From the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, from the Place de la Concorde to the Grand and Petit Palais, the evolution of Paris and its history can be seen from the River Seine. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Sainte Chapelle are architectural masterpieces while Haussmann’s wide squares and boulevards influenced late 19th- and 20th-century town planning the world over. The banks of the Seine is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The outstanding handling of new architectural techniques in the 13th century, and the harmonious marriage of sculptural decoration with architecture, has made Notre-Dame in Reims one of the masterpieces of Gothic art. The former abbey still has its beautiful 9th-century nave, in which lie the remains of Archbishop St Rémi (440–533), who instituted the Holy Anointing of the kings of France. The former archiepiscopal palace known as the Tau Palace, which played an important role in religious ceremonies, was almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century. Notre Dame is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We have been in Paris less than 24 hours and have had many adventures already!
We found a cute little Basque restaurant last night-Bob had squid in its own ink and I had cassoulet. Soon many French men started arriving-all of them gorgeous and interesting looking-place was dripping with testosterone and Bob laughed at what he called “my flushed face.”
We sat next to two young girls from Boston who were going to the Univ of Paris. When I asked them if they were going to marry a Frenchman they pulled faces and said-No, they definitely were not! They were going to go home and marry an American! I told them I had read that in the 60′s the feminist movement was strong but that it had virtually died out. They agreed and said that the men won the feminist war in France!
This morning we set out to find an internet cafe. I walked into a book store and asked for internet. The guy pulled a face and kind of spit-more like a big “poof” out of the side of his mouth and held up both hands flat out toward me. So we walked down the street and asked a younger guy at a news stand. He did the same thing!!! “Poof” out of the side of his mouth. I laughed and pointed at the face he was making-he laughed back-he had a little English-he said the internet was for the “young.” Don’t know what he considered himself-he looked to be late 20′s. Then he said France was small and didn’t need the internet and that the post was better. I think he was pulling my leg so to speak. So we laughed and walked away, eventually finding our treasure.
Bob is amazed at all the little green maintenance men with green brooms riding in green little trucks and on green motorcycles!
We had asked the manager at the hotel we were in in London what advice he had for us in France since he had worked here for 2 years and was going to Nice to work soon. He said that in rural France to try to pronounce French with a sarcastic tone and “they will like you better!” He said that people in rural France regard Parisian French as “snooty.” What do we know. We still have to find out how to get on the train!