Saturday, July 20, 2013

paris, the last day.

We began our final day in Paris on a bench outside our hotel, breakfasting on the finest the local Carrefour had to offer (yogurt, bananas, crappy pains au chocolate -- the local boulangerie/patisserie was closed on Wednesdays, so I had to make do. Woe is Me.)

Even the graffiti is more beautiful here, non?

We decided to keep things simple: Claude Monet, the water lily paintings, at the Musée de l'Orangerie. On our way there, we continued our series, "Paris on Two Crutches a Day". That's Place de la Concorde, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais in back of Our Hero.

Naturally, they don't allow cameras in the Monet rooms, so you'll have to rely on the google to see what we saw. My word. We both wondered how he actually pulled it off - the paintings are huge, at least seven or eight feet tall, and he is somehow conveying the surface of the water itself, reflections of clouds, reflections of long dangly (willow?) branches, and of course, the lilies themselves - all in a bunch of squiggles - how did he DO that?

Afterwards, we made our way back toward our hotel, getting off a stop early to allow for the requisite outdoor cafe experience. From there, it was a taxi ride to the Gare du Nord and our journey to London.

But before we do that, let's have a look at our Tuileries / walk to Latin Quarter along the Seine experience from the previous day, since by now I've gotten my pictures uploaded. We'll start with a little nibble of the Louvre for you:

It would be cool to have one of those porthole windows for a view, wouldn't it?

Below is the Ponts des Arts, its railings encrusted with padlocks placed there by the lovesick.

The next bridge is the Pont Neuf - it's the one that crosses the tip of the Île de la Cité. We watched a professional film crew filming a woman hopping on the back of a motorcycle. History in the making, no doubt.

OK, enough digression. I bring you back to that last (*sniff!*) cafe experience after the water lilies, where we contemplate the age old questions of life:

"Should I have a café crème, or a cappucino?"

One last look at Notre Dame from our taxi to the Gard du Nord (our train station), where it appears that another bridge entirely has also been festooned with padlocks.

The train ride is a couple of hours long. I've always been curious about what the trip through the Chunnel is like.

Apparently, it's dark.

I am slightly embarrassed to notice that this picture shows evidence of my insatiable need for footrubs, even in public. Ooops.

I had entertained a fantasy that somehow the Chunnel trip would end with a view of the white cliffs of Dover - I realize I'm on drugs here - and was consequently bummed to see this once we emerged on the English side:

Oh. Blegh.

Not to worry, though: staggeringly beautiful and awesome London stuff is coming right up.

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