September 4, 2013

"Impressions" of Paris

"Impression" from our Hotel Room
 Paris, Style, Art. I wonder if the words are synonyms. As soon as we landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport, the graceful architectural lines of the mega-terminal astounded me. Even the public restrooms had a simple but elegant design.Our small, charming hotel touts the design of its rooms, and it was striking, although I’m not sure black and orange stripes and over-sized insects would have been my choice for a sleeping room. 


 French support of the arts is pervasive. Yes, there are museums and our days were filled with art: the
Louvre from Musée d'Orsay
Louvre with such vast halls we literally lost our way; the Musée d’Orsay where impressionism moves through its myriad phases; and the l’Orangerie, where two elliptical rooms with curved walls display interpretations by Monet of his water lilies. A visit to Giverny to see the water lilies that inspired Monet’s work made us wish we had another day to return and visit the paintings in l’Orangerie once again.

Theatre at Versailles
 But, it isn’t only the museums that demonstrate Paris’ love for the arts. The government supports ongoing restoration of historic buildings. The city of Paris, for the 850th anniversary of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, is paying to restore its bells. They are actually restoring the gold trim at Versailles and on statues around the city. Television channels support concerts of classical music.


     Everywhere there is graceful art, wide tree-lined boulevards, and elegant food. It is fortunate the food is so good because the menu varies little in the tourist areas.

     The French also have a deep respect for history. How surprised we were to learn that, in spite of their opposition to a monarchy, new governments are formed at Versailles because this is still perceived as the seat of power.

     We were blessed with beautiful weather in Paris, much like Seattle’s summer this past year. Temperatures were comfortable and, unlike Seattle, while the sun kisses your face, breezes from the Seine brush your hair.

Gary's Lily Pads

Michele's Lily Pads


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