Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sacré Cœur seen from the bell tower of Notre Dame

Photos from our visit to Notre Dame

January 17

The last two weeks have been very rich and full of excitement. However, I feel that the heart and soul of Paris lies in its people, language food and music. The architecture in Paris is absolutely breathtaking, but what I will remember is getting lost with Adam and Jacob while we were trying to find the closest Lavarie (laundromat). So many French people saw our obvious stress and constantly gave us encouragement. We received directions which eventually fit together like pieces in a puzzle. Then there was the French woman in the lobby of the FIAP today who spoke to me for an hour about the concerns she had about one day waking up and finding herself unemployed. This let me know that no matter who you are or where you come from we all have similar concerns. We talked about a networking convention she went to, laughed over our inadequate sign language, and admired the beauty of a fickle sun which appears on special occasions. Which occasions? Well, I don't know... but the sun in Paris is an arrogant one which knows how to make an entrance.

I enjoyed the music in the streets, which included a man playing a small box piano, another playing at least three instruments at once, people roller skating and doing all sorts of fantastic tricks to the sounds of a nearby radio. I wondered how often they came and performed in front of the Seine River.

I laughed as Lorraine, Jacob, Tyler, Adam and I stood on line at the Notre Dame Cathedral while a comedian with a scary mask teased and played with all of us on line. He shared his wonderful gift of entertainment freely, and then humbly lowered his mask for anything anyone who laughed and appreciated him on that long line could spare.

I enjoyed the way people seem to cook the food here with love and passion..... Yes, I enjoy the passion, love, heart and Pulse of France--it's people. Its aesthetic beauty and historical sites, though important, are just icing to the cake.

Everyday life ... yes, that's what I like in Paris!

Paris is gay after all ...

Photos - January 16

January 16

These last two weeks in Paris we have seen so many interesting things. We have been made aware of a lot of historical facts about Paris, which makes the experience even more meaningful. I loved taking the boat ride down the Siene in the beginning of the trip because it allowed us to see all that Paris had to offer and set us up for the things we would be doing for the rest of the trip. I enjoyed the Eiffel Tower because it glittered and was very beautiful. It was interesting to learn that the French actually didn't like it and thought it was ugly. The Catacombs was also an interesting experience because there were so many bones, I didn't realize that so many people died and were used for that project.