Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bon Voyage!

There was really only thing I wanted for my birthday -- that was for Rick to go to Paris with me. Those of you who have traveled "across the pond" (or just about anywhere else, for that matter) know that it's not an inexpensive venture. So, when Rick said it was time, we began to plan. And eight months later, on an April morning, we set off!

Our flight was uneventful -- on time, not full (so we could spread out and sleep over a couple of seats). When we arrived in Paris and met by our friend and host, Jerry, we were ready to go!

After a stop at the boulangerie and a snack after dropping our bags at Jerry's, we set out on a walking tour.

  For me, this was an encore; for Rick, all new! First stop, Notre Dame!

Initially, the lines were long, but a downpour (the first of numerous consecutive rainy days) helped either speed up or break up the line. Truly, the church was a sanctuary -- in more ways than one!

And, it was a lovely one -- dark, beautiful, filled with history and lovely art.

 We even saw what the church said was the Crown of Thorns, which was on display.

This shocked Jerry, who said that happens very rarely.

The photo and description above aren't at all good, but I put them here, in case you are familiar with this -- it may then make a little more sense to you.

I said a little prayer for Gypsy and for my friend Julie, who was very ill. You couldn't help but "think prayer" everywhere you went.

 It was still raining when we left, walking around the side of the great church, where trees were in bloom.The rain and clouds made for glorious colors when photographing flowers!

Located close to Notre Dame, just on the edge of the Ile de la Cite, is the Holocaust Memorial, honoring the Jews who were rounded up in Paris during the Holocaust and deported to concentration camps.

We weren't allowed to publish photography from inside the museum itself, so these two photos are outside -- the wall and the frightening-looking gate. Inside, it was small, with carved quotes on the wall. Most moving was a hallway of 200,000 crystals lit from behind and an everlasting flame, representing each life lost. This memorial is free, but there was a line to enter as it is so small, only a limited number of people can come in at a time.

We moved over to Ile St. Louis, site of fictional detective Aimee Leduc's apartment. (See reviews of these mysteries set in Paris at my other blog, Chopsticks and String.)

I loved the winding streets and charming shops.

Rick loved the bikes!

Heading back to the Marais, where Jerry lives, we stopped at our third church of the day -- St. Gervais et Protais, one of the oldest in Paris, started in 1494 and more or less finished in 1578.

It was the site of the worst shelling by Germans during WWII, killing 68 people on Good Friday when the roof fell in.
  A service was taking place during our visit, so most of my photos are of the beautiful chapel.

It was at St. Gervais that French composer Francois Couperin's family was at the helm of the church's organ for two centuries beginning in the mid-1600s. (We found this out later so Rick had to make a return visit to check out the organ that was associated with one of his favorite composers!)

It was a full first day, but a wonderful one and we eagerly looked forward to many more wonderful days in Paris, Amsterdam and London! Stay tuned!

NOTE: While I was away, Blogger changed their site and I can't seem to get the spacing right -- anyone with ideas? Help!


Annie said...

Blogger has an annoying learning curve with its so-called upgrade. Don't think about it right now. Just enjoy Paris, keep the post from abroad simple, and mess with the posting at home.

I would go back to Paris I. A heartbeat just to see Notre Dame again. We were there on a tour and the visit was disappointingly short.

Bravo for you and Rick to be there together. It's definitely the city of romance.

anno said...

Beautiful pictures ... and from here, no problems with spacing that I can see. From Rick's expressions, I suspect that this won't be your last trip to Paris ... looks like you both had a wonderful visit, even with the rain!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Ah, this is wonderful! I am so glad you are sharing your experiences with us. The pictures make my heart ache for Paris!

Jeanie said...

Your pictures are wonderful and I love that you got to share it all with Rick. It makes it extra special and a little like seeing it anew yourself.

Bella Rum said...

How great this is. Have a wonderful time. I haven't been online for awhile and I'll be catching up.

Bonnie k said...

Loved seeing the beautiful photos and the descriptions. Looking forward to more!

Tamara said...

c'etait vraiment un bon voyage! Merci... Truly a memorable vacation - thanks for sharing the photo's

Joanne Huffman said...

You really were off to a running start! Great photos (of course). I'm looking forward to more of your trip.

Janet said...

Your photos are beautiful and make me feel as if I'm right there with you. I'm sure it was even better this time around because you got to share it all with Rick.

Retired English Teacher said...

The one picture of Rick captured it all. He looks enthralled. Who wouldn't be? We had such a short time in Paris, we only drove by Notre Dame a few times. I would love to go inside. I love Paris. Of course, again, who wouldn't?

Your pictures are wonderful. Don't worry about the spacing. It all looked great to me. I just want to see Paris through your eyes. I can't wait until the next post.

Jennifer Richardson said...

so nice to be tucked safe
in your back pocket
and travel along
via your photos!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

WOW! What a trip this must have been---And all that on your first day...! No Jet lag??(lol)....
That photo of the flowers and plants is GORGEOUS!! I look forward to seeing and reading more...!!

Tracy said...

Oh, this was a HUGE TREAT to see, Jeanie! We've been itching to go to Paris--perhaps next year. LOVED every moment you shared here. It's just such a rich and beautiful city. Can't wait to see more! The new look for spring here is very pretty. :o) Happy Week ((HUGS))

joyce said...

My favourite picture is the first one, with the Danish pastry!! (What can I say, I have rumblies in my tummy as its dinner time).
Can't wait to see your pics of Amsterdam as I have been there a couple of times. I just took a book out of the library of the great works from the Rijksmuseum and thought of you being there.

Arti said...


This is a wonderful first day. Your photos are so sharp and focused. You must have had a good camera with you on the trip. I didn't realize there's a Holocaust Memorial by the Nortre Dame. I learned about the round up of the Jews in France only from reading the book Sarah's Key. I await your next posts. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

The Artful Diva said...

I, too, love Paris. It is a magical city. I am happy to know that you had such a good time across the pond!

Toriz said...

I want to go to Paris! I've been to France in general a couple of times on the train, but we never went far in to France, and definitely didn't go to Paris. Hubby's promised we can go some time, but there's so much we want to do... We'll get there in the end!

The spacing thing is easier to control if you switch over to html mode; you don't need to know how to do fancy things, you just need to put spaces in where they belong, and make sure the box to allow the enter key to do line breaks is ticked down in the options. Although, even that isn't guaranteed to give you perfect results. I think Blogger still have kniks to work out. Personally I don't know why they did a huge update when they still had issues sometimes with their old version, but that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Great photos, Jeanie! Sorry you had so much rain, but as you found, there are some up-sides (better color drenching in photos, shorter lines for some places, etc.). Looking forward to your future posts - it will be fun to see how your photos and observations compare to mine for those places we both visited.

Pat K.

Ruth said...

April in Paris = April in heaven. Oh, the pain aux raisins!! Oh my heart.

Let's please have a picnic soon to go over the details of your trip.

My heart is with you over your beloved Gypsy. Be well, my friend. I know you cherish him still.

Popular Posts