The last three days have been a glorious kaleidoscope of laughter, colour, movement, people, design, taste and seeing history and having movie memories come alive.
From early in the day - either eating in our gorgeous apartment fresh products from a local cafe or doing a Parisian Petit breakfast to our every night midnight returns each and every hour has been wonderful.
Paris in all her moods, sunshine and blue skies or moodily overcast with rainy showers she is a beautiful city. Every glance, up the boulevards, chimney pot horizons, eclectic shop windows, the trees covered in the new bright green summer leaves, the madly bright bursts of geranium colours against the grey stone or red bricks, the manicured lawns and street corners punctured with regal statures of every famous person ever alive and the grandiose buildings dwarfing the scenery around is stunning. There is so many "Oh-wow-look-look-at-this" moments.
People are everywhere. Rushing through the metro, sitting in the theatre rows of the cafes watching the parade of people streaming along the footpaths. In the parks, sitting, talking, reading or dozing. Tourists everywhere clasping ipads, cameras, phones, recording forever their magical memories of Paris. The metro has us intrigued. It's an art gallery of its own, the rabbit warren tunnels lined with huge posters, colours and words enticing passer-byes to go to the next show, opening, play, movie, concert or exhibition. Susie, Billy, John and i have spent hours moving through the maze of Paris on this efficient transport system arguing good naturally as we stand in front of yet another ubiquitous metro map about our next destination.
The Paris metro involves a number of factors to align for success. The knowledge of your destination, which combination of lines will achieve that result and knowing the end station of each line. (ie direction of travel) and if each of those events fall into place and you again trudge up yet another flight of stairs to look around at the street scape and realise you have achieved being in the right place there is a moment of quiet gloating. Susie and Billy are wonderfully amusing travelling companions, easy going, flexible and outrageously funny we have enjoyed the debates and conversations and mad laughter they bring. Susie with a working knowledge of French (Susie tells me it is an excellent comprehension!) can bail people up to enquire all manner of things. I just don't know if the occasional confused looks she receives comes from her accent or questions. (and more amusingly when the answer comes from tourist-american telling here they don's speak french!)
We were awed at The Louve - with history captured in glass cabinets and on walls, cavernous halls filled with marble statues, body language frozen in time. It was seeing the march of time and people's ventures through the ages, glimpses of their art and home wares, decorations, ideas and achievements captured for us to see in a day. Fell in love with the colours and design of Mayan art work. And that is what museums are about - realising how little I know about so much. Note to self - google Mayans. soon.
Eiffel Tower was surreal- after seeing the image on every home decor imaginable in Brisbane 'cheap' shops and then finally seeing the structure itself - peeping through trees and behind buildings, through misty air and rain, or with a blue sky back drop, covered in glittering lights, or towering above us was like being in a dream.
We have walked parks, perused Primtemps (department stall that makes Myers look quite shabby) circled streets of names. (All brands, most i've never heard of) enjoyed an evening of fine food and wine and friends whilst admiring Paris from her river , walked along the banks of the Seine river, got tangled up in the antique markets, somewhere at the end of a metro line. Vintage clothing and furniture, beads and bricabrac, painting and decor competing for attention all jumbled into market stalls and spilling out into the narrow walk ways.
Monet in glorious garden colour, the impressionists painting, names i heard of in Nambour High Senior Art - all suddenly real and framed in front of me. In wild crazy prolific abundance. Discovered the Italian Macchiaioli artists who were painting amazing scenes full of light shade and colours in Tuscany
decades ago. Last century Vincenzo Cabianca (1827 - 1902) was painting canvases of nuns in glorious colours and light which a century later would be admired by thousands of people every day, including me.
Amusingly, one day, we all spilt up to see various cultural delights with plans to meet back at a certain time at a certain cafe. Turns out we each got to our destination to discover that it was firmly closed for a Monday and when we met back together - at our cafe some hours later - each had tales of discovery to tell as we each struck out to explore other places and other things.
Have seen two French riots, flag waving and chants, marching and ams waving madly. Police lined up- guarding the right of self expression!
It's an abundance of life, food, colour and design.