Monday, March 26, 2012

Paris Redux

Loitering at the Louvre

We came back to immerse ourselves once again in this place we love.  Our affair with the City of Light began 3 1/2 years ago, when a too-brief trip only whetted our appetites for all yet to be discovered in this country so far from home.  

The goal of our trip:  to become temporary locals by taking the road less traveled with little agenda.  We wanted to be free to explore; to do whatever we felt moved to do whenever we wanted to do it....this is the Empty Nester's Nirvana! 

Of course, there are some places that called to us again.  The Louvre is possibly our favorite place in the entire city.  When I.M Pei decided to build three ultra-modern glass pyramids in the courtyard of this mammoth 12th century palace, former home of the Sun King, he elevated this international treasure into an architectural masterpiece.

The stark contrast is breath-taking, and it's easy to see why people are drawn here.  We went back to see some things we missed the first time....gorgeous marble sculptures and the opulent apartment of Napoleon III. Oh, the soirees that must have been held in those rooms!  I could come back to see the art here again and again.....

The Courtyard at Dusk

Everyone is drawn to the La dame de fer, the iron lady built to welcome the world  to the Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution.  Three hundred workers, 18,000 pieces of wrought iron, all held together by two and a half million is inspiring to stand under and look up into the perfection of design,

The Eiffel tower feels almost like a holy pilgrimage for us.   Surrounded by acres of grass, water fountains and cannons (we finally saw them fire), Ron says he can't believe how people flock to see a structure that doesn't do just stands there.  But it feels like the pulse of Paris lives here, and we could not imagine staying away.

We knoshed like the French do on a hot dog gratine (french baguette, pig, and cheese...OMG) and stayed until dark to gasp with the crowd when the tower turned gold with light.  
Thanks Trevi Tripod!
The Night Show
Ron and 10,000 of his newest friends

Tomorrow, we are off to London on the morning train through the Chunnel.  We are anxious to see the sights of this summer's Olympic City.  We will be paying homage to our generation by crossing Abbey Road.  Heeding the advice of three Englishmen we met at a pub last night, we will hopefully find some acceptable (to Ron, at least) Fish n Chips...

As our new Brit friend sang,  Oh, the Good Life..."

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what amazing pictures! Sounds like you guys are having a great time - we've been thinking of you back here, B-man has been checking the weather daily and reporting back. We're thrilled for you...and a little envious, too. Hope you find Mom in London.