paris: part one

How do you adequately sum up a great holiday week in Paris in a blog post? If a picture says a thousand words, then I could post all of ours and give about nine PhD dissertations worth of picture words right there. Instead, I’ll do my best to recount what was an extraordinary week, one that we will never forget.

[I realized that it might be a bit long to post this all at one, so here’s the first part]

I mentioned earlier what our travel to Paris looked like. It was a long day, and we were excited to settle into our holiday flat and get something to eat upon our arrival. Our flat had all the amenities of home crammed a pretty tiny space, but served us well. We dropped our stuff and went to find something to eat, and were pleasantly surprised to be able see the blue Eiffel Tower from our street. We walked around our neighborhood a bit and found a nice little pizza place. A great introduction.

Day 2: Christmas Eve
– We got up and hit the patisserie around the corner from our flat, and began what would become a daily ritual of picking up some delicious pastries [le torsade au chocolat was a personal favorite] and a baguette to make a sandwich for lunch. Thank you, Eric Kayser!
– Walked from our flat to l’Ecole Militaire and the Champ Du Mars [the park underneath the Eiffel Tower] and took some pictures there, and then made our way past l’Hotel des Invalides to the Musee D’Orsay, which features some great works by Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet.
– At night, we took the metro to Champs-Élysées, which had the greatest display of Christmas lights all lined up along the busy street. We took some pictures of the lights and l’Arc de Triomphe.
– Walked to Notre Dame Cathedral [past the Louvre]. This is one of the most amazing buildings I have ever been in. Jam packed with people, and it was all in French, but it was still very peaceful and a very cool way to celebrate Christmas Eve. No sign of the hunchback though.

@ the Eiffel Tower.

Puzzled by Picasso.

Day 3: Christmas Day
– We weren’t sure what would be open. Thankfully Kayser was!
– Walked to the Eiffel Tower and were glad to see that it was open, so we walked up to the 2nd level and thoroughly enjoyed the view of the city on this sunny day. Kind of chilly up there, but obviously a must when in Paris.
– Took the metro to the Latin Quarter and saw the Sorbonne. So many cafes, cinemas and restaurants in this area, and everything was open even though it was Christmas.
– Ate Christmas dinner in a nice little French cafe.
– Walked past Notre Dame and took some more pictures. I could not get enough of that place. I felt peaceful just walking by it.
– Went to a place across the street from our flat for some wine and chocolate mousse for Christmas dessert.

From the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower

Notre Dame.

Day 4: Friday
– One of my favorite days of the trip. We went to the artsy Montmartre area of Paris located in the north part of central Paris. Walked up to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, the highest point in the city. It was a very sunny and clear day, and it was amazing to take in the view of the city from up there. The basilica itself was unbelievable as well. We had a picnic baguette lunch up there as well.
– From there, we walked past Moulin Rouge to les grand magasins [department stores] which had these crazy elaborate Christmas displays in their windows. They were all robotic and the children all had their noses pressed up against the glass. It was a crazy scene with everyone trying to get a good look. The big Opera House is also located in that area.
– We wanted a crepe snack, and I think we found the best stand in the city. Monsieur made us banana nutella crepes, but added some cinnamon and sprinkled some rum into it as well. Delicious, although he sprinkled a bit too much of grandpa’s cough medicine into mine.
– After supper back at the flat, we walked to the Eiffel Tower to see it at night. Every hour on the hour, 20,000 light bulbs flash for 5 minutes, and we wanted to be right under it for that. When they went off, you could hear all the people around kind of ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’. Very touristy and kind of cliche, but even I ‘oooh’ed when it happened.

Looking up @ Sacre Coeur.

Eiffel Tower light show.

More to come later.

    • Sabrina
    • January 2nd, 2009

    Awesome post, Ian! Love your pictures…that camera is sure coming in handy, what a good purchase. Looks like a great time was had. Missing you two a lot these days.

  1. Amazing pictures. You have an awesome eye for capturing a wonderful moment. I can’t wait to see more. All the best this next week!

    • poserorprophet
    • January 2nd, 2009

    Yeah, good pics. I love Paris. Sacre Coeur is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. After I went through that terrible messy relationship I had at the end of Tyndale, I found Jesus again in the crypt below that church.

  2. Sabrina – We’re still not pros with the camera, but we’re learning. We are missing you three as well. Hope the Friesens are having a Happy New Year.

    Kara – More are coming. We took something like 900 pictures. I’ll post more and facebook others. Sorry to hear about Hawaii, but hopefully you had a nice holiday. Happy New Year to you.

    Dan – Sacre Coeur was amazing for sure. Loads of people around when we were there, so it was hard to sit and reflect. We didn’t make it down to the crypt though.

    • jt
    • January 2nd, 2009

    Great pics!

    • poserorprophet
    • January 3rd, 2009

    Yeah, I went mid-to-late-January so there were almost no tourists around when I was there. Sacre Coeur was pretty much empty (except for an order of nuns contemplating the sacred heart) and the crypt was totally empty (as was the rooftop).

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