I've just got in from a tiring but fun day trip to Chartres, where Tiffany and I saw a beautiful cathedral, wandered lovely medieval streets, and I was reminded of the existence of France outside Paris. I would say the only Parisian traits I possess are a love of sushi, an addiction to thé vert à la menthe and a slight sense of pity towards anyone unfortunate enough not to live here. Of course, my love of the city is in itself an a foreigner's trait; a true Parisian is impressed by nothing. LOL FOREVER at this sticker I saw the other day:
Rien meaning "nothing".
Rambling aside, I want to document the five days I spent with my family, because as usual when I have visitors, I end up going to the more touristy sites that I might otherwise avoid. I don't intend to bore you with shots of the Arc de Triomphe, but I still think the weekend yielded some nice photos.
On Sunday we went to the Marché des Oiseaux near to the Notre Dame. In one cage there were two birds who looked like they'd been painted with acrylics, tastefully placed among six albino birds. Birds are extremely hard to photograph, but after some editing here is the best picture:
Gorgeous! Apart from the Bird Market, we did a lot of classic things - we climbed the Arc de Triomphe, went inside the Notre Dame, wandered around the Latin Quarter and ate a lot of steak. Here's another view of Paris I love - a jumble of roofs and chimneys.
The Notre Dame, that"Gothic masterpiece whose style of architecture radiated out like a rose across the whole of Europe" (badly paraphrased Julian Barnes - I can't find the original quote). I don't know much about architecture, but it strikes me every time I see this building that churches all across the continent, from tiny chapels in rural Slovenia (or wherever), to the church down the road where my cousin was baptised, have been influenced by a style of architecture of which the Notre Dame is the earliest coherent example. How can I say anything original about this structure? The pinhole effect makes it look pretty.
We wandered up the quai, past the bouquinistes and into the Latin Quarter for some lunch. I think my family are pretty pleased that I'm in Paris for my Year Abroad, to be honest. Not sure that visiting me in rural isolation would have had the same effect.
To the left, the quai next to the Notre Dame, and to the right, a smile from my sister, also taking a photograph. She's asked to do a guest blog about her holiday here, so stay tuned! I also took a lot of nice photos in Chartres, which I'll post soon, and I'm planning some kind of comment on the surreal day Bet and I spent at Disneyland.
As always, if you do read, please leave a comment. I'm getting a pleasing number of page views, but it's always nice to be appreciated. And if you randomly found this on Facebook and are embarrassed about stalking me - don't be! Seriously, that's why I put it there.
It's been a long day, and this blog post could not have been created without the help of MINT TEA in my lovely new cup and saucer. Mmm.... bliss.
Bon nuit tout le monde.