Friday, 25 February 2011

Les trucs classiques


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.


Eden.

5 comments:

  1. Eeeeee! Can't wait to be back!!!!

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  2. Your photos are a lovely reminder of the wonderful weekend we spent with you. We love to visit you and Paris, its always beautiful even with grey skys. Great picture of Bet. Looking forward to your comments on Euro Disney. Love the cup and saucer....
    Laska x

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  3. Love the rooftops photo - like Paris used to be, before that scallywag Hausmann got his hands on it. Re. Notre Dame, you will not be surprised to learn that Chesterton had a thing or two to say on Gothic architecture:

    'The truth about Gothic is, first, that it is alive, and second, that it is on the march. It is the Church Militant; it is the only fighting architecture. All its spires are spears at rest; and all its stones are stones asleep in a catapult. In that instant of illusion, I could hear the arches clash like swords as they crossed each other. The mighty and numberless columns seemed to go swinging by like the huge feet of imperial elephants. The graven foliage wreathed and blew like banners going into battle; the silence was deafening with all the mingled noises of a military march; the great bell shook down, as the organ shook up its thunder. The thirsty-throated gargoyles shouted like trumpets from all the roofs and pinnacles as they passed; and from the lectern in the core of the cathedral the eagle of the awful evangelist clashed his wings of brass'.

    Stay well :)

    Daniel

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  4. Haha, are Parisians really blazés about everything? I'd say we are mainly blazé when it comes to Paris itself and don't tend to appreciate the city until we have left it. I love the photograph of the rooftops, très romantique in my opinion -- where did you take it from? Also a day in Disneyland -- fab!

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  5. "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."
    Made me laugh a lot. And makes me want to go to Paris. Also, thanks for making me feel happy to comment, seeing as I did indeed "randomly find this on Facebook and are embarrassed about stalking me". Glad your year abroad is going so well x

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