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Paris Trip – Days 1 – 2

Welcome to my Paris travel diary! My plan is to post the details of my Paris escapades THE SAME DAY that I experience them. Well, maybe a day later… or maybe two days… You know I’m quite the procrastinator. Anyway, I got right to work on the first two days! Let’s get started!

Day 1 – The first day consisted of flying. I left Boise at 12:00 noon and flew to Chicago and then on to Paris. The overseas flight was 8.5 hours, but it passed relatively quickly. I watched Ocean’s 13 which was entertaining, and another movie called “Lucky You” which would’ve put me to sleep if it weren’t for the poker scenes. That’s too bad… I really could’ve used the sleep.

Arriving_in_Paris My parents ambushed me with the camera as I exited customs. I guess being exhausted makes me look fat. The doofy grin is par for the course.

Day 2 – I’m exhausted from the flight, but determined to stay awake as long as possible so the jet lag doesn’t hinder me for more than a day or so. We board a train at the airport and ride it into Paris proper where we switch to the subway. Then we get off and walk 6 blocks to my parents’ condo. I dragged my luggage along the whole way on and off trains and up and down flights of stairs. Some parts of Paris are handicapped friendly, others ARE NOT. It’s a good thing the luggage was only a temporary hindrance.

Here we are arriving at the lobby of the building my parents live in. Now I’d heard about the tiny elevator here, but experiencing it in person was quite… claustrophobic. Notice the stairs to the right in the first picture. They give you a sense of how tiny the thing is. You can fit four medium-sized people in there… if they are VERY friendly with one another. Elevator in lobby In the elevator
Condo 1 Condo 2Condo 3 Next we arrived at the condo. I’d seen pictures of it before, but I was immediately struck by how small it was – a mere 800 sq ft. I took the first picture from the back of the living room/guest room (my dad wasn’t prepared). The second shot is is from just outside the living room/guest room so I could get a better view of the bathroom and kitchen. You can basically stand in the entryway, do a 360 degree turn and see everything there is to see. The third picture is a shot from the main entryway. The apartment is actually quite spacious by Parisian standards and it is quite cozy and nicely decorated. Your jaw would drop if I told you how much it cost…
So yeah… I’m completely exhausted and just slightly grumpy. Should I chill at the pad and perhaps take a nap? Nah… let’s head right out and see what there is to see! Here we are on the bus riding towards Ile De La Cité and Notre Dame. On the bus
Pace St-Michel Here I am standing in front of a statue of the Archangel St Michel for whom I am named (ok, my parents just liked the name “Michael”). The scene supposedly depicts Michel’s triumph over the devil (or dragon – depending on your interpretation of scripture). The scene also depicts that I’m not half the bad-ass that my namesake is.
Next stop, Notre Dame: built on the founding grounds of Paris and site of many famous historical events including the coronation of Napoleon as emperor of France. I’m not much of a church guy, so I kept the visit brief. The most intriguing thing about Notre Dame to me is the architecture. It is the herald of the gothic style. It took 170 years to build and many of it’s features including the cross-shaped floor plan, interior arches, and flying buttresses set the standard for many lesser buildings that followed in it’s wake. Notre Dame 1Notre Dame 2 Notre Dame 3Notre Dame 4
Next up: the Conciergerie, which is just down the street from Notre Dame. It was built before the 10th century and is one of the oldest medieval buildings in Paris. It is a part of a greater structure called the Palais de Justice which is basically the French Supreme Court. The Conciergerie is most famous for its use as a jail during The Terror when it housed many of the prisoners who were to be sent to the Guillotine. Among its famous visitors were Marie Antoinette and Robespierre. The entryway is a huge hall that was used as the King’s banquet room. My dad is standing in one of the four fireplaces that flank the hall. To the left of the Conciergerie is the Chapel Sainte-Chapelle. It was built in 1242 by Louis IX to house relics of Christ’s Passion (which, of course are no where to be found now). The most notable feature of the chapel is the thin columns and massive stained-glass windows that make the interior look like it is supported entirely by colored light. And no… there’s no $5 merlots available for purchase in the gift shop. The Conciergerie and chapel Sainte ChapelleThe grand hall in the ConciergerieThe stained glass of Sainte Chapelle

Whew! By the time we left the Conciergerie, I’d been up for over 24 hours. I was basically stumbling around like a zombie by this point. So we decided to head back to the apartment for some well-deserved R&R. That’s all I have for Days 1 & 2 (like you wanted more…). Tune in later for more of my take on the sights in Paris.

6 Responses to “Paris Trip – Days 1 – 2”

  1. on 22 Sep 2007 at 6:52 pm Jennifer

    WOW! Paris looks beautiful! keep posting updates, i enjoyed reading this.

  2. on 22 Sep 2007 at 7:34 pm Sarah

    Glad you made it over safe and sound~~Looks like you’re having a blast~~You look like a tourist :)

    But it’s entertaining and i like the pictures~~

    Take care~~

  3. on 22 Sep 2007 at 10:10 pm Kaytee

    WOW Mike. very nice!!!! I didn;t know you were going to France… Have fun and talk to ya later
    Oh P.S. DO NOT if you are out eating, ask for butter for your bread!!!!!! it is considered very very rude, I made that mistake when I was in Paris lol, hey what do ya expect I am american I grew up eating bread AND butter no matter HOW good the bread was!

  4. on 24 Sep 2007 at 8:15 am Rob

    Can you write a script that will hyperlink non-standard terminology to urbandictionary.com?

  5. on 24 Sep 2007 at 8:22 am Kristi

    This is absolutley awesome! It likes watching the travel channel!! Do post more… I can’t wait.

  6. on 24 Sep 2007 at 12:29 pm Jessica

    Mike, great pics! Loved the statue of Archangel St. Michel, very beautiful. I also like what you have written. It is nice to know a little history behind each place you visited. Keep it comming!

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