Paris...celebrating the National Holiday
Trip Start Jul 08, 2013
25Trip End Aug 10, 2013
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I chose the Musee National du Moyen Age, the Middle Ages Museum or Cluny Museum. The building was amazing itself...the only surviving Roman Thermal Bath monument north of Italy and an ancient Hotel Cluny built in the 15th century. The museum housed some amazing tapestries, including the famous Lady and the Unicorn, and many religious artifacts from the 5th to the 15th centuries. Some of the sculptures and stained glass windows were stunning! After, I made my own pilgrimage to the tomb of Victor Hugo, one of my idols. His tomb is housed in the vast Pantheon, where the great men of France have come to rest. The Pantheon is massive, the top level being decorated with beautiful carved ceilings and pillars, and large paintings of the great moments in Frances history...including the story of Joan of Arc. The tombs below were a rabbit warren of small rooms where the sarcophagus's of the great men are surprisingly simple Compared to the pomp and splendor of Napoleon's tomb, these seem quiet and dignified. I nearly walked right past the room where Victor Hugo lay at rest because of its simplicity. I thought it would be grander... It was a lovely moment to be able to thank him for inspiring my passion for Paris and, indirectly, my passion for musicals. His story still moves me to tears and I was happy to see him laid to rest in the same room as Alexandre Dumas and, of all people, Louis Braille.
After my visit, I decided to collect some things for a picnic dinner to eat down by the Eiffel Tower. A giant panini sandwich of eggplant, feta and tomato, a bottle of wine, some cherries and a few butter cookies made a perfect dinner for one. As I headed to the Champs de Mars, the park directly in front of the Tower, I got a phone call from the cute waiter, Gerome, from yesterday! Talk about surprised! He insisted on meeting me to watch the fireworks, but he was very far out of Paris and wasn't sure if the traffic would allow it. I said I would find a spot, which I got lucky and actually found on on the very crowded Champs de Mars. I ended up sitting down next to a group of girls from New York and a lady and her daughter from Sidney BC! Small world. We had a great time chatting, eating and people watching, so I wasn't too disappointed when Gerome phoned to say he wasn't going to make it tonight. The traffic was terrible. It didn't really matter though as I was having a blast listening to the concert and then came the fabulous fireworks. They were unbelievable! Going on for about a half hour, the fireworks were set to music, which included great 90's hits and lots of fun french tunes. The Eiffel Tower sparkled in time to the music and also lit itself in the rainbow colours to show its support for the gay marriage law that was just passed here in France. A beautiful moving tribute to the second belief of France's motto: Liberte, equality, fraternity. Liberty, equality, brotherhood.
I took tons of great pics with my fantastic camera then the Americans invited me to walk with them through the city as the thousands of people streamed out of the Champs. We walked along the Seine river, which glittered beautifully at night, and eventually parted at the metro station. I headed home weary but happy, with fireworks bursting in my dreams. Vive la Revolution!