Wednesday, December 1, 2010

May 7, 2010 Day 16

We walked all day. This was the last day of our museum pass and so we hit up the Arc de Triumphe, Notre Dame, and the Louvre.

The Arc is cool; unfortunately this is restoration season and so the two large sculptures on the front were covered by a large scaffolding. We walked to the top and got a lovely view of Paris.

Versailles is grandiose; Notre Dame is just reserved splendor. As I've gone on this trip I've become fascinated with the amount of time and money spent on these churches. In a lot of ways it's the people of the city's palace, something they can build for the common man that is great. I just wonder about what if the time and money had actually been spent on doing Christian work. To worship a man so humble and possession-less with large structures costing tons of money and time is ironic to me. It is still a fantastic site. The stain glass windows are beautiful and the blues cast this beautiful light over the entire scene inside.

The Louvre is freaking huge. To that point that one can't walk through the entire place in one day. We started in paintings, then did sculptures and Egyptian artifacts. I prefer to see art in its natural habitat. Being around so many great works I think waters down the experience and we were in a rush to try and hit everything. I'm not a big fan of doing the tourist thing because I don't have the opportunity to actually take in the moment. Instead you walk somewhere quickly so you can see it, keep the line moving, and move on.

The Mona Lisa is as good as advertised. It's haunting and enchanting and you expect her to come alive at any moment. My other favorite was a picture of three monks aiding a woman and a boy on the side of the mountain. The storm is raining down all around and one monk is giving her water. It's a brief glimpse of peace in a moment of despair and chaos. David didn't even see it as he was rushing through the room, but I stopped and for a moment it was just me and the painting.

After that we went to a housewarming party with Natalia our lovely hostess. It was really fun and we just had a blast. Great food all around and we downed quite a bit of wine. O Paris how I will miss thee.

May 6, 2010 Day 15

This day was all Versailles. It was awesome, just old school grandeur. Where Spanish palaces have tiny ornate details Versailles has elaborate paintings and gold covered everything. I can't do justice to the place so you'll have to just check out the pictures.