The super efficient Eurostar was unexpectedly delayed, so we departed an hour later than anticipated, and then we got stuck somewhere outside Paris due to "congestion on the high-speed rail line". Fortunately, we didn't have any pressing urgency to arrive on time, and as it was, we were actually given free tickets because of the 2-hour delay. We met Sue and Ritchie at the hotel, and we then wandered out for a little walk before dinner. I had never heard of the concept of "love locks", but a visit to the Pont des Arts footbridge showed what I thought was a really picturesque symbol of the binding nature of love (or at least, the capriciousness of young lovers!). Apparently this concept started up in the early 2000s, and at some point all the locks were removed from the bridges of Paris where people had put them up. The fad has now re-appeared, and I thought they were beautiful!
The main downside to the trip was the weather - it was cold and wet the next day as we stood in line to visit the Musee d'Orsay. I'd been there a few times but always find it hard to believe how much wonderful work is there....all that amazing Impressionism on the top floor, one famous painting after another and another. I love the buildng itself, a converted railway station offering spectacular views toward Montmartre and Sacre Coeur...gazing out across Paris, I find myself wanting to be a glamorous French woman with a pretty silk scarf, thin legs, and a perfect French accent. Poor Mom and Dad had been cut down by the "lurgy anglais" - this horrible cough and cold that had cycled through our family for what felt like the entirety of their visit. I had been ill a few weeks before with it, and all I wanted to do at the time was sleep - I had to applaud Mom and Dad who carried on (almost used "powered on" but there wasn't much power to Dad's pace as we made our way back to the hotel from the museum) despite feeling really rotten.
I made a quick stop at La Duree for some macaroons, and then we headed off back to the Gare du Nord for the 1743 train. It was on time, fortunately, and when we got home everyone was up waiting for us. Although it was a short trip, it was a good one, and it was nice to make memories with Mom and Dad and the Watsons.
|Paris March 2012|