Departing France

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

At this time, we are all departing our ways and going onward with our journeys elsewhere. My mom and my aunt went to Medjugorje Bosnia, I will be going to Pisa/Bologna and my cousins will be going to Chartres/Versailles.  But let's recap what happened recently.

Yesterday was a fine day. It was better than our jam packed first tour day. It's been very difficult for me to live such a structured schedule especially when I normally don't wake up until about ten when I travel and I party away the nights. It's not like it here because we have to be able to see everything possible in Paris because who knows when we can see all the sights anytime else. I think that the schedule will be a bit more lax the next time I come back because at least then the major things are out of the way. However, it was interesting to find out how much Paris really does have to offer and perhaps it was good that we got into the quick pace so that we can see other things as well.  We woke up and had breakfast by going to our bakery that was found by research (likely Rick Steves). The Bastille area seems to be less touristy, so we were able to get the good stuff, not the over-priced tourist pastries.  We had a nice coffee in the morning while we waited to meet Linda (Brother in law's cousin). Of course, since there is a strike going on, transport right now is extremely unreliable and thus we cannot go to Versailles. She actually had to walk to come see us because of the troubles she had with the metro.

Next we went to the Musee d'Orsay. I wasn't too excited because you can only enjoy so much artwork honestly. I've been to say many museums and I'm not sure what I get out of them anymore. But it was really fun to see artwork as interpreted by the others in my group. With very little art history combined between all of us, we were seeing the pieces in a different light. As Linda said, it's better to see the art through the eyes of a child, where the rudimentary techniques are more exciting than the interpretation and emotion behind it. While it's very important to see art that way, it can be difficult to enjoy unless you're a connosieur. I'm not and I was very tired so I was more than happy to join in our game of posing as the statues did for our photos. Lunch was nice because we went to this little jardins (Remarquables?) which had nice amazing long lines of trees and avenues of benches. I like how the French are able to build the city keeping in mind all the perspectives and the viewpoint of the walker. Unfortunately we didn't really get to enjoy the park too much because we all ate our lunch there on the benches very quickly. We were all hungry and were not able to restrain ourselves to savor the taste of the amazing French food.

Then Linda left and we went to the Arc De Triomph. It was very triumphant. Can't say much else. I've seen it before and we left because it was too hot. The Palatine stayed and toured the Champs d'Elysees while we went shopping - our favorite pasttime. I didn't find anything for me but while we were shopping I was surprised when my phone rang. First caller on my new phone - all I had before was just texts. It was just Bryan - my brother in law, but it was neat to be able to talk to someone from back home. At least the phone was worthwhile since it can receive calls and we don't have to schedule all the time just to get to talk to each other.

That night we just took our Rick Steves book and put it aside for a while. We decided to go to this street that I found last night and just find a place to eat there because there were a lot of neat take-aways and cheap ethnic food restaurants.  We found this one cafe by chance and they didn't have English menus so we just took a chance at what sounded good. We did not know how it was prepared, but we were all able to figure out which protein we'd be eating.  We shared wine and then we got our meals.  It was perfect because everyone loved our food and no one was even less than gushing about the food that the had. You just learn that sometimes you gotta take that risk jump and take what life gives you. If we had not found this restaurant or the menu items by accident, then we'd have stuck and made it safe and not get anything worthwhile.  At night we took a bus tour of Paris.  Initially, I had a bit of difficulty to start off because I'm not used to tours. Plus I had an issue that the bus was willing to slow down for our sake but made issues for traffic because I'm all about the flow through the streets and we were causing minor annoyances. But at the same time, I really enjoyed the tour because it gave me a good idea of what was available in the city and I could find out where to go to these places. I had only toured the city via subway and finally getting the bus let me know how far things were away, but most of all I was able to find little things around the landmarks that were pretty awesome - not just the landmarks themselves.

The next day everyone left and we separated onto our own little tours. I had a little bit of rest and got to see the Luxembourg gardens, which I had wanted to see since the last time that i was in Paris. I also found this nice little church by Chatelet. Got some amazing pictures. If I hadn't wandered off or gotten the tour last night, I wouldn't have known how to truly get lost in Paris but still find my way back.
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