Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Spring break prologue:
After 2 crazy, busy, fun weeks at home, I got back to Leeds and turned right around and went to Paris. I took the Eurostar train from London to Paris where I met up w/ Cody and we had an amazing time! The pics are in chronological order w/ some comments, but it's 1:30am, so I'm going to keep them relatively short...
Day 1

The Ecole Militaire, opposite the Eiffel Tower. There was some kind of protest against the Tamil genocide (which I didn't know anything about...) and I thought it was appropriate--the French are always protesting something!

Tour Eiffel during the day...

and Tour Eiffel at night. We waited around for it to get dark, had a chocolate crepe and watched the lights come on.

The Arc de Triomphe

Champs Elysee at night--the stores were still open and the streets were quite busy. I'm definitely not in Stanwood anymore...
Day 2

Entrance to Pere Lachaise, a huge cemetery that really feels like a city of the dead--very crowded and it even has streets...

Creepy zombie-style grave at Pere Lachaise

Famed chanteuse Edith Piaf's grave. I just recently watched her biopic, La Vie en Rose--it's really interesting!

Oscar Wilde's grave

Adding my lipstick mark to the many others. I'm not even that devoted of a fan, but it's customary, right?

Palais de Justice on the Ile de Cite

Ste. Chappelle, a church built on the Ile de Cite to hold the relics of the Passion of the Christ (i.e. the crown of thorns). The relics aren't there anymore, but the stained glass windows are incredible! It's such an amazing place...

Rose window

Me with the Conciergerie and the Seine in the background

The Hotel de Ville (city hall)

Entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre tempting to run in there and yell "Sanctuary!!!"

A candid shot Cody took when we were switching cameras to take pics of each other in front of Notre Dame...

The Metro entrance on the Ile de Cite--they really do have that cool art deco design. I thought it was just something you see in old black-and-white pics, but it's for real.


On the climb up Montmartre to Sacre Coeur

The view from Sacre Coeur...Paris has such a flat, nondescript skyline.

The infamous Moulin Rouge bordello...I don't have many pics of the red light district, because I didn't want to be seen taking pics of stores labeled "Sex Shop" or "Video Erotique"

Me at the Moulin Rouge

Notre Dame at night after the Easter Vigil service

Street musician on the bridge, playing the romantic!
Day 3

Fountain in the square outside St. Sulpice

Jardin du Luxembourg, a gorgeous park around the Palais du Luxembourg

Kids renting boats--I think it was something like 3 Euro/hour?

Another lovely scene at the Parc du Luxembourg

Having cafe et tarte aux fruits at Le Solferino, on Boulevard St. Germain

The Bastille--we just wandered across a major landmark while looking for somewhere to eat

Louis XIII in the Place des Vosges

The Place des Vosges

Day 4: Day-trip out to Giverny, Monet's home and gardens

Monet's home--really huge and gorgeous. His studio has original furniture and the walls are lined with reproductions of his paintings. The kitchen was really cool--blue and white tiles and a big iron cooking range. Lots of Japanese artwork on the walls--apparently he was a fan? I never knew, though I should've guessed w/ his paintings of Japanese-style gardens...Ponds with koi and waterlilies are probably not typical of Normandy...

Monet's gardens

Me in the waterlily garden

Monet's waterlily garden

The waterlilies were a bit off color--it's either the time of year, or because Monet was going blind in his old age...

The house and garden

Monet's tomb at a church up the road. There were quite a few touristy cafes and antique stores but not much else in Giverny.
Day 5

Me at the Musee d'Orsay, the main museum for Impressionist works. Highlights for me: Monet, pointillist works and Renior.
In the afternoon we went to the Galerie Lafayette, a really posh, gorgeous, designer brand shopping centre. I've never felt so unattractive and poor in my made me want to run back to Leeds, haha.
Day 6

Me at the Louvre with Mona Lisa and the swarming tourist many Americans, Italians, Spaniards, etc.
The Louvre is absolutely huge and amazing--you could seriously spend days there. My favorite bits were the Italian and Greek sculptures, the royal apartments of Napoleon III and seeing pieces I'd learned about in art history courses at UW.

In the evening I flew back to Leeds--very short flight, full of Brits (because no French people are going to go to Leeds!) and I got home early enough to take the bus back to my place.
So, all in all, spring break was amazing. It's now 2am, so I'm going to call it a night!