Lynette and I are still in the beautiful city of Paris. Its cloudy and rainy and cold but still beautiful. We are currently staying with some very gracious friends who live outside the city. We take the train about 35 minutes each way to get back and forth to tour the city each day.
The other night our friends served a traditional French meal which was delightful. I can't tell you how great it feels to be staying and eating meals in a real home for a change instead of a hotel and restaurant. Tonight we had fondue which apparently is a very common meal in French homes during the winter. It was very tastey. I did not know this but "fondue" actually means "to melt." Makes sense.
Let's see, what is there to say about France that you don't already know from all the movies or shows done about the place. Oh, here's something, the restaurant servers (so far) are not all snobby and difficult like I had always been lead to believe they were. I'd always heard that they will often pretend not to speak english or will be very rude and such. But we have actually experienced quite the contrary. They have mostly been extremely friendly and helpful, and always speak english as soon as they realize we are foreigners. Which is pretty much immediately by the look of me. And if they have any doubt it quickly vanishes as soon as I open my mouth and try to utter a mangled "Bonjour." You may be wondering how a simple word like "bonjour" could be mangled but I manage it.
Here some photos of just a few of the many moods of the Eiffel Tower:
And here's me and the Sofie Star together enjoying the view of the tower:
It decided to rain the day we had planned to go to the Eiffel Tower but the weather here hasn't been too great lately so we figured we probably wouldn't get a better chance. And we hoped that with the bad weather most people would stay away and the line to go up wouldn't be too bad. But we were wrong and waited an hour and a half. (I'd hate to see it on a nice day.) It rained lightly on and off while we waited in line and about a minute after getting up to our viewing point on the second level of the tower it started to pour down. So we took cover and it quickly passed. Then it was still cloudy but we had a great view of the city, accompanied by a few rainbows.
Here's us on the second viewing level of the tower which is about half way up. We could have gone to the top but it just looked too precarious up there. Even though the tower has been there over 100 years and was built very sturdily, the fact that it was only intended to be a temporary structure for the 1889 Universal Exposition freaked me out. I could just imagine the rivets finally giving way and all popping out just as we got to the top. So I decided the middle level gave us a sufficient view of the city.
Notre Dame Cathedral:
I guess its no secret who the French want for US president.
The spectacular stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle:
Arc de Triomphe:
Going up the stairs to the top of the Arc:
Lynette deep in concentration at the Musée d'Orsay art museum:
Amongst other things at Musée d'Orsay they have some great impressionists' work including that of Monet, Gaughin, and Van Gogh which were great to see:
I've always wondered what was inside that big glass pyramid at the Louvre. In case anyone else was wondering here's a photo. Beneath the pyramid, underground, is a big modern entrance hall where you buy your tickets and can enter the 3 different major wings of the museum by way of separate escalators.
Inside the Louvre:
The Mona Lisa is one of the masterpieces hanging at the Louvre, but I'm sure you've all seen photos of the Mona lisa before. So here is a shot of the crowd looking at it and taking pictures of it:
This statue was NOT at the Louvre but I thought it was interesting.
On Saturday we will be leaving Paris and going up to Tours, France to check out some castles.
dave & lynette