Ok, I finally see what all the fuss has been about. Paris is unbelievable. I got in on Monday and saw the length of Rue du Temple on foot as I carried and pulled my luggage. (I had walked right by my hotel/apartment and kept on looking...) I was happy the whole time. When I reached the Seine, I knew I'd gone too far and headed back. My friend Joanna had flown in from Phoenix that day and had waited for me for hours, bleary and jetlagged, but she seemed happy, too. Especially when I finally showed up!
Mona and I never got eye-to-eye, as they have her locked up behind glass and velvet ropes and so far away... plus way too many other people were angling to lock eyes with her for me to get much of a chance. But did blow her kisses and I think she winked in my direction.
Then we headed for the Eiffel Tower. Can I use any more superlatives to describe my amazement?
We sat on the grassy lawn to await the fireworks. Then I got antsy and walked 4 or 5 miles to Pont Neuf to take pictures for someone who'd asked me to do that. I was closer to our apartment by then, so walked the many blocks there to recharge my camera battery and look up the Metro stop nearest the Eiffel Tower. I've never been so squashed up against humanity as I was that night. The oxygen level on the train was very low, but the excitement of everyone heading for the fireworks was high.
This is what I saw when I finally rejoined Joanna (yelling her name to locate her, as the crowd had gotten incredibly dense). The program started at about 11 p.m. because it took that long for the sky to get dark! They played music from every culture and the fireworks were choreographed to go along with the songs... Wonderful!
Yesterday we went to the Montmartre district and saw where Renoir and Dali and Toulouse-Lautrec and many other such painters hung out. On the way up to Place de Tertre, we marveled at Sacre Couer, above. It's high above the city and I'll bet it's beautiful to look out over the city at night from there.
One of the many, many artists on the square at Place de Tertre in Montmartre.
Today I leave in just a minute for the train station where I'll meet up with some artist friends from Austin take the high speed TGV train to St. Florent le Vieil for the pastel festival. More news to follow...
I've been soaking in art over here and am kind of curious what sort of thing I'll want to paint when I get home.