Mar. 19th, 2017 08:06 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Going and Staying)
  I am in Paris, after a week of running around and dealing with things. I am staying with my parents in a smallish apartment literally two blocks away from Notre Dame de Paris.

Right now I am due for all the sleep, but there will be more complete updates later.

G'night, LiveJournal.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Not A Song)
This was what I sang at the sumbel after climbing Camel's Hump:

Le Pont Mirabeau )

Last year, when I went to Paris with my parents, my father accompanied me to see the bridge, which has held a special place in my heart ever since the first time I read this poem.

Pictures Behind the Cut )

And there you have it. Another wee insight into what makes me tick.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Dreaming (Ratatouille))
Just to whet your appetite, I have selected a few of the pictures I have managed to upload and re-size. Again, I am teh Amateur when it comes to this sort of stuff: point-and-click par excellence, so please don't expect works of art out of me. Y'all have been spoiled rotten by all the fantastic photographers on my flist, I know it.

Paris! )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Exasperated (Ratatouille))
I apparently have no patience for the photo-uploading process. I have well over 200 photos (I am insane apparently), and have found no good way to mass upload/mass re-size them. So I am uploading in batches of ten, and then re-sizing one at a time. It is taking for-freaking-ever. I also have to sleep at some point in time, so once again, there will be no post of substance today concerning France. At this rate, I don't know when I'll have them done, since dealing with the visual component is taking so freakin' long.

Anyway, please bear with me, folks. I promise that this will get done, sooner rather than later. I just can't devote as much time to it as it really needs right now. I will post some teaser pictures later tonight, to tide you over. Bear in mind, I am the most amateur of all amateur photographers. None of the photos were taken with good photography in mind, but merely to document what I was seeing. I leave awesome photography to the likes of [ profile] longpig, [ profile] chibipunkdemon, [ profile] ankhorite, and [ profile] dizietsma, among many other talented photographers of my acquaintance.

In other news, I took the cats to the vet for their follow-up appointment, which cost "only" half of what the previous one did. George has what looks to be a respiratory tract infection, so he gets pills twice a day for ten days. If that doesn't help, then we're looking at even more expensive treatments. *sigh* I love my cats. I just wish they weren't so damned expensive.

I am considering an icon overhaul of this LJ. I hate icon overhauls, because I love ALL my icons, even the ones I never use. However, my icons are ceasing increasingly to reflect what I'm doing with my life these days, and so I think I may have to do something drastic. In fact, I may try to overhaul the look of my LJ completely for the first time in... what... four years? *gasp*

Okay. Back to re-sizing and stuff.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Ending)
Up bright and reasonably early this morning, and headed out to the Panthéon and from there to the Jardin du Luxembourg, which I think is still my favourite part of Paris. I think I took more photos today than the rest of my trip combined. There were ducklings. I may die of cute.There will be photos, I promise.

Had lunch at Les Racines (again delicious and egads!expensive), and from there walked a whole bunch, to la Tour St-Jacques, with a detour by St-Julien Le Pauvre (next door to a bar with a guillotine inside),across the Seine and past Notre-Dame, down (up?) rue de Rivoli and past Les Halles, all the way to l'Opéra. We took the bus back, but my feet are sore anyway. I like taking the bus in Paris during the day, as there aren't too many people aboard, which makes it possible to gaze out the window and watch the world flash by.

My plane is leaving much earlier than I thought it was, which means I must be at the airport at ohmygod o'clock tomorrow morning. That in turn means that my parisian escapades must come to an end right about now. We're going to spend a quiet evening in and around the apartment, I'm going to pack and go to bed at a reasonable hour, and that'll be the end of that.

I ought to be home by mid-afternoon tomorrow, when I will de-neglect the cats, putter around my apartment, and write up my trip in much greater detail than I already have, complete with photos. I am trying very hard not to think of work, and of all the projects and stuff that I left undone back at the RCMP when I left. Gah. No thinking of work until Monday.

701 steps

Jun. 5th, 2008 04:38 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (This version of the universe)
This morning I was able to accomplish my twice-aborted attempt to go up the Eiffel Tower. I climbed the stairs to the first two levels, and took the lift to the summit, since no one is allowed to walk up all the way for security reasons. Took lots of photos. I even managed to get a picture of what I have been calling in my head the "mutant pigeons" of Paris, because they are about half again as large as ordinary pigeons, and have very distinctive colouring, with a white ring around their necks. Very unusual.

