Paris in a Flash: Day 2
Exhaustion after what has been a jam packed long weekend of tourism! Having a really close and really enthusiastic friend in the picture has been the kick that I needed to really make the most of living in the worlds most visited city!
People often come here for a mere two days with a list of objectives that can take a lifetime to truly appreciate.
Well we made a great dent into the usual suspects.
It began with a quick breakfast over at a gorgeous café overlooking Place du Vosges – croissant avec confiture framboise, crêpé citron au sucre.
Then we walked back to Île de la Cité, this time visiting the famed bastion of the Notre Dame de Paris.
The cloisters and spires, the flying buttresses, the facades, standing tall against the bright blue sky.
The entireity of its walls are all intricately sculpted telling a story of history, society and religion.
The vaulted ceilings and archways conveyed such an intense presence and the mood was dominated by the areas of light and shadow.
The arches lead your eyes towards the lofty windows.
Ornamented with stone tracery and filled with stained glass illustrating stories from the Bible and the lives of the Saints, I was simply mesmerised by the artistry and colours of the windows especially those of the North and South Rose windows which are treasures.
Coming back down from the enourmous heights of the celiling towards the centre of the cathedral where tourists and worshipers sit and marvel.
Then onto the nave of the Cathedral…
Here are some of the incredibly intricate details that abound on every wall and piece of furniture.
Walking around behind the Choir each nave was adorned with the most beautiful of stained glass windows.
It is a far cry from 1335 when it was first completed but Notre Dame de Paris has stood the test of time and revloution, plundering and destruction, restoration and construction.
When in need of a quick and nutritious lunch to satisfy a hungry stomach – head for Japanese Chirashi Sushi.
Now, here comes what very well may be number one on most people’s list in Paris and I finally made it to what in truth should have been my refuge a long time ago.
I think I have been avoiding the magnetic pull of the Lourve as I really wanted to devote the time and focus it deserves, I wanted to share it with someone.
Who better to share it with than someone with the same obsession with art history. We walked around admiring the Palais du Louvre from the outside. It is the culmination of construction from the 12th century fortress through Napoleonic grandeur and modernist architectural injection.
The glass pyramid initially controversial in Paris has become an icon.
It is an insanely emotive way to enter this, one of the world’s largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument.
Walking through the Denon Wing past sculptures that made your heart sing…
The Winged Victory and Aphrodite, an unknown sculpture otherwise called Venus de Milo were welcome distractions on the way walking through galleries.
Walking into the hall with thousands of visitors we headed towards a 16th-century portrait painted during the Renaissance in Florence depicting a seated woman with a sly smile – La Giaconda, or as she is known to her devotees Mona Lisa.
I love these two photos as they capture Mona as a modern marvel, a celebrity, a tourist paparazzo’s focus and so these reflections of her devotees sprawled over her black gown exemplify her new found fame.
She is not the only famous figure from history who resides on these walls.
The building was as much , one of the masterpieces for us to admire as the works on its walls.
Stone and brass, marble and bronze, in an artists hands visions true to life that transcend time and space can be formed that truly touch you and speak to you.
Cour Marly and Cour Puget the two expansive courts, open to the lights of the sky, house works that blend art and life.
Look at the motion and movement the artists are able to capture in the complete stillness of stone.
You see every rippling muscle fibre as the horse rears and see the human emotion in its face.
From the bright white light of the courts we descended into the Medieval depths of the original structures of the Louvre.
And from the depths we emerged to finish our lightening tour of the Louvre with the decadence of the Napoleon III Apartments.
Can you imagine visiting the Palais Louvre in the time of Napoleon III when the entire structure looked like this… just imagine!
It was hard to say goodbye but we were absolutely exhausted having walked our legs into the ground.
So exhausted that we caught the metro straight home for a rest before our plans for the evening!