Saturday, September 10, 2011

Paris for Two

Just the two of us? But we don't speak French... I really wasn't in favor of this trip at the beginning. I could picture getting lost and people laughing at us as we tried to communicate in sign language. I don't know sign language.

But Benjamin told me that Paris was the number one tourist destination in Europe for a reason, and this would probably be our last opportunity to see it. We should go. Alone. The two of us together. An early 35th anniversary trip.

I was excited, yet I was moderately terrified. I thought of the Louvre. I thought about walking along the Seine and seeing the Arc de Triomphe. Going up in the Eiffel Tower sounded like something I could force myself to do. Maybe. I found out it wasn't scary at all.

Most of all, I wanted to go to mass at Notre Dame. We did that, and although I didn't get much out of the sermon, not speaking any French besides ferme la buche (probably spelled wrong, but means shut your mouth) which I don't think the priest had call to use, it was beautiful. And the organ music was enough to make angels weep. Before leaving I was able to light a candle for my mom and Papa John in front of the rose window.

A little warning...if you ever want to go to church there, make sure to arrive at least an hour before service starts so you can actually get a seat.

John and I went on a wonderful cruise of the river Seine, ate crepes along the way (chocolate) and took photos. The bridges are amazing. We saw a bride and groom walking along, him fussing with her dress, and it seemed a sweet moment in time to me. There was also a boat accident that confused us, since nobody else on our boat seemed at all concerned about it, even though divers were going under the water and an ambulance was racing along the shore toward the craft. We never found out what had happened.

I'm not sure what kind of ceremony was going on at the Arc de Triomphe the day we were there, but they rather quickly closed it off from regular tourists and a bunch of military types swarmed in with flowers and such. It would have been so nice if I hadn't run my battery out of juice just at that moment.

We loved our time in Paris, and it amazed me how easy it was to get around on their rapid transit lines. Their metro is slick and well organized. I imagine anyone who can read any language using the same alphabet could very quickly learn their way around the city. Each stop has bullet points that show which connections can be made from there, so if you know what line you need to get to, it's easy to see where you need to transfer. They've made it simple.

I loved their train terminal. After having gotten lost and making it to our train by only three minutes in Amsterdam, where you absolutely must ask someone where your train is, since there's no sign telling you, this was pure pleasure. Everything was big, bright and very obvious. Yes, my slideshow is somewhat long, but maybe you can tell me later what I could have cut out. I couldn't decide.

1 comment:

sherrie said...

WOW! I'm glad you didn't leave any out. Loved the pics from the Eiffel Tower! Everything was so beautiful. Everything is sculpted everywhere. Please explain the man holding his head -- John the Baptist? -- but then who is everyone else? I was enjoying his photo but then then his head suddenly became the focal point when I realized it was in his hands and not on his neck -- still beautiful, though! For only two days, you and John sure got around to the highlights and more. So glad you had a great trip!