Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Paris Blog Day 2 and 3

The past two days, Sarah and I have covered most of what we wanted to see in Paris and it is easy to see why this is the City of Light.  We've seen many grand monuments that make you gasp in wonder at the creativity and ingenuity of humanity, but in many ways it has been the little things that leave a welcome impression on one's soul.  In this post I'll mention of few of the highlights, but I'll also try and share a few of the small pleasures we've experienced here.
Firstly, you may have heard the expression "just grab a baguette for lunch" and that is exactly how it works.  There are hundreds of little boulangeries with delicious treats ready for you to choose from.  Yesterday we each chose a baguette and a sweet treat for lunch.  The bread is the best kind, no sugary soft imitations here.  Crunchy wholesome bread the way it should be with ample fillings.  The treats were a Raspberry tart and a lemon merengue.  We took a short walk and found a lovely quiet sunny park in front of the Basilique Cathedral to savour our lunch.
Decisions decisions

The work from an Artisan of Paris

One with Meringue for Mike and Sarah chose the Raspberries
Basilique Sainte Clotilde
The sidewalk cafe is an institution here, stop for an espresso and watch the world go by in the mid morning or pull up a chair and order a fine Belgian beer as he sun sets on the day.  We've yet to find a bad one and the service is always impeccable.  The footpaths are wide so there is plenty of room, there is no rush, just sit and enjoy.  Do nothing.  Relax.








The Parisians love nature and the outdoors.  They love the sun, their gardens and their florists.  We've had two glorious early Spring days.  The breeze has been brisk at times and it is pretty cool out of the sun with temperatures ranging from 5-15degC.  Perfect for covering lots of miles on foot.









The people here are self assured but polite to a T.  They love nothing more than to share a little joke involving the funny little collisions that take place in such a busy city.  The "Excusez-moi pardon bonjour" .  They love it when you try and speak a little French.  It really is a beautiful language, it is so easy on the tongue.  Whether on the footpath or the subway, people are polite and patient and understand that as a fellow human being you might just be distracted or off your game today and they will cut you a little slack.  On the metro, people chat fluently, not like the deathly silence on Sydney trains.  On the roads, there is no road rage, cyclists are protected and cared for.  Pedestrians and drivers respect each other and dont make a scene if someone doesnt quite make the green light.  It's just all so civilised.  Consequently people respect the rules, because there is more freedom.  I am struck by the lack of signs and traffic lights in this city.  Whilst every council in Sydney is whacking up more and more traffic lights and safety cameras by the minute, there is no such insanity here.  Oh yeah and dont get me started on why doesnt Sydney have an efficient metro system or similar.  Wow!




Paris loves it's artists.  We visited two of the key art galleries and were just blown away by the works of Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Degas, Sisley, Pissarro, Signac, Seurat, Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso.  The two galleries were Musee d'Orsay and Musee de l'Orangerie.  Just unbelievable.  Not many pictures from these galleries, but I would 100% recommend if you ever get a chance. Pre book tickets, but the queues were not to bad for us.
A sneaky pic of Monet's masterpiece "Water Lilies" in two oval rooms. Space, light infinity

Cezanne - i think!?

Renoir

Musee d'Orsay

Musee de l'Orangerie

Finally the cathedrals are amazing feats of architectural inspiration intended to honour our Creator and Providor.  The pictures cannot do them justice, but here are a few anyway.

View over Paris from Sacre Coeur

The alter of Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur Montmatre

Notre Dame, The Islands

Sacre Coeur

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Candles for prayers of the faithful

We are only 3 days into our 2 week trip and it still feels like a dream.  To be in one of the wealthiest most cosmopolitan cities in the world and just enjoying the time with Sarah so much is something I am truly thankful for.  Tomorrow head south to Bordeaux.

Keep Riding
Mike

1 comment:

THB said...

totally jealous. can almost taste your blog... might have to buy some french cider for our Passover meal on thursday without you guys...keep enjoying