Monday, June 11, 2012

Paris (Part 2)

I woke up at 7:30 AM on Saturday without the help of an alarm clock and "showered" and got ready. I was so excited to go to Montmarte that I left my hotel at 8:45 AM. It was only one Metro stop away but, who cares. I go there really early and finally around 9:45 AM, Emily showed up. We walked up to Sacre Coeur, well, no. We walked up to the lifts and took them up to the base of the monumental building. We had a beautiful view of the city (and I charged my camera too! Actually, I forgot to bring a converter with me. Good thing all the things I needed to charge had a USB cable and I could charge them using my German phone charger!) 

Emily tried convincing me to climb the tower and I'm sure it was an even better view but my legs already hurt too bad for that to happen. We moved on to Montmarte and had breakfast at a cafe. We had crepes with Nutella, mmm, is there anything better? We walked around looked at the artists and there was one picture I fell in love with of some boats and I kept my eye on it but the artist wanted 45 euros for it and I just wasn't willing to pay that much. Emily and I walked to her favorite artist and she bought some paintings and I had told her I wanted to get my picture painted and we looked at the artists. There was only one I really liked and when we asked him what price, he said 50 euros. Excuse me? For one picture? Hell no. I said no and we walked around some more and he called after us "in twenty years it'll be too late!" I knew he was right but I wasn't going to pay 50 euros for a painting. We looked at the other artists and his was the only one I wanted so we went back. Luckily Emily was able to talk him down to 25 euros and I had my picture painted. Once I saw it, I said "wow I'm beautiful!" Honestly surprised because that's not how I see myself. The artist, the smart alec he was, said "of course you are, silly girl." Emily also had her picture painted but somehow talked him down to 10 euros for hers that was only slightly smaller (um, hello, why did I pay so much? Still totally worth it though!)

I went back to the first painter and talked him down to 20 euros for the picture and reluctantly he gave in. I'm now the proud owner of two pieces of beautiful French art!

 We had some time to kill before we were to part ways and we decided to go the Dali museum which was just around the corner. There were some awesome pieces but mostly it focused on his religious works. I think one of my favorite pieces was the lobster phone.

Since Moulin Rouge was so close, we took the Metro there and took a few pictures before heading back to the Metro again. Nothing much to report but it's another thing I can say I did in Paris.

We parted ways around 2 PM and we were supposed to meet at the Cite Metro station at 5 PM for dinner and a show. We were going to see the four seasons in Sainte Chapelle, a small chapel that was built to house the crown of thorns, pieces of the cross, and such things. 
Sainte-Chapelle was built in 1248 by King Louis IX to store the Crown of Thorns. Located within the walls of the Palace of Justice, this masterpiece of medieval architecture is admired for its many stained glass windows. The structure has two tiers, with the lower chapel designed for the royal staff and the soaring higher chapel for the members of the royal family. 
 Before dinner, I went back to my hotel to drop off my paintings and Emily suggested that I check out Centre Pompidou - Musee national d'art moderne. I went there and waited in line but after half an hour the line didn't move at all. I gave up, I didn't have forever, you know. The building was really cool, all the pipes are on the outside, it's an artistic statement I guess. I walked into the square in the back and found people playing music and performers going on and on, even street art. Lots of chalk, but not like children's pictures, like, real art on the sidewalk, just to be washed away.

Since I didn't get to see the inside of the museum, I check out everything that the surrounding square had to offer. Man, I'm happy I did. I found this church that had huge origami birds hanging everywhere. It was so beautiful. So strange too though. I couldn't really tell what it was about.

I wandered back to the Metro station and went to the Cite stop. I was about 45 minutes early but better early than late! I wandered the area and found that things are much closer than they seem. I just must ALWAYS walk in the wrong direction haha. When Emily showed up, we waited for her friend Lucy. We had dinner in a small cafe and I had sausages and fries. Honestly it was two hot dos sliced weird with fries. A meal fit for Lexi and Ry. We had time to kill before the concert so we walked to the Seine and ran into a few of Emily and Lucy's classmates. We sat with them on the river just chatting for a while and then headed back to Sainte-Chapelle for the concert.

We waited in line for a while but soon we were joined by two more of Emily's friends, Erin and Laura. We went in and our seats gave us a choice of sitting in the back or sitting on the side wall of the church. We chose the wall of the church and had by far the best seats in the house.

The four seasons, for those of you who don't know, is a beautiful classical compilation. And these musicians were good at what they did!

The concert was amazing and the musicians were really good too! The main guy, the lead if you will, was just so passionate about everything they did! He was funny too. He only spoke French during the performance but afterward, I heard him say that every two years he spends a year in the US so he speaks very good English too.

We all left the performance buzzing about it. We went to the Metro and most people went one way while Lucy and I went the other. We talked during the Metro ride back but she had to leave before I did. I got back to the hotel around 10:30 PM and I wanted to do something fun but I was exhausted and I needed to pack my things since I was leaving the next day. I got my things in my bag and collapsed into bed around 11:30 PM and woke in the morning at 7 AM. I went downstairs and checked out of the hotel. I had a few hours until I was supposed to meet Emily for breakfast. I went to the Metro across the street and decided to check out Stalingrad before I left. I think I missed the main points but I did see a garden and a port in the distance.

I went to Emily and my meeting point at Odeon and waited at a Starbucks for her to arrive. We were at different exit of the station but we met outside and went to a cafe where we had crepes for breakfast. While Emily went to the bathroom, I paid the bill and when she came back, we left. She thought we were near the Luxembourg Gardens but it turns out we were not, in fact, anywhere near them. Instead we went to Shakespeare & Company Book Store where we each bought a book. You have to buy one, you need the stamp as proof that you were there.

We wandered the streets some more and looked at some of the kiosks near the Seine until it was nearly time for me to go and we found a wine store that was open. I bought a few bottles, one red, one rose. We said our good byes and I boarded the Metro on my way back to Gare du Nord. I boarded my train and took my seat and I was off.

Sadly, for the second and third trains, I had no reserved seat and I was forced to stand or sit in the hallway on the train. Once I finally got back to Hamm (Westf) I was surprisingly happy to be back on an ERB train that stopped at every station because it meant I had a seat. The woman and boy next to me were speaking English and I asked where they were from. She was from New York and lived in Muenster with her husband and children. She even gave me her card and invited me to visit. Awesome!

I got on my bike and began riding back and it kept slipping gears and my left foot flew off the pedal one time. I locked up my knee and it hurts. I spent most of the day in doctors' offices on Monday, more details tomorrow. Bed time now.

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