LTD —— LTP
Living the Dream, London to Paris
Paris for the weekend. Just a few hours away.
Hop on a train, travel through the chunnel.. one barely notices the short half hour under the English channel and presto out the other side and before you know it you are at Paris Gare du Nord.
A beautiful warm October weekend. Spent hours walking through the city. Paris is beautiful!!
Renee a good friend from home had rented a great apartment just across from the Luxembourgh Gardens. Vibrant neighborhood .. St Germaine de Pres…. One immediately experiences the essence of Paris. Lots of cafes filled with people drinking coffee and smoking..one of two elements that did not attract me… I was quite shocked how enthusiastically French people still smoke…strong cigarettes at that . No longer allowed inside but everyone smokes on the outdoor patios….
The second disappointment was that I found Paris considerably dirtier than London… on reflection I think that London works very hard at keeping itself very clean. When I returned I noticed street sweepers everywhere.. I think they spruced up for the Olympics and the Jubilee and have maintained the standard.
Paris not so much.. lends some substance to an old dutch saying my mother used ‘de franse slag’ . I don’t wish to offend so will just leave it at that.. my family will understand.
A weekend was hardly enough time, so this is definitely a city I will want to return to and live in at some point. Checked out some possible neighborhoods to live in. Given the good weather, I walked and walked.. the Sacre Couer…(was not able to take in a service, but it is on the list), the Marais, Place des Vosges, the Tuilieries Gardens, stopping for wine of course.
A highlight which I would recommend for all new tourists to Paris is the cruise we took on the Seine as the sun was setting. Embarked at Pont du Neuf, we headed towards the Eiffel Tower..great views as the sun set behind the tower , then turned around and back into the centre of Paris, as the lights of the city lit up…beautiful!!!
Dinner in the evening with Jane, friend from KPMG Holland days.. you may recognize her of Amsterdam Queen’s and Veuve Clicquot fame.
Sunday morning the skies were overcast and a slight rain..so museum day.. Off to the Georges Pompidou for a Roy Lichenstein exhibit. The exhibit was excellent..gained a real appreciation for his art.
And of course the Pompidou centre itself a colourful building with a great history. Initial reaction to the Pompidou centre design was not pretty… a leading news article stated “Paris has its own monster, just like the one in Loch Ness”. Two decades later the design of the centre “turned the architecture world upside down” and the designer has earned a reputation as a high tech inconoclast.. the buildings skeleton is exposed.. lots of tubes, bright colours…it reflects the modern art that is held inside… escalators on the exterior walls covered in glass tubes.. offering a great view of the city as you move to the top of the centre.. the view from the top floor of the city is amazing… too bad, it was rainy and dreary..just another reason to return on a sunny day!
One of the other reasons to check it out is the whimsical Stravinsky Fountain.. sixteen works of colourful, very colourful sculptures that move and spray water. Created in 1983 by sculptors, Tinguely, and Saint Phalle the works represent the genius of the composer Stravinsky. Very Cool!!!
Lunch, and then back to London.
A quick visit but oh So Worth IT.