As my third alarm of the morning goes off, I realize it’s probably time for me to wake up, especially since I kind of forgot to pack for Paris. Did I mention we were leaving in two hours? I rolled out of bed and began stuffing enough clothes to last me a month into my duffel bag, for a five-day trip.
Église Saint-Paul Saint-Louis 1627
I came downstairs, and it was time to hop in Sherry, our van, and head to the train station. After getting through early morning rush hour traffic with Vienna’s fire playlist, we hopped onto the high-speed train and off we went. I slept for all three hours, waking up only to take pictures of Ryelle sleeping across from me. We hopped off the train, got sandwiches and headed to the hotel to drop off our stuff.
Our hotel cat "Shadow"
Notre Dame after the fire.
Le Pont d'Argenteuil, 1876, Claude Monet (French)
"The Bath", Alfred Stevens 1867 (Belgian)
From there, our day consisted of a broad tour of Paris and 16,675 steps. We visited the Bastille, Notre Dame, and Shakespeare & Co to name a few. On Tuesday we visited the Opera, the Tuileries Gardens, the Musée D’Orsay and basically a private tour of Paris through the Seine River, where we saw the Eiffel Tower shining at night.
Paris and North France was cold for us southerners. The sun was a welcomed warmth.
The Chateâu of Auvers-sur-Oise
On Wednesday, we spent the whole day exploring the town of Auvers-Sur-Oise, where we visited the wheat fields that Vincent van Gogh painted in, and visited his grave, which is situated next to his brother’s, who was his biggest supporter.
The famous Chartier
Snails are always better when shared
Back in Paris for some free time. We decided to see her again.
"Winged Victory of Samothrace" or Nike of Samothrace
Thursday was my favorite day. We spent the whole day in the Louvre, where I discovered how easy it is to lose track of time when looking at something that is truly beautiful. I spent most of the day lost in the Egyptian exhibits of the museum with Ryelle and Nikki, but after finding ruins they wanted to draw, and I didn’t, I decided to take Dave’s advice and separate myself from the group. I wandered around until I found an escalator to climb, and when I reached the top I was greeted with a beautiful sight.
The Four Captives - Martin Desjardins (Dutch)
The inside of the old courtyard that belonged to the King and Queen of France was now filled with hundreds of statues. Hand-made statues, chiseled meticulously without the help of modern-day technology, something that seems impossible to even think of. After closely studying a variety of statues for a while, I wandered over to a balcony that overlooked an elaborate bronze statue. I was immediately captivated by the immense amount of detail work that had been incorporated into the sculpture. There were four figures that were chained to a large platform, disarmed of their weapons and shields. They represent the four nations that were defeated by the Treaty of Nijmegen: Holland, Spain, the Roman Empire, and Brandenburg. Each of the nation’s figures is displaying a different emotion of captivity, hope, resignation, revolt, and grief. The beauty of the statue itself and the history behind it is what makes art so interesting to me. The ability for something to look so normal or one-sided on the outside, but to have a richer, deeper meaning or story behind it, that you can only find by immersing yourself, and wanting to know more. I hope to be able to find many more pieces of artwork that will fascinate me and inspire me to dive deeper to find the meaning and history behind them.
Below are some examples of our Carnets (sketchbooks)
Feels good to be home though, even when the Paris cold followed us.