I walked to the Eiffel Tower, walked up, walked down, and then walked back to the apartment. Three-hour round-trip. Many, many obnoxious tourists. If I ever turn into one of them, please shoot me. The weather was much improved, though still overcast. Joined the Parental Units for lunch at Le Télégraphe, a restaurant around the corner, which turned out to be both delicious and ruinously expensive. Everything in Paris is expensive these days: no wonder the people are screaming about food prices. Oranges are going for about $3.00 a piece (at the current rate of exchange), for instance. Anyway, the entrée and the dessert at Le Télégraphe were to die for, they were so good. The entrée was a feuilleté aux aubergines done with some sort of creamy cheese and roasted red pepper and eggplant, and the dessert was a millefeuilles aux pistaches. Egads. So much food.

My father accompanied me to the Palais Royal after lunch, and we walked around the Louvre, past l'Église St-Germain l'Auxerrois, and to the Jardin de l'Infante, which turned out to be quite small and a bit disappointing (comparatively speaking), since it consisted mainly of about twenty square yards of lawn with a few trimmed bushes. Oh well. At least I've seen it now.

We had dinner with a family friend who is in Paris at the same time as us (Gretzky's former owner, for those of you who might be interested to know). She is renting a fabulous apartment in the 5eme arrondissement, about four blocks away from the Pantheon. I am insanely jealous of the inner courtyard and garden, which were filled with flowers and elaborately arranged paths and shrubbery. So gorgeous. Took many many many more photographs. I shall inflict all of these on you when I get home.

Dinner was at the same Chinese restaurant as on Monday, but I was so full from lunch that I had only egg rolls (totally different from the ones in Montreal, and served with lettuce and fresh mint leaves... death in egg roll form, I swear!) and a hot and sour soup, while everyone else had a more elaborate meal involving frogs' legs, coquille St-Jacques and some other dish I never quite identified but suspect may have been calamari.

It began to rain shortly after dinner was done, and so we opted to take a cab home. Once again, I suspect I may die of food. Paris is not a good city in which to watch what you're eating: you lose sight of it pretty quickly, lemme tell you.

Tomorrow is my last day here. *sigh* If it's nice out, I shall head to the Jardins du Luxembourg. If not, well, I shall improvise.

Now, to bed.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Dreaming (Ratatouille))
Last night ended with a delicious dinner of pintade (woodcock in English, I believe), along with a delicious lentil salad and some other kind of salad involving green beans and sausage (it tastes better than it sounds). There was also champagne to start, and a marvelous red wine whose name escapes me. I was rather tipsy by the end, but it was well worth it. My mother bought the most decadent chocolate cake-thing ever. Took a long, hot bath, and went to bed tired and happy.

Today started with an excursion to the Pont Mirabeau, which is featured in one of my favourite poems by Guillaume Apollinaire:

Le Pont Mirabeau )

I had always meant to go see it, and then suddenly I didn't go to Paris for ten years, and I thought I would perhaps never come back here. So this time around I vowed that I would go there and see the bridge whose poem almost always brings tears to my eyes. It is a lovely bridge, simple but beautiful, with nymphs seated along the pillars holding it up. The Eiffel Tower is also quite clearly visible from it, as is the Statue of Liberty.

My father and I walked to the Eiffel Tower from there, but my father balked at the last minute at going up (it may have had something to do with the fact that I wanted to walk up), and so we returned to the apartment instead. My mother joined us for a delicious lunch at Le Pré Aux Clercs around the corner, after which my father returned to the apartment to work on an article he's writing, and my mother and I headed toward the Louvre.

We spent an even more dizzying time at the Louvre than I did yesterday at the Musée d'Orsay: we started out trying to visit Coptic and Roman Egypt, but got turned around somewhere before Roman Egypt and found ourselves instead in the gallery of classic Roman, Etruscan and Greek sculptures: no complaints here. After that we wandered into the wing of Rinascimento paintings: Botticelli, Fra. Philippo Lippi, Uccello, Raphael, and Da Vinci. Since we were there I decided to go in and see "La Gioconda" (aka the Mona Lisa), which of course was surrounded by people, all turning their backs on the spectacular floor-to-ceiling composition painting of the wedding at Canna by Veronese. I was even more struck than yesterday by the number of people who looked at the art only through their camera lenses. I will confess to being a purist: I don't take photographs inside museums or galleries, preferring to enjoy the art the way it was originally intended. People who photograph paintings baffle me: why take a photo and not look at the original while you're standing in front of it? There are plenty of photographs already available out there, and if that's all you want then simply spare yourself the 9 Euros and stay home.

We stopped at the café for a quick refreshment (10 Euros!), and upon further reflection decided to head back to the apartment, to check if my father had thought to buy dinner. It was a good decision, as he had not in fact done anything about dinner. I headed out to buy said vittles, and got simultaneously bullied by a large and vociferous Frenchwoman, and flirted with by her father-in-law, which flustered me sufficiently that I bought about twice as many tomatoes as we needed. Oops.

