Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Christmas in London (Part 3) - Christmas in Paris

We decided to mix things up on this trip to London by heading to Paris for a couple days. I hadn't been to Paris since I went in 2002 with my friend Kate, so I was excited to see it again.

Alex, Graham and Maggie were in attendance...

...and me too!

Our (sort of) first stop was the Louvre, which was picturesque, even if it was a gray day.

At the Louvre, we saw an exhibit on Andrea Mantegna, which I would not have come close to appreciating without Graham's help. (Graham is like those recordings you can buy at museums that explain the art to you. Except he's human. And funny. And you can ask him questions. And he tells you when things are beautiful, so you can nod in approval and say "yes, that is really beautiful" like you know what you're talking about. And the Parisians gawk and wonder how this American chick is, like, so totally cultured. Meanwhile, you move onto the next thing hanging on the wall and admire - probably aloud, because you're loving this - the luminance rendered by the artist's brushwork, because Graham just told you to.) Walking around museums with Graham is great in my book.

After the Louvre (well, actually after
and before the Louvre, but that's a story not worth telling), we had lunch at the top of the Centre Pompidou, which was both delicious and beautiful.

The Centre Pompidou

The restaurant
(if you look carefully, you can see the Christmas trees coated in
a tragically thick coat of red spray paint outside the windows)

The restaurant has fantastic views of Paris, and while this picture does not do it justice, even on the cloudy day we visited, we were able to see all the sights from our table.

The Eiffel Tower was visible from where I was sitting, but you
can only make it out in this photo if you click on it to enlarge it!

After our daytime adventures, we rested up and then made our way out on the town. Before dinner, we walked across town to visit some friends of Graham, and I snapped a few photos along the way.

I'll write about our second day in Paris next time. For now, here are some pictures I took of the city at night.

La Tour Eiffel

The ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde

Avenue des Champs-Elysées from Place de la Concorde
L'Arc de Triomphe is just visible at the end

La Place Vendôme

L'Hôtel de Ville

Le Métro

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