I finally make it to Europe, thinking I’m just going to meet my husband at the airport and we will drive to his apartment in Denmark and I will finally see my new home. Tony, however, had other plans. When we finally met up in the airport in Germany he surprises me with two things; a necklace he bought me in China and a honeymoon trip to Paris.
After traveling for 26 hours to get to Germany, we ended up hanging out in the airport for another 6 hours to catch a flight to Paris. The flight there wasn’t long and within another two hours we were on a train heading into the city to our hotel. As much as I wanted to walk around and just look at everything even that late at night, I really needed some sleep. Tony and I got to our hotel, checked in, and promptly fell asleep.
The next morning we got up and had breakfast at a little sidewalk cafe over looking the square by our hotel. Coming from Kansas I’m not used to having such a great view while sitting at a table outside. If you have ever been in Kansas you know there are very few days in the year when the weather is really pleasant enough to enjoy a table outside. In Paris, the weather, the view, and the food was all wonderful.
After breakfast we decided to just start walking around. We had slept late so there really wasn’t enough time to do a lot of things the first day. We spent the first day pretty much just seeing where everything was and making plans for what to do and see the rest of our trip.
I have always loved taking photos, you can ask anyone who knows me. When we were in Paris I just about lost my mind taking photos. I took more than 800 photos in 3 days and would have taken more if I hadn’t had batteries quit on me a few times.
I come from a place where most neighborhoods look alike. Where I was living in Kansas the neighborhood had 5 different styles of house you could choose from to have built and the only real differences where the colors. To be someplace like Paris with buildings that were created with true artistry, well I just went crazy trying to capture it all.
My husband, who has lived all over the world, was much less impressed. He has lived with this kind artistic design for years so for him it is common place. For me however, I was going around taking photos of everything. I was taking photos of grates, light switches, window handles because they were all ornate and artistic. I had never seen so much detail work even in the little things. I was in awe of everything.
One thing that constantly amused me was it seems that Parisians have a relationship with Nutella that I will never understand. I have a Facebook friend who is a chef in Wichita who I have often teased that he needs a Nutella intervention. While in Paris I was taking photos of Nutella everywhere I saw it and was posting them for him saying he should move there, Parisians are obviously his people. Every crepe stand we passed had Nutella. Some stands had huge jars, some had several smaller jars and some had loads of both.
I had only had Nutella once in my life and hadn’t been that impressed but I have since given it another try. Still not understanding the crazy passion for this product but to each his own.
The second day we went sight seeing with a vengeance. We went to the Musee du Louvre and saw so many amazing things I couldn’t even begin to mention the ones I loved. As someone who has been an artist for most of her life this was the ultimate pilgrimage for me.
We of course saw the Mona Lisa. It was cool but there were so many people crowed around that I really couldn’t enjoy the experience. I hate crowds. Being in a group of people, having strangers pressed up against me, well, it makes me want to throat punch someone.
I got up close enough to take a few photos of the Mona Lisa and then got back out of the crowd before I lost my cool. Later looking at the photos I was rather amused. There is glass over the painting which is obviously not non-reflective glass because the shine on the glass makes a perfect mirror to reflect the throngs of admirers crowding the security rails to get their own photos of Mona Lisa.
While this painting is amazing I do not understand why , with all of the fantastic art that is in this museum, does the Mona Lisa attract crowds like it does and so many of the other works do not.
My favorite painting was actually one I found in a room that was fairly empty of people. Hanging in an alcove off to one side was this piece that just struck me the moment I saw it. The artists ability to show light and life was just memorizing.
Gionanni Battista Lampi is the artist. The painting, Le Comte Stanislas Felix Potocki (1745-1805) et ses deux fils. I would have stood looking at this piece for hours if we weren’t so short on time.
His ability to capture the moisture of the eyes and the texture of skin on the hand and face was just unbelievable. He looked so lifelike I half expected him to blink. While I was standing there trying to take in everything about this painting not one person came by to look at it.
I thought it was regrettable how so many people crowd in to get their photos of the Mona Lisa and yet here was this amazing piece that was not behind glass, I could stand a foot from it and study it, the talent that it took to create this was amazing, and all those people were missing this. It was just sad.
After The Louvre we went to Notre Dame. The line was fairly long but moved quickly. We didn’t climb to the top but just went inside and hung out there for a while. Tony and I both lit candles and said prayers. I got souvenir coins for my mother and myself. And of course I took loads of photos.
After Notre Dame we got on a tour bus and went by the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. We got off the tour bus at both locations and spent time taking photos. We didn’t go up to the top at either of the sites because of time issues and the size of the crowds. One day we hope to go back with more time and actually go up in the Eiffel Tower. But at least I can now say I have seen it. That is enough.
Our trip to Paris came to an end all too soon. We took the train back to the airport and made our way back to Germany. Once back in Hamburg we still had to pick up our car and make a 2 hour drive to Sønderborg, Denmark. On August 6th, 2014 I finally got to see my new home.
Next Up: Living in a Third Floor Walk Up or Why I Really Wish I Had Worked Out More!