Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vacances de Décembre, part 2: PARIS!

What's up all! So I finally got around to posting stuff from Paris even though it's from like 3 weeks ago... I've been busy, don't blame me! So I'm just gonna zoom through this because I really should have written it earlier when I remembered all the details but it's more or less just to share the pictures. 

This was one of the first things I saw when I got to Paris, after we came out of the garage. La Seine, with it's numerous tourist barges, but better, all the different unique bridges! I'll talk about that more later...

Not sure where this is, but just another beautiful cathedral/church/something in downtown Paris. 

We passed through the Louvre, of course. This is in the plaza of the pyramids. The wall is lined with statues of famous Parisiens writers. 

Les Pyramids de la Louvre, évidemment.

A mini Arc de Triumph, just outside of the Louvre, with a little more class and a lot less historic value. 

Inside the Louvre, the inverse pyramid. Also, not in the picture, they have Starbucks here....?!??!? And I thought it was just an American thing!

A view of la tour, from the park on the avenue of the Louvre. If you don't already know, there's a really long pedestrian avenue that stretches from the Louvre until not-sure-what but it's the base of this photo, the last couple and the next couple. 

Looking back down the avenue, we passed a fountain ringed with chairs- people reading, talking, smoking, sleeping or just chilling. And then in the background the arc and the Louvre again. 

Yes it's an Egyptian obelisk on the middle of downtown Paris. Maybe a gift from the Egyptians, something to do with the Rosetta Stone...? Probably not, je me souviens plus. 

Just a nice fountain... With an English-style tourist bus in the background...

So at the end of the avenue we went right into a really ritzy rich section of town. We passed window displays with price tags, although it's a health hazard if you're prone to heart attacks. Who on this planet wants to buy an ugly fur vest for €8000?!? On the brighter side, if that's not bright enough, the Christmas decorations in this part we're really nice. 

Still in the same section, we passed a chocolate store. Yes that Christmas tree is 100% edible. There was also a floating Santa, or rather Père Noël, in his sled; all of chocolate!

This is l'Église de la Madeleine; really famous for avid church-goers I guess.
  
Inside they had what was definitely the strangest take on le crèche, the nativity scene. It was really hard to tell who was who, there were a lot of odd-colored lights and weird color schemes and it was huge, but it sure beats anything else I've seen!

The Opera House of Paris- that's for you Mom. 

Sapine Noël des macarons! 

On the way back we passed through the section of the Louvre that is a public space, and sneakily took some pictures of the inside: statue garden...?

OK, so I'm not sure if this is it but there's bridge in the area called le Ponts des Arts and at one end the entire rail is covered in padlocks. They're called des cadenas d'amour (locks of love, not the cancer organisation in America) and I guess what people, or rather couples, do is put their names on it, lock it to the bridge and throw the key in the river. 

Again, not sure what this is, but just something that caught my eye on the other side of the river, some more French architecture. Pas mal, non?

Another feature of Paris, bien connu. Street vendors lining the Seine on one side. They're green boxes, closed and locked at night, but during the day you can buy all your Parisien souvenirs there: books, postcards, copies of French art and the crappy little Eiffel towers that every single poor person in Paris sells. 

I had to, it's just such a Paris thing.

Notre Dame, in the distance. 

This is the giant police headquarters of Paris and if I'm not mistaken, it was also the set for a little of the last Pink Panthers. Was he not on those steps at one point or another?

The Notre Dame, closer up. 

And again, plus me. We didn't go in; that would have required standing the 200+-person line. 

You can't see them here but the walls are lined with gargoyle statues that spit runoff when it rains. Not the same as the old ones that spit fire, but whatever... And if you look close enough, you can just make out a humpback going around the corner.

l'Hôtel de Ville: probably not the best place to go looking for a one-night stay in Paris, unless of course you're some ambassador or just really really rich. There was an ice rink outside, billions of people in line and it was more or less ground up to snow. 

Forgot what it is, a religious monument? But photo-worthy. 

Le Pont Neuf, not neuf at all actually I think it's one of the older ones in the city. 

Looking down la Seine, as dusk falls over Paris...

Haha, the reason the French stereotype includes bikes! They have rentable bikes in the streets with drop stations all over the place.

Crescent moon, if you can see it. 

Every hour, the tour goes all "sparkly" in the sense that it turns into what must be the world's biggest disco ball. I was in the car, don't blame me for the quality. 

The first day we didn't have time to go up, plus we were waiting for the cousins to get into town (the next morning) and do it with them. But we still went underneath and snapped some shots. 

Unfortunately, the next morning turned out to be very typical Parisienne weather which means foggy as enfer! l'Avenue de la Champs-Élysées. 

With the Arc de Triumph in the distance. 

We took the metro up to Montmartre. Just outside the cathedral de le Sacré-Coeur there was another Christmas market. Told ya they were everywhere!

Pretty self-explanatory, a wine stand from Corsica. 

Et le Sacré-Coeur. Biggest church I've ever seen! We went inside, it was really strict, really quiet and very churchy. Guess that was to be expected though. Too bad the fog covered it up though. 

 Just outside of the church, normally you have a view of all of Paris. Again, I got screwed over by le putin de brouillard. 

Yes I went on the Merry-Go-Round, I swear it was for the little cousins! In this picture it looks like it goes really fast; malheureusement (don't you like how long that word is? can't send it in an sms biggest it goes off the screen), en vérité, c'est pas très vite. En fait, c'est l'opposite mais ça va!

A really cool square all lit up, filled with painters who want to paint you, or their comic impressions of you.

French café, where we went and for two crêpes and five hot chocolate paid €45 euros. Can you imagine that?!? Les voleurs!

Again, sqaure + painters.

We passed by this store that sells these ball-lamps. They're made of cloth, but I guess it was wrapped around a shape, had something added to it and dried because you buy it like it looks like, in ball shape, then stick a light inside. They're really cool and Hélouise got a bunch for her room. Speaking of her, I need to make a blog-wide correction: her name is actually Hélouise, not Louise, I just thought everybody was saying "Hey, Louise". For 4 months. My bad.

Eiffel Tower, in disco ball mode, plus me, in (as always) not-ready-for-the-picture mode. 

This time we actually went up the tower: it was awesome! We started in the Easter corner, obviously, and took elevator up. 

View from the second floor. That's some nice fog, huh? We didn't go to the top because there you really wouldn't have been able to see anything, but it was still awesome! And Laurence said that we'll come back in the spring when we're guaranteed clear skies and go to the top!

Again, they have an ice rink on the Eiffel Tower. And again, all the ice was ground up into snow. Which led to the inevitable launch of a snow ball from the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. Came so close to some poor Japanese tourist group!

Passed by l'Arc de Triumph, pretty gnarly Arc, as far as they go!

Coming in from the other side the Champs-Élysées

The reason why apartments in Paris are so expensive: they come with building fronts like this!

Some Christmas lights we passed in the car that came out unexpectedly nice-looking.

Don't know why this is at the end, I took it almost at the beginning but that's your classic Paris metro station two days after Christmas. Beats New York by a lot...
Since I got back to school, things have been pretty good in class, I'm starting to get less-sucky grades, but I'll put it all in the next blog post, I have to go study for a massive contrôle d'Histoire. 

1 comment:

  1. Cool pictures and comments Benji, I am glad you are still having such a GRANDE time in France. many Greetings from all of us on the West street. Did you watch the Superbowl yesterday?
    eva

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