dimanche 8 novembre 2009

Week Seven: Brrrr, parks, brrrrrrrrr

This week consisted largely of me scurrying frantically around Paris in an effort to see as many gardens as possible before Tuesday, the day I have to present my independent project. Yikes!!

However, I did get a bit of free time to have the best lemon tart ever.

And to have my own personal version of a hitchcock movie (remember my seagull attack?)

Went to the Parc Montsouris at the southernmost point of Paris

Got lost at the ultra-modern Parc Andre-Citroen

Spent the last sunny afternoon at the Jardin des Plantes, which was created to be used as Louis XVI's medecinal herb garden and now is a very family friendly, fun and educational park and menagerie

Inside the Jardin Alpin, which belongs to the école botanique (botany school)

And lastly, for my favorite parents, I made some friends with a few flamingos.

dimanche 1 novembre 2009

Week Six: Ugly painting, beautiful days and Versailles

This week went by very quickly, with a number of large, stressful tests and long museum visits. We went to Versaille which was a wonderful break, and the weather was so beautiful it seemed impossible that we were already deep into fall. Everybody kept saying it was an 'été indien' (indian summer). Towards the end of the week, it started to get much colder (right in time for our visit to the Pere Lachaise cemetary where we saw among others, Jim Morrison's grave) and as I'm writing this from the salon, Paris is blanketed by a pure white fog that has cut the eiffel tower cleanly in half and made the top part disappear.

Monday night I decided to accompany a few girls out to go see a concert, but every body was late and the line was too long, the area too questionable so we left to go find a thai restaurant somebody had heard of, in the area near the Centre Pompidou. We instead found a wonderful little indian restaurant in a peaceful, cobblestoned alley, down one end of which we could see this strangely tall and narrow cathedral. It was a bit spooky, so I guess perfect for this week.
We drank delicious mango lassis which are like mango smoothies, but more amazing. Me and Sarah (pictured above) were awkwardly wearing the same shirt. Dorky, but cute.

We had our post/neo- impressionism visite at the Musée d'Orsay today. This is the ugliest painting ever (in my opinion, which I probably share with many others). It's just strange. But, it was an unschooled artist which was pretty rare at the time for the big painters and he managed to become somewhat known, so claps for him. But, still, yuck.

Tuesday we went to the Petite Palais to look at some Courbet and some Carpeaux sculptures. We took a kind of long way, and ended up walking along the Seine for 20 minutes, it was so pleasant and perfectly picturesque nobody minded.

Then on thursday we scooted just outside of paris on the RER trains to Versailles. Minus a little girl on a pink bike crashing into me, the stinging nettle and my hair getting bitten by a sheep, it was pretty lovely. I could not and can not fathom living there, even as a servant or a gardener. Pictured above is from Marie Antoinette's little palace.

There were boats to row in the massive fountains for 15 euros an hour and we of course seized that opportunity. It was a wonderful way to see more of the gardens and we didn't have to sign any paperwork!

View from the fountain.

They napped, we read, sang, chatted, I zenned out...
My crew (I was the captain, of course!)

More of the gardens
Unfortunately, Jeff Koone's balloon animals have been gone for a few months, but in their place are all these strange purple and silver sculptures. Inside there was one room where there were these large purple weather-balloon type things floating on the ceiling. A bit odd, but they were kinda cool.
Last but not least, the glass gallery.