Saturday, May 3, 2008

I love Paris

Who doesn't??? Well, I know there are some who don't but, vive la difference, n'est-ce pas?

I was fortunate enough to go this past December, by myself, not on a tour. It was the third time. First time -- 1977, tour. Second time -- 2006, tour. Just a couple of days both times. But this time I stayed almost a week. I have decided I need to do this much more often.

Although I did visit some of the "must sees", I decided I had to go to some of the places that weren't on the tours the previous trips -- mainly, the Musee D'Orsay, Saint Chapelle, and the famous department stores that I had never visited -- Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps, and Bon Marche.

I also was able to attend a pastry class for amateurs at the Pavillon Elysee of the famous patisserie Le Notre (that these are available I found on the wonderful blog "Paris Breakfasts").

This is the place. All decked out for Christmas with pink lights!!! As its name suggests, it's right on the Champs Elysees.

Laduree, also on the Champs Elysees, had purple lights, although it's hard to tell from this picture.

Since it was raining (it rained practically the whole trip, but, I told myself, my feet are wet in Paris), I stopped in and had a coffee and a chocolate cream puff.

Walking down the Champs Elysees is another thing I did this time that I had never done before. The Hotel Georges V, which apparently merits its own metro stop, is halfway between the Arc de Triomphe and the Jardin de Tuileries.

The Georges V was featured in one of my favorite movies for Paris scenes -- French Kiss starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. Another great movie for scenes of Paris is American Dreamer with JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti. And the Crillon was the starring hotel of that movie.

But back to MY trip . . .

I really wanted to see the inside of the Musee D'Orsay. I had viewed the outside of the museum on the previous visit on a trip up and down the Seine on a bateau mouche.

Once a train station, the museum houses a magnificent collection of impressionist art. The two clocks on the facade are backlit once you are inside the building . . .

And although the location behind this one has yet to be put to use, the other is the focal point of the cafe. The ornate station clock inside speaks of the grandeur of rail travel in the past . . .

The impressionist works are housed on the top floor and although I wasn't able photograph the artwork, the views of the city are living art.

A gorgeous time of year.

Next posting . . .

Sainte Chapelle and other pics of Paris.

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