I don't believe there is such a thing as a bad day in Paris. Even when riding the metro by myself this morning and the lady on the loud speaker was saying something in French about "Attention!" and "police en le metro" it was all good. For all I know she could have been telling us to watch out for the madman on the loose that the police in the metro are looking for (and according to Stacey, there was a madman on her metro screaming and freaking out and making little kids cry...) Thankfully, I was blissfully unaware thanks to the language barrier.
|L'Hôtel de Ville, Paris (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
This morning began at the Hôtel de Ville. It is the "town hall" of Paris and is gorgeous. There are some ties to the French Revolution here, so I was very happy to walk around and take pictures. (Bill - it is where Robespierre was arrested and eventually shot himself, so it was kind of like sacred ground to me...) From there, we walked toward the Place de la Bastille where we made a quick detour to a little cafe and I had an espresso and gâteau avec trois chocolates (3 chocolates cake) that was to die for!! The waiter scolded me for eating with my sunglasses on (he said people should be able to see your eyes when you eat???) then asked for Stacey's number... We kind of ran out with him following saying who knows what in French and found the spot where the Bastille used to stand. Again, sacred ground for me. I wanted to sit and touch the ground there, but I thought against it for fear of being deemed mentally unsound. I have to put up the façade that I'm sane, anyway!
|Bust of Victor Hugo (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
We then went to Place des Vosges and toured Victor Hugo's home. It was very nice, and I got some good photos for you, Jan and Christy. I also grabbed an extra brochure - you two can share it since I couldn't get more. From there, we walked to the holiest of places - the Musée Carnavalet, a museum dedicated to the history of Paris. It is in the former home of Madame Sevignée and is the mecca of all things French Revolution.
Not since I was in second grade and shop-lifted Tic-Tac candies from Gee-Bees have I ever wanted to steal something as much as I did today. Thankfully, the lesson my mom and dad taught me when I got busted that night has stuck with me the last 30 years and I wisely chose to just take a photo. Actually, I didn't take a photo. I took nearly 200 photos of French Revolution stuff (no, I'm not kidding, and yes, I am nuts). It was the most amazing place I have ever been. I saw locks of hair of Robespierre, Marie Antoinette and her 3 children.
I saw Robespierre's goblet, Danton's silverware, Louis XVI's chess set and razors, and Napoleon Bonaparte's glove and pistols. Besides that, there were tons of paintings, sketches, bustes, documents, coins, clothes, etc. (This is where you can imagine angels singing "Hallelujah").
|Robespierre's Hair (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Bust of Napoleon Bonaparte (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Scale Model of the Bastille - Musée Carnavalet (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Citizen Louis XVI - Musée Carnavalet (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Citizen Marie Antoinette - Musée Carnavalet (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
|Jacobins In Hell - complete with guillotine, babies on pikes, and a waterfall of blood...|
|Revolutionary Drum - Musée Carnavalet (J. Boyer-Switala, 2008)|
We found our way to the metro (finally!!!!) and went home. I was disappointed in the music festival because there wasn't much music around. When I came home, I found out that most of the music doesn't start until 8 tonight, and it goes on until after midnight. I am not going back out (1. I am too tired and have a big day at Versailles tomorrow, and 2. I don't like the idea of walking home alone from the metro after midnight - I would probably be fine, but why chance it...)