Thursday, May 29, 2014

Arc de Triomphe

I want to go back to Paris right now, and sit in a cafe and do nothing but talk about art, life and singing. Sounds about right, doesn't it? While there, Mr. Husband and I made a late night pilgrimage to the Arc de Triomphe, just missing the last entry to its stairway to heaven. That will have to wait for our next trip. Tell me. When does the plane leave? 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Versailles Folly

You know you are in trouble, when, on the way to Versailles, you stop to talk to two fellow English speaking ladies and find yourself on the wrong train.

The 35 minute trip now having morphed into two and a half hours, you arrive with the rest of humanity, which lines itself up for miles outside the gate. Damn. Do get there as early as possible! 

You go through the gold-leafed rooms, elbowing your way past the mob and find yourself in the hall of mirrors and think: "It must have been grand at night." 

However, having seen the L'Opera Garnier only a few days before, you think the latter more beautiful. 

Details matter, of course, even if they aren't original. You love seeing miles of brocade silk curtains and gold tiebacks. 

Looking out the window, you see gardens which seem to be under continual restoration, a veritable army of gardeners at work.

Walking through them to the Grand Trianon, you find yourself in emerald green bliss while standing in the doorway of Napoleon's library, the assemblage of gold, white and green making your heart skip a beat. Forget the big house, you say to yourself. This is the ticket. 

The light, color, and scale of the room perfect, you decide that you are moving in. 

More green waits outside as you walk towards Queen A's dollhouse, which is when you realize that this is this is how Versailles is meant to be discovered.

Yes, I saw the Queen's Theatre (not the photo above), that is, if you call seeing it from afar through a dim-lighted doorway seeing. But no matter. Its proportions must have made for interesting performances since there really is only room enough to stand and sing. 

More green as you walk thought the Queen's gardens. 

Her house having been restored, you find it rather interesting to see things in 3-D which you have only glimpsed in World of Interiors. 

Too bad. While fiddling with your iPhone later, you mistakenly delete a fabulous photo of a doorknob, and will have to settle for the one above. 

And then there are those walls which act as screens to block out the light. Was Marie a night owl? Did she stay up all night playing cards into the wee hours, pretending that the light of day would never come? 

You see circles everywhere, inside and out.

And snap a photo of the house from the gate outside, and wonder what it would have been like to live there. 

You take your favorite photo while standing in front of the gatehouse, looking through the oculus into the courtyard, sky and self-image in reflection. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saint-Eustache in Paris

Where have I been the last two weeks? In Paris, seeing—among many things—umpteen Gothic churches starting with Saint-Eustache. Mr. Husband and I arrived early on a Sunday morning at Orly airport, found our way into town to the Marais where we were staying (trading apartments actually), had a spot of lunch, then made our way to this Gothic wonder, where we heard an organ recital before Mass, the whole point being to hear the church's historic instrument, which makes a rich, full sound. 

We were off the grid, only using WiFi at the apartment, and an amazing free App from Ulmon to make our way around town that uses GPS. Lifesaving really. We had no trouble finding where we needed to go, since the App follows you step by step. Highly recommended! 

No fancy camera in my bag, I simply used my iPhone 4 to take pictures, 800 in all over a 12 day period, some of which you will see here.  Really. We had so much fun, I can't tell you. A dream come true, this being our first time in the City of Lights.