Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wednesday Vacation Blogging: Paris

Paris, the City of Light.

I've been thinking about Paris a lot lately. My friends Chris and Dana are there right now, and my good friend Scott just recently returned from one of his many visits to that city. Mrs. Generik and I were there for a week in June, 2005, and between the two of us took over a thousand photographs of what I thought then was the most beautiful city I'd ever seen. (I've since decided that Prague edges Paris out in that department, but not by much.)

Just as we did in Prague, we rented an apartment for our time there, rather than staying in a hotel. The advantage to doing this was that we got much more space and privacy for our money, including a full kitchen and dining room, and we had a washer and dryer in the apartment, which came in very handy in the middle of a six-week trip. We also, I believe, experienced Paris in a manner closer to the way people who live there do than the average tourist.

Because we have so many pictures, this post is just part one of two. Even with the number of pictures we took, and all the walking and sightseeing we did, we barely scratched the surface of this incredible city. There are dozens of sights that we didn't get to see, unfortunately -- which only means that we must return. Soon, I hope!

(As always, click on the pictures for a larger view. Part II coming soon!)

The Hotel de Ville (City Hall) at night. While we were there, Paris was lobbying hard for the 2012 Olympic games, as evidenced by this "Paris 2012" sign on the building. This same logo was everywhere throughout the city. A few weeks later, the Olympic committee awarded the 2012 games to London.
The view across the courtyard from our 6th-floor apartment. We were in the 2nd arondissement, just a block away from the two islands in the Seine, Ile de St. Louis and Ile de la Cite, and very close to the Metro St. Paul.
A street in the lovely Montmartre district, not far from Sacre Coeur.
Of course it's all about the Eiffel Tower there. Many Parisians hated it when it was first built, and apparently some still don't think too highly of it, but it's an international icon recognizable the world over.
Regardless of what you think of it, you have to admit that it's a pretty damned impressive structure -- especially close up.
Mrs. G got this very interesting shot standing directly underneath it one night after we'd had a wonderful dinner at nearby Chez Francis.
Impressive structure, international icon, all-day sucker. The Eiffel Tower is many things to many people.
Another well-known structure: Notre Dame cathedral.
Another view of Notre Dame.
Sacre Coeur, atop Monmartre, visible throughout most of the city.
Another view of Sacre Coeur.
For my money, La Sainte-Chappelle is actually even more beautiful than Notre Dame. Here is the ceiling on the first floor...
...and here is just some of the stained glass on the second floor. We saw people literally gasp with amazement when they first entered this room. This 13th century structure is absolutely breathtaking, and grown men have been known to weep because, as my friend Scott said, "it's just so fucking gorgeous."
Public art in Paris really has balls.
The Musee d'Orsay. Mrs. G is mad for impressionist painters, so this was a must-see. Mary Cassatt is supposedly a distant relative -- and the recent Monet in Normandy show here in SF was a real delight for her, as was our day-trip to Giverny to visit Monet's house and garden.
Inside the Musee d'Orsay, which was originally built as a train station.
The clock in the Musee d'Orsay.
One view of the I. M. Pei pyramid at the Louvre.
A more conventional view.
This artwork graces the entrance to the Metro station very near the Louvre.
Walking back to our apartment from our tour of the Louvre, we came across this unique apartment building.
A close-up of the apartmental artwork. After seeing this, I find myself in favor of Free Electrons.
Night on the Ile de St. Louis.
I waited for this guy for hours, and he never did show up. C'est la vie. Au revoir for now!
Free Counter
Online Universities