Monday, December 19, 2005

Paris...what a town!!!!


here are the pictures from paris....enjoy....this first shot is of my favorite gargoyle at the top of notre dame...what a cute little guy and i love that the city is below his wide eyes....the second shot is of the base of the eiffel tower...i loved the structure of this piece of architecture...all the points of contact as well...and they put an ice skating rink on the first floor for the holidays, how about that!!!! this third shot is of the sacre coeur church on montmarte at night...i love the way this shot turned out....such a beautiful church both inside and outside, plus this is where all the starving artists work during the day and night....the next shot is of the moulin rouge at night...love the colors and its in the area of town where all of the peep shows are...its just a classier kind of show since the movie was made....and the final shot is of me in front of the glass pyramid of the louvre...such a HUGE museum...i was there six hours and still didn't make it to every floor...let alone every room...wowowowowow....now on with the write-up of paris....

hey there all...happy holidays from....the USA...that's right...i am back in town...PA that is...hanging with my folks for the holiday season..can't really believe i am back...but what that really amounts to is that i am behind in my blog...sorry about that...so on with the stories from paris....

for those of you who have never been there and have heard the people in paris are rude and obnoxious...i DISAGREE....i did find it funny that when i would try out my high school french, i would get the chuckle and was usually answered in english in return from most people...but this was never in a rude and hateful sort of way...maybe because i tried so hard and laughed at my poor ability with their language, maybe because the x-mas spirit was in the air, maybe everyone was always having a good day...who knows...but i found people helpful and funny and rather nice....i LOVED paris....this time i did something a bit different as well...i went onto craigslist.com and rented an apartment for the ten days i was going to be there...what a wonderful idea this was (thanks rick)...and i found a great place and rented from some great people...daniel and alice rose...daniel is an expat from chicago and alice is a frenchwoman and they are married...i hung with them twice and we had a great time...they are in the process of opening a restaurant in paris...and i am keeping in touch with them...so if you are headed their way, let me know and i'll let you know how to find them :)

anyway...it was great having my own place...it meant i could make my own breakfast and save some money and i could "act" like i was really living in paris...it was a lot of fun...i have to say i am quite impressed with the public transport of paris...its sooooooooo easy to get around...and there is way too much to do and see while there....but that just means i need to go back....i recommend that you try out craigslist if you get the chance...it was perfect and i had a great time because of the opportunity it gave me to stay in a cheaper place of my own instead of a hotel or hostel.....hahahahahaha....

here are some of the things i did when i was there....spent time at the louvre, i have now seen the mona lisa and venus de milo up close and personal...i went to the musee d'orsay, and this had to be one of my favorite stops...the building itself is incredible, as are the works of art inside....i went to the rodin museum, saw the original thinker...wowowowowow....went to the monet museum, who is one of my favorite artists of all time....this museum was amazing...it was in an old house and the entire bottom floor was works of monet...just breath-taking....i went to notre dame...and yes, i climbed all 422 stairs to the top to see the huge bell tower, where the huckback hung out...as well as the really interesting gargoyles...i visited the pere lachaise, which is the cemetary where famous french folks are buried as well as anyone who is famous that died in france...for example jim morrison....its a beautiful, but a very crowded place (with space being a premium)....it was a fun morning to wander around and see the monuments and gravesites of the famous and not-so-famous...some of the spaces were incredible....i went to versailles...and although i loved the grounds, i have to say this was not a highlight of mine...i was however impressed with the few rooms that were made completely out of marble...the walls, the floor and the ceiling...talk about a heavy room...holy cow!!! i love the montmarte area with all of the artists and the stunning sacre coeur church on top of the hill...and it was neat to see the moulin rouge all lit up at night...but i didn't go to a show there as it was REALLY expensive....i went to two open air markets and i really think the states needs to get back to using these for selling goods instead of walmarts...they are more fun and have a chance to bring the entire neighborhood together...i know, its a pipe dream, but i'm allowed :)

then of course there were all the cafes and the bread and cheese and wine shops...you have to love a place where wine is cheaper than bottled water in a store and restaurant....and its good wine at that....plus, one of the highlights in paris was seeing a show at the opera house...it was the "temptation of st. anthony" and was performed by gospel singers from the states...including bernice reagon johnson and her daughter toshi reagon....bernice was one of the founders of sweet honey in the rock...and this performance was incredible...at the end there was a standing "o" and they got what i thought was a reserved french audience to dance and clap in the aisles...in was tons of fun and reminded how much i missed live performances :) the opera house, by the way is an incredible piece of architecture and is incredibly beautiful on the inside...i also went to the top of the eiffel tower...did you know that mr. eiffel had an apartment at the top after it was built??? what a cool place to live or just "get away from it all"....i also saw where marie curie and her husband are buried in the patheon...an amazing building that has a focault's pendulum hanging in the center of its rotunda....soooooo cool.....there were a few more places i went...but i think this gives you a good taste of how busy i was and how much fun i had....i usually was gone from "my" place from 10am to 10pm....and walked all over the city...which is very easy to do....

the weather while i was there was chilly....yes, the girl from the pole said chilly....and people were out shopping for the upcoming holiday with gusto...but i was told that people don't generally start getting ready for x-mas until the beginning of dec...which is such a nice change from the states, who is already put up stuff in stores after halloween....so the air in and around paris was charged with the holiday spirit...it was great to be there....so again i will say...i loved paris and can't wait to go back....i recommend it to you wholehartedly...i will return with my last entry for the travel aspect of the blog soon....AMSTERDAM!!!! and i finally have my pictures from NZ and Taiwan...so i will be adding an entry with just shots from those places...keep your eyes peeled....more soon...and i hope all is well....happy holidays everyone!!!!

6 comments:

tony said...

glad you are home after traveling all over....dad

crista hippchen said...

dani!!

you are the ultimate intrepid traveller! I'm impressed and envious of all you saw and did in Paris - sounds terrific, especially the opera house show. Just a couple of days till christmas and tyler is getting the idea that something is about to "happen"! The house is all decked out and snow has finally fallen - we literally had bare ground till yesterday...in alaska!
miss you lots...oh, the funny river house finally sold and we sign the papers today!! bye, love crista

crista hippchen said...

p.s. you inspired me to create a blog for the alaska hippchens...
www.alaskahippchens.blogspot.com

Tom Woods said...

I agree on the whole "rude french" myth. I have about 50 words of french and no grammer yet was treated really well. In contrast, my spanish is much better but I received many negative comments about my tex-mex accent while in Spain.

Generalizations, mind you. But based on experience.

Tom Woods said...

Happy Holidays Dani! Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Paris is great! The only thing that might make it better would be if Milo the wonder dog lived there.