Saturday, September 19, 2009

Triumphal Climb up the Sprial Staircase

Friday, September 19, 2009

Living in an apartment instead of a hotel is great. We can relax in the morning with coffee and our own breakfast. We can spread out and relax. Television and internet are here, if we want to plug into the world, which we really do not. We can waste time in that manner in Portland.

Having breakfast does not necessarily mean a person can pass a patisserie in the morning without stopping for a treat, which we did on our way to the Metro stop. When we arose from underground, there it was, the Arc de Triomphe. We climed the 283 spiral stairs toward the top for our view of the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris. To commemorate the moment, I had the picture taken in my "Always have Paris" T-shirt, which was the t-shirt of my nephew's band by the same name.

Then, it was down the Champs were, eventually, we saw a classically old French mansion, noticed it was a public gallery, entered, and found a cafe for lunch.

Then, it was on the Metro to the Louvre, and overwhelming, crowded place, where the printed maps seem to have little relation to the reality of the exhibits. We quit there after a fairly short time.

We walked through the gardens and found the much more enjoyable Musee l'Orangerie. It houses more impressionist works. The centerpieces are two large, oval rooms displaying Monet's waterlilly murals. These are very large rooms, and the paintings must be 30 or 40 yards in length.

Back on the metro. The metro is terrific. The trains run constantly and are fast.

In the evening we found a neighborhood restaurant with a lively restaurant and walked around the Marais neighborhood at night. Lots of people out and about on a pleasant summer evening. After walking awhile, we stopped upstairs at the apartment and then went on a quest for desert, settling on gelato.

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