Dinner tonight was a bit more haphazard, but still delicious. There were some garlic shrimp, more lentil salad, a bit of salami, a green salad with tomatoes (heh), sourdough bread from the bakery next door (more on them later, I promise), and some fantastic cheese also from nearby, a little further down the street. We re-indulged in the above-mentioned chocolate cake. I am going to die of food now.

Tomorrow I may re-try for the Eiffel Tower, and see what other adventures come my way. I still haven't managed to visit the Jardin de l'Infante, so I may head that way as well.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Blustery)
It is unseasonably chilly. I haven't checked the weather reports, but it feels as though it's around 14 degrees celsius. *checks* Yep. Today's high was fifteen, low is around twelve. I have been getting weird looks all day from French people wearing coats, since I was wandering around in a t-shirt. Heh. Sissies. ;)

My plans went awry almost immediately this morning, as the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. Who knew? At least I checked the hours before I went. My mother expressed an interest in coming with me, but she moves at the pace of a crippled snail, and by 9:30 wasn't even remotely ready. So I went to the Musée d'Orsay instead of the Louvre, and spent a dizzying three hours rediscovering my old friends the Impressionists. I saw an exhibit on a painter with whom I wasn't all that familiar: Lovis Corinth. He's somewhere between Impressionism and Expressionism, and his work was fascinating. Doubtless I shall expound on this at length when I get home and don't have to contend with the eeny-weeny keyboard of doom.

I came back to the apartment to see if my parents wanted to join me for lunch. My father had gone, but my mother was still home, and *still* not ready, fussing with trying to connect her computer. I confess I lost patience with her, but she insisted that we wait for my father, who was due back soonish. When he did get back, I was about ready to strangle my mother, but found the inner strength not to do so. I left them almost immediately, since I wanted to take a quick walking tour in the 14eme, with a French Revolution theme. It was pretty basic stuff, more like French Revolution 101, but the tour guide, Iris, was charming and pretty (I couldn't help but think that [ profile] bodhifox would like her: she seemed like the kind of girl he likes to feature in his icons) and sprinkled her speech with amusing anecdotes, and only mixed up her dates a couple of times. Even those mix-ups were slips of the tongue rather than lack of knowledge about her subject.

The tour finished up in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, which I took the opportunity to visit. I had to cut my visit short due to an overabundance of humanity, but I shall try again later. I walked home, and am now resting my feet, which are quite sore.

All in all a very good day. We're going to have dinner in about an hour, and then I shall spend the rest of the evening quietly with a book.

Tomorrow there shall be new adventures.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Umbrella)
Intermittent rain since yesterday. I got soaked running back to the apartment for my umbrella, but getting soaked in Paris is infinitely preferable to getting soaked at home, I have discovered.

I had forgotten that in Paris almost everything is closed on Mondays (bookstores, museums, what have you). Slept in. Made coffee. Burnt a croissant in the microwave: we don't have an oven in this apartment. Made another croissant. Consumed said croissant, and a yummy lemon-flavoured yoghurt. Finished the book I was reading.

So much to write about yesterday's trip, not enough patience to deal with the teeny-tiny keyboard. Don't know how people with Blackberries put up with them. We're going out to dinner in about two hours, to a Vietnamese place that's apparently really good.

We have a neat little apartment in the 7e Arrondissement. Literally across the Seine from l'Arc de Triomphe, les Champs Élysées, and le Palais des Tuileries. It has taken some getting used to: the kitchen is lacking in a number of things I normally find quite basic (the oven springs to mind, as does a proper bread knife), and it would give a rocket scientist pause to try to figure out the myriad different locking systems on the three sets of doors separating the apartment from the outside world. Five locks, two buzzers and a numerical code. And I thought the RCMP were paranoid...

The plan for tomorrow is to visit the Jardin des Tuileries, and pick an exhibit at the Louvre (don't know which one yet, and it breaks my heart that I will never in my life be able to visit the whole thing). I have never seen le Jardin de l'Infante, so I shall try for a "detour" there as well. Then I am going to walk along the Seine until I hit the Pont Mirabeau, and possibly go up the Tour Eiffel, which I haven't done since I was twelve and have an urge to do again.

Wednesday I am going to spend the day in the Jardins du Luxembourg. I am going to find the ducks at the Fontaine de Medicis, buy a sandwich and a limonade, and have a luxurious time.

No plans yet for Thursday and Friday. It's not so much that I can't think of anything to do, as it is an overabundance of things to do and not enough time in which to do them all. So I am trying to pick only one or two things per day, with plenty of time left for walking and loafing and looking at the bouquinistes' stalls along the Seine.

I am ridiculously happy. I just wish I had more than four days in the city. Saturday morning will be devoted to packing and heading for the airport. My "whole week" here is suddenly seeming awfully short. *sigh*


mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Default)

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