Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Paris Days 8 and 9

Belated but here!

We woke up pretty early and went down for a breakfast of some sort of juice, mediocre croissant, and bread. It was free. Then we left for Chateau de Vincennes. At first we were unimpressed. Then we realized what they wouldn't let us into was just the gatehouse. The Castle itself was pretty freaking cool. They let us right in with our museum passes, and then we got to walk around.

I liked it a lot better than Versailles. Here, we could touch everything, and there were no stupid tourists. No furniture, either, but that was okay. We got to look out from the battlements through the arrow slits, then we went up to the tower to look out over the grounds. It felt very royal.

Then we went into the main castle. We got to see all the prisoner's graffiti and the king's bedrooms, plus, of course, the castle latrines. It was all very cool. Also we saw the cell in which they kept the Marquis de Sade. That was pretty neat. There were some great blank screens, too.

After that, we went to the Saint-Chapelle. It's beautiful inside, with huge windows of stained glass. There were some cool old instruments in there too. No banjos, sorry Dad.

Then we decided to take the train to the Grand Arche. It's a big square arch type thing visible from the Arc de Triomphe. It's very cool-looking, with neat glass elevators and a computer museum in the top. Unfortunately, it was closed for repairs. Still, there was a mall and a movie theater near by. We had lunch, ate on the steps of the arch, then went inside to wander the mall a little. Then we watched Prince of Persia. It was an entertaining enough movie, though very much lacking in substance.

Then we headed home. Julia took a nap and I caught up with the internet, then we left to eat at 7. We had some absolutely fantastic pasta. Julia's ravioli was better than my lasagna, but they were both very good. Then we went to see another movie, Kick-ass this time. It was pretty funny, and very gory, but I enjoyed it.

Then we went to bed.

This morning, we missed breakfast. That was okay, though, we just went to a different Boulangerie and bought croissants that were a lot better than the ones they served at the hostel. Then we took the Metro to the Louvre. We decided not to explore the Louvre more, and instead walked through the Tuileries to the museum that housed modern art not by Monet. It didn't open until 12, so we started walking back to the gardens. A creepy man told me I was "très jolie" and asked me for a kiss. He started following us until Julia yelled at him to go away. Then we sat around for a while until noon.

There were really cool photographs from the 1940s by an artist named Lisette Model. They were mostly of regular, every day people sitting around, or singing, or anything. There were a lot of fat models. Also some famous musicians like Louis Armstrong. We had a bit of trouble with les toilettes at one point because they were both marked occupé, but clearly it wasn't the case. Turned out they weren't as locked as they seemed, though. We managed to go. Then we watched a little video about a slug on a fern and some musicians. It was neat.

We left the museum and had some hot chocolate outside. Like all the hot chocolate in this city, it was magnificent. We headed to La Carousel under the Louvre, which is basically a mall. There wasn't really anything to do there, so we headed to a different mall, Lafayette.

It was a weird mall. For one thing, there aren't a bunch of stores. Just one with different little sections for everything unseparated by walls. It's also a beautiful space. There's a big, colorful dome over everything made of stained glass and arches. It almost let me forget that we were deep in enemy territory. That would refer to the mall. Malls are my enemy territory.

We had Chinese food for lunch, which made Julia very happy. I enjoyed the spring rolls and fried rice, and even tried a dumpling! It was all good, though the beef satay was one stick short of perfect. And a little spicy. Still, an enjoyable meal.

We shopped around a little more before heading back to the hotel. Which brings us to where we are now.

I'll do a final update tomorrow after landing, but I suspect this sums up the interesting points of our trip. Thanks for following my blog, everyone! It's been fun!


Frona said...

You're the BEST! Thanks for being such a dedicated observer and reporter! xxoo

Allison said...

Wow! You girls have been very very busy.

Ezra said...

Bummer about the banjo situation. I'll try to make it up to you when you get home.

Can you get a copy of the video about the slug on a fern? That sounds like an exciting action flick! ...or was it a romance?