: The Left Bank, or, Paris below the river Seine.
The bouquinistes along the Seine. Clever shops owned by merchants who sell old books, as well as modern photos, drawings, and kitsch.
The Famous Shakespeare and Company is a pretty cool little bookstore even for those of us who know nothing about why it's famous. Once inside, you wish you knew more about its history.
The Louvre: A massive museum that is much too hot.
Looking toward the Louvre from the Place du Carrousel. The arch you see here is not the real Arch de Triomphe, but the smaller Arch de Triomphe du Carrousel.
The main entrance to the Louvre, as made famous by The Da Vinci Code.
Uh, Venus? I think your crack is showing... Something tells me she's not concerned with that. While it was cold and rainy outside, the museum itself was unbearably hot. Twice, I managed to get to this statue--the first stop in a two hour tour--and twice I had to leave since I was already sweating. Now I know why all the statues are nude... I would be too if I lived in the Louvre!
Versailles: Brings new meaning to the term “townhouse”.
I can see my house from here! That's what Louis the XIV would have said.
Orange trees don't really work in the weather around Paris. But they do if you're rich! Louis the XIV had his own portable orange grove. Every day, servants would cart his greenhouse-grown trees outside for him to enjoy during he day, and then back inside at night.
I'm not sure who is more surprised in this situation... the goat or the monkey?
The ceiling isn't the only thing incredible in this room. The walls are lined with massive mirrors. During a time when only one mirror was a novel--and prohibitively expensive--item, this room would have been astonishing to the hundreds of party-goers.
Here and There: These photos don't fit in any particular set.
Midnight in Paris. Literally! After the rain, with the city lights, Paris becomes absolutely gorgeous.
Nothing informative here. Just a photo I thought looked cool.
In the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Round One! Fight! This has to be the coolest mural I've ever seen.
Sometimes you just gotta be there for someone, ya know?
My aunt impersonating Lady Liberty. Yes, the giant gift that the French gave us has a sister in Paris. She's a little sister, by the way.
Nobody seems to know about this little gem, but Napoleon's hat can be found at the entrance to a restaurant called Procope. Whether or not it's true, the story goes that Napoleon ate at this very place, but when he couldn't pay his bill, he left his hat as payment.
Look, Ma! I met a pretty young thing in Paris. Ah, the City of Love!
In the Company of Others
Can you believe nearly all of those photos were taken within three days? After staying at Valentina and Thaes' house, I met up with my aunt and uncle, who happened to be in Paris for work. The following are photos from the rest of the week.
Saint-Séverin: Flamboyant and Goth(ic)–hey, those are the terms!
For some reason, the outside looks like it has never been cleaned.
After a month of photographing chapels, cathedrals, and abbeys, this was finally the last of those photo I took.
The stained glass windows in this church looked like they were made by Vincent van Gogh.
Père Lachaise Cemetary: Here lay the bodies of many famous artists.
Walking up one of a hundred paths. There is a reason they have a map at the entrance.
There were numerous creepy graves. Many like the one on the left were open and empty. Is this the work of grave robbers or zombies? The one of the right brings to mind the book Speaker for the Dead (definitely worth a read!)
There were also quite a few interesting and even fun graves. The artist who resides in the grave on the left evidently had a sense of humor. The plaque reads: At Last! or, Finally, it's over!
It's fascinating to think that, had Jim Morrison died in the United States, he might have ended up in a very different looking grave. As it is he was only allowed in here on account of his being a poet, not because of his band. It took me and my aunt about an hour before we finally found him hiding between two roads.
Here lies Frédéric Chopin. At least most of him. His heart is in Warsaw, Poland, in response to the passage in Matthew 6:21. An interesting thing I just now found out? This photo that I took is almost identical to the photo on Wikipedia.
Out and About: With family and friends.
Not only did I get to meet up with my aunt and uncle, but it turns out some long-time-family-friends were also in town. Unfortunately, my uncle had to work and couldn't join us, but my aunt and I managed to meet them for dinner one night.
My aunt and I at a café. Turns out ordering a noisette--French for cortado--is a lot like ordering a macchiato in the states. It's got the same name everywhere you go, but what that name means... well that changes from one place to the other.
My uncle made friends with a professor. Judging by the the way he looks, we think he may have been a mad professor... his meal was veal head, after all!
There it is! We managed to get a glimpse of it just in time. Every hour, on the hour, the Tour Eiffel--or Eiffel Tower--sets off sparkly lights for five minutes. On our walk from here to Notre Dame, we saw it sparkle twice. Turns out it was a long walk, indeed!
People kept saying there weren't enough photos of me on my travels. My aunt snapped this one of me after I finally consented. It's only the second photo I didn't personally take on the entire trip.
The Tour Eiffel: Otherwise known as the Eiffel Tower.
Alright, this is probably what a lot of you have been waiting for–photos of the Eiffel Tower. Why do you think I left them for last?
Too large to get in one photograph. This was a panorama of about six photos, which is why the legs of the tower are a bit warped. As I was promised by everyone, the size of the tower did not disappoint.
Finally far enough away to get--nearly--the whole thing in frame.
Looking across the Seine.
The photos end as they began. This is, perhaps, my favorite photo of the tower, as it seems more genuine than the typical--albeit--gorgeous night shots. This was taken from Montmartre, overlooking the rooftop of a house. The city below gives a real sense of dimension to the size of the tower.
One Week in Paris: Perhaps my best video yet.