Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First day

Our first real day in Paris was filled with iconic tourist spots. The weather was brisk but sunny, and I had to buy a hat and gloves on the Ile de la Cite. Sadly, the hat makes me look exactly like Miss Marple, but no one knows me here but Alison, so I decided it's okay.

We walked through the Louvre on the way to Notre Dame. It was about 9:00, but the sun rises late enough that we felt we were there early. Henri is looking quite dashing on this statue in the courtyard. Whoops, no, it's Louis Quatorze, the Sun King.

A view up the Seine as we walked to l'Ile de la Cite.

This seems to be the thing to do along the Pont Neuf (or des Arts?) - locks, often with names inscribed.
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This wonderful statue of Henri II (Vert, he was apparently a ladies' man) stands at the end of the Ile.

We walked along the quai until we turned into the street for Notre Dame. I was there in 1966 but have very few memories of it. I loved the ironwork on the doors.

Of course, the windows are gorgeous, even if the details are a bit vague.
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Along the outside of the choir are painted statues that tell the illiterate (and the ill-educated) the story of Jesus. I thought this picture of Mary after the birth of Christ was a bit odd - doesn't she look simply outdone with Joseph and the animals? I'm sure that I'm misinterpreting...

My other favorite was on the central portal, showing St. Michael and the devil divvying up the souls at Judgment Day. Just below it is a picture of the dead lifting up the lids of their coffins and hopping out.

Two views of Notre Dame, one from the side and the other from across the Seine.


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Of course, you really want to know what we ate: muesli and half-skim from the supermarket for breakfast, lunch at a little place on the Ile St. Louis, which I loved. I had salad with walnuts, a galette with cheese, onions and egg, and apple compote with whipped cream. Tonight we are off to Cafe le Nemours near the Louvre for dinner. I very bravely called the restaurant and had a confusing but ultimately satisfying conversation with the nice person. We have booked for 7:00, so I'm sure we'll be the only ones there. We'll see if it works...

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