Sunday, June 2, 2013

Skyscrapers, Monet, and Marie Antoinette

*sorry there aren't photos, I will add them soon*

Monday May 20th

Around midday a couple of my friends and I headed out to La Defense, which is the modern area of Paris. It's full of skyscrapers and it reminded me a lot of Chicago. Though I definitely prefer old Paris it was really interesting to see a different side of Paris, full of businessmen and women and lots metal and glass buildings.  There is a giant mall there so what did we do....that's right we went shopping! I finally gave in and bought myself a leather jacket and boy am I one happy girl. Before shopping we had lunch at McDonalds, yes you read that right. I'm not gonna say its my proudest moment but I figure since plenty of the French go to them than its good enough for me. I got a hamburger and fries, and then a hot chocolate and some macaroons and I thoroughly enjoyed it all. The mall was super fancy complete with free shoe shinning machines and water fountains! You maybe thinking that water fountains aren't that exciting but they seriously are, and it's because I can never find any in Paris. Unfortunately this water fountain was dispensing warm water and not cold for some odd reason so what could've been a joyous moment was marred a bit by the warm water, oh well. 

Tuesday May 21st

The morning commenced with school and a midterm, and I've got to say it is hard to juggle school and sightseeing and everything else. There is just so much to do! Then we went to the Musee de Marmottan. This museum has a lot of paintings by Monet and other impressionists, so definitely right up my alley. In the basement of the building there was an exhibit of paintings by a female impressionist painter (I'm having trouble remembering her name right now), and I've got to say I did not enjoy her stuff. I've never been one of those people that can look at a painting and analyze it and such, so I just go by what I like and don't like. Needless to say I like a lot of pretty paintings! :) 

Wednesday May 22nd

Today started out with a morning stroll through the market at La Motte-Picquet. I loved it! It was just so full of life and all sorts of different and interesting smells and people and things. I didn't buy anything but it was still great. Then we hopped on the metro to go to the catacombs, and apparently it was right outside of the metro stop but we spent a good 10/15 minutes looking for it until we figured it out. I've noticed that stuff like that happens a lot, probably a side effect of not having smart phones and 3G everywhere we go....which in my opinion is actually not such a bad thing. As it happens sometimes the catacombs were closed. I thought the sign was a bit mysterious and scary, maybe somebody tried to steal some bones or something.....who knows! What I do know is that I was bummed it was closed because I had just gotten up the courage to venture down in the land of the dead, but oh well...I'm pretty sure they will still be there when I come back. Then it was back on the metro and over to Sainte-Chappelle and La Conciegerie. The stained glass in Sainte-Chappelle was absolutely astounding! In terms of cathedrals it is on the smaller size but the windows made it seem so much bigger with the light streaming through them. Each of the windows displays a story from the Bible which made it very interesting to look at each and think about the amount of work put in to each one in order to convey a particular story or message. La Conciergerie was something I had wanted to visit the last time I was in Paris but hadn't had the chance to. It served as a prison during the French Revolution and was where Marie Antoinette was held right before she was executed. The actual area where her cell was is now part of a chapel so there was a cell re-done to imitate what hers might have looked like. It was sad to think about all the innocent people that were killed and it has prompted me to want to learn more about that period of time in French history. Overall a great day! :) 


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