Saturday, July 07, 2007

07.07.07 Paris, France

Hello again from Paris! I know its been a couple of days since I've written, but things are going well here! Two days ago I got up, had breakfast here in the hotel, then ventured out and took the metro down to the area where my mom and I stayed a year ago when we were here. I wandered the Rue de Rivoli a bit, then decided I would go to the Musee d'Orsay. I got there and it was a long line, as usual, but I waited through it (I was very glad, I'd brought the book I was reading which was Dubliners by James Joyce...fabulous book, which I finished yesterday....anyway, it made the time go by very quickly). I finally got into the museum and I was SO glad that I'd braved the crowds and the insane weather (it was warm then freezing cold and rainy!!!).

The Musee d'Orsay is definitely one of my all time favorite museums now. It is FABULOUS! It has nearly all of my favorite artists all in one place. It really was overwhelming, the magnitude of masterpieces within the walls of this building! I paid €7 to get into the museum, plus the special exhibition they have going on called 'From Cezanne to Picasso'. There was so much there, I'll have to just give highlights....
  • An amazing collection of Rodin sculptures, including the Gates (from Dante's Inferno)

  • Renoir, including the famous Boat Party

  • VanGogh (one of my all time favorite artists) and a beautiful piece of his called 'La nuit des etoiles, Arles' meaning Stary night, Arles. It is beautiful and sadly looked over I think, in favor of his more famous 'Stary Stary Night'.

  • Monet, and many of his Water Lilies, as well as others from his earlier days, which are incredible, what he does with light is astounding.

  • Manet, and many of his famous works, including other little studies, which were fantastic, including the Picnic in the Garden

  • Gaugin, many of his Tahitian paintings, including Odalisque reclining on a Divan, which is a gorgeous painting, and one I studied only last is amazing to see all of these in real life and up close, to be able to really study the individual brush strokes of these artists.

  • Degas, a very extensive collection of his pastels, as well as oil paintings. I have a special place in my heart for Degas, ever since I first saw his work when I was a little girl, and an aspiring prima ballerina! He really has an amazing ability to capture the romance and softness of the beauty of ballet. (It reminds me of the song from 'A Chorus Line' called 'At the Ballet', part of the lyrics say that 'Everyone is beautiful at the ballet, every prince has got to have his one!').

  • Cezanne, who is amazing if only for what a difference he made in the art world during his life, he was one of the avante garde, who pushed for a change in the way art was both created and percieved.

  • Derain, who is one of the famous Fauvists (the group of artists who believed in the power of arbitrary color, which is basically the use of colors that would normally make no sense in the world, like a pink river and a yellow sky.) Also one of my favorites.

  • Picasso, a wonderful selection of many different periods of his works. Simply fantastic!

  • And numerous other amazing works!!!

I had lunch in the restaurant there, and it was FABULOUS!!! I had the most delicious pork filet mignon (funny note, mignon in French means 'cute') with gnocchi in a sage tomato cream sauce. Then afterwards, I had an espresso (so delicious) with a little selection of goodies.

Walked around a bit more that day, then headed back here to the hotel and had a little picnic on my bed of a salad, sandwich and a Heineken. Good stuff.

Yesterday I slept in and wandered down the Rue La Fayette (the street my hotel is on) and found a lovely little shopping district. I went into the Galaries La Fayette, which is one of the most massive and amazing department stores I have EVER been in! It is huge!!! I spent most of the morning just wandering around that neighborhood, and on my way walking back up to the hotel, I found a lovely little cafe to stop and have lunch at. I sat down and had a coca-light with tortalinni in a meaty tomato sauce....with cheese on top....baked. It was amazingly delicious!

After my lovely meal, I wandered back to the hotel to meet Katherine. She got here around 4:30 and it was wonderful to see her again, it felt like it had been forever! We caught up on the last two days, and then went and found a grocery store and had a nice little picnic on our bed.

Today was quite the lazy day as well....we didn't even get out of bed until after 10 (which I think we deserve since we've been running from place to place for the last 3 weeks! This is the longest we've been anywhere!) then we came downstairs to breakfast. We took the bus down to the Rue de Rivoli and went shopping today! It was very fun....we splurged on some really cute things. We both felt amazing not to be in something dirty (lets face it, doing our laundry in a bath tub in a hotel room just doesn't compare....) and slightly trashy. It was so fun! We were out all day, and found a delicious Kebap place for lunch. *Note: I hate that we don't have Kebaps at home....they are amazingly delicious.

Now we are more or less in for the evening and about to have another little picnic on our bed while we watch some more international news loops, and Friends in French!

Tomorrow we will take the free walking tour (the same company as the ones we did in Berlin and Munich) and then go to the airport....tomorrow night we will be in Glasgow!!! YAY for English speaking countries!

Love you all!!!


Anonymous said...

Oh, Ali, this letter was your all-time best. I loved it. I can't believe all you've done and still are going to do. You are wonderful, honey and I love you. Your Mom and I have really missed you, but soon you'll connect with her. Stay safe, honey.Grandma

megan said...

GLASGOW!!! YAY!! I wish I was traveling with you... oh man... sounds like you're having a great time, and I love chattin with you online when you're practically in a different place every day... YAY! Now don't forget, you promised to find me a cute Scottish guy! Oh and you should look out for Oliver Wood too! Now go have lotsa fun... but not too much fun.... cause I'm not there.... and you're not allowed to....