Weekend in Paris

muertemaria's picture

Paris VacationMy plan for 2009 while here is that once a month I end up going somewhere in europe where I haven't been before. February starts the trend and we started easy with Paris. I got a great deal from lastminute.com on the eurostar and hotel so I took 3 days in Paris. It was mostly rainy and freezing, but I got a little bit of the city (not even close to enough) and now I can say I at least have seen some of Paris.

Day 1 - I took the eurostar down to Paris, which is great because 1 - It is one stop from my house and 2 - It drops you right in the middle of Paris so you can take the metro to where you need to go. 

Of course I start off getting off the metro and walking exactly the wrong direction to my hotel, but after about 15 minutes of walking around I found it.  dropped off my stuff and went back out.

Paris VacationSince it wasn't raining and it was expected to rain on Saturday I figured I would do the super touristy boat tour down the Seine to get my bearing and to see some of the sights. It was nice, but FREEZING I would suggest this to everyone except maybe when it is warmer is better. 

After the boat trip I decided to go to Notre Dame since it was open for a few more hours and I really needed to go somewhere warm. That was a beautiful church and lucky for me, they were just starting mass when I walked in so there was lovely singing and a little too much incense but still nice. 

My guidebook had a latin quarter walk so I decided to do that to wander around that area. I like it there. My first stop was the Shakespeare & Company bookstore. Wow! that place is amazing. It was just this messy and lovely and what you want a bookstore to look like where you have to search out the books you want and that you know every book you could ever want is there if you can find it. I loved it. I of course bought a book because I want this place to stay there forever. I bought David Foster Wallace - A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. Which is now my new book club book.

Mid-way through the walk I was starving so I ended up choosing poorly and went into a bistro that was pretty much average. 

Paris VacationDay 2 - Today it was doing this rain/snow lovely weather so I spent all my time in museums. Today I went to Les Invalides which is where Napolean is buried. He has this crazy massive tomb it looks like a cartoon.

I love museums and I think the best thing now is that they have audio tours and I will always do an audio tour if they are offered. So I learned a little more about what is going on and the little details that if you are just reading the signs, you miss. 

The other section of Les Invalides I spent time in was the World War I & II exhibit which was really interesting since it was a different view of the wars then we see since we came into the wars a few years later then the French. 

Next stop - Musee d'orsay. I had lunch in their restuarant which was really yummy. I had a beef joint and pate terrine with leeks. Very good. 

I again did the audio tour and only concentrated on 2 floors since there are too many things in the museum as well. They have a great collection of Matisse, Monet, Renior and Degas as well as some nice Gauguin. What was great was a few years ago at the Corcoran they had this exhibit where an artist had created life size 3-D versions of many of the paintings that I saw in the musee. It was really cool to see them both ways. 

Day 3 - Started the day with coffee and crepes which I have to say might be the best breakfast you can come up with. This day I went to the Orangerie to start which has been built to house les Nympheas which was one of the last things that Monet painted which is 8 large scale paintings of the lily ponds at Giverney. I love Monet and this was so great to see. I took a video but it really doesn't get to how full of color and light and movement these pictures have. 

Next I went to the Louve and since it is so massive and by that time I had 4 hours left before having to leave for my train, the audio tour was key. They actually have this device that leads you around the museum on different tours, it is quite nice and if you are lost it will tell you where you are. 

So I saw all the major things like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. 

Then it was time for me to leave. The train was nice back I do not mind doing the eurostar. So easy. 

I of course took too many pictures all of them are here. Below are some favs.

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