Thursday, May 24, 2012

Paris, Day 2 :: The Walkaround

I'm still on Paris time.  I wake up at 6 in the morning, every morning, and I want a baguette.  It's lunch time over there.  I'm pretty sure I was born in the wrong country.  I just want to go back.  Oh well, soon enough.

Here are some pics from day 2 of our journey.  We did a lot of just walking around.  It was great.  We started off at the Musee d'Orsay, an old train station that was slated for the wrecking ball until some really smart guy said, 'Hey, this would make a great museum."  So that's what they did.  And a beautiful museum it is.  It really pisses me off that New Orleans decided to tear down about 4 of these beauties.  But hey, at least we have the projects in their place now.  Great move, NOLA.

Anyway, we saw a lot of great art and did some people watching.  It was another great day.

Ready to go.

Musee d'Orsay, the 10th most visited Museum in the world.  Hold's mostly French artists, including a lot of Van Gogh's.  Like the Louvre herself, the museum is absolutely a piece of art in and of itself.

The Paris-Orleans connection.

Van Gogh himself.

Gauguin, one of my mom's favorites.

You can see the beautiful transformation from dusty old train station to modern museum. 


Perfect lunch in the park. 

Note to self: if ever being chased by the French Police, run in the grass.

It was such a beautiful day that we decided to skip the Louvre and make the walk down to the Opera National de Paris.  We took our time and strolled down the street at a leisurely pace, people watching and taking it all in.

[The X100 has a panorama sweep feature on it that works surprisingly well.  Normally I don't pay much attention to these sorts of gimmicks, but I see myself using this one a lot.  This could make a HUGE print, and I've skipped a lot of post in Photoshop.]

Opera National de Paris in the distance.

Picking out some delicious chocolates. 

So we get all the way to the Opera House...and it's closed.  I had been 6 years earlier, but I was excited to see it again.  If you think this place is ornate on the outside, it doesn't hold anything to the interior.  I'd put it up there past Versailles in terms of sheer opulence.  

These guys were not wearing roller blades.

Paris is for lovers.

Multi talented.

Parisian's love their locks.  

Cruella De Vil is alive and well.

We went back to the hotel for a bit and then out to dinner.  We then decided to check out the top of the Arc de Triomph at night and see what all this "City of Lights" non-sense was all about.  Another disappointment...we missed the last entrance by 15 minutes.  We did, however, get to see the Arc lit up, and this is what it looks like.

This thing is huge!  Big enough to fly a plane through, as proven by Charles Godefroy in 1919.  Watch below!

Random fact: Paris has something like 58 bridges...37 being over the Seine.

Saturday night on the Seine.  Those blue streaks are a police boat that flew by.

From here we stopped at a bar for a quick night cap and ended up meeting two very nice Americans who happened to be living in Germany.  They worked for John Deere of all companies.  They were on a quick weekend getaway.  Must be nice.

We ended up drinking and talking until 2am when the bar kicked everyone out.  This seemed very odd.  I know I'm coming from New Orleans where you generally use the waking sun as your last call, but this is Paris!  A world class Europe!  The place shut down!  Maybe it was just the neighborhood we were in, but I still found it weird.  Within 20 minutes the streets had gone from vibrant and full of crazy people, to completely deserted.  Anyway, it was still a great day.  More to come...

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