Paris, Je t’aime! by Christy Illius

I haven’t written about my adventures in a few days, so I figured a recap is probably due.

Sunday was the Tour de France. I suggest you go early in the morning. I say this because it is an all day event for a moment of maybe 15 seconds. We couldn’t really distinguish Lance Armstrong because they go really fast. So If you’re a super fan , go all day because it’s kind of a party for everyone. If you don’t want to stand all day, go maybe an hour before they’re supposed to ride by.

Monday was our own little tour de France. There is an American bike company that gives a nighttime bike tour all around the city. Yes, you will look like a tourist in a giant group of bikes, but it is so much fun to just leisurely bike around and see everything.  You don’t rent the city bikes for leisure, because they are timed /rented by the half hour and are usually to ride to work, ride to errands, you get the idea. If you do want more info on our bike company, its fattirebiketours.com .

Tuesday was a visit to Musee D’Orsay, which holds Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Corbet ,Daumier, Degas, and so many other artisits. You could spend a while at D’Orsay. We spent 4 hours, which wasn’t enough time to see every piece, but if you don’t have much of an attention span after 2 or 3 hours, it is just enough to see all of the more recognizable works.

Wednesday we visited Versailles, which was amazing. We watched Marie Antoinette before going so we could have an idea of what we were about to see. The Chateau is probably the most crowded part of the estate, so if you aren’t good with crowds, try to get there super early. We got there around 11 am and it was swamped. You walk around the Chateau kind of like cattle being wrangled into each room, and there are so many people in there at once that pictures aren’t really worth it, unless you want 30 others in your photos. However, the rest of the estate like the gardens, the Trianons, and the Hamlet, are not as crowded and really enjoyable to walk around. You should choose a good day for this trip however, as everything is outside. The hamlet had little animals like goats. We ended up meeting the locals that I mentioned in my last post, and they were wonderful. Any crazy ideas we thought about how to dress, how to act, don’t be an “ugly American” , we are horrible, etc, were all dispelled, which was very nice. We had a fantastic picnic on the Seine ( which gets very cold at night, even though we swore to our host that we were quite warm) and then did a little exploring after that.

Today was the Louvre.  Of course, we saw the Mona Lisa , Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory, but we also saw a pretty interesting Egyptian exhibit and then spent some time just being in the Italian paintings area. Once again , however, it was very crowded. Get to the Louvre early, because after 11 am , it is pure madness, and that’s just for a Thursday.

Tomorrow we leave for Marseille. Hopefully everything will go smoothly. Our new friend from last night’s picnic was trying to tell us that it’s horrible and not to go, but I was also informed that Paris is to Marseille as OSU is to Michigan– so I’m sure we’ll still have a great time exploring : )

Off to pack,

c

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