From Paris, With Love

In May in France we had THREE 4-day weekends.  It just so happened that three holidays landed on a Thursday, so Friday was an “RTT Obligatoire”.  I don’t remember what RTT stands for but my work office was shut down.  Perfect opportunity for me to take my first trip.  I decided to go to PARIS from May 8-10.  It’s about 3h 45 min by train including a few stops early into the ride then direct to Gare du Nord.  I did some quick research and found a small apartment on AirBnb, bought  tickets online, arranged for friends to check in on Cleo, and I was all set to catch a 5:30 am train.  I live a 5 minute walk to the station.  Right after the 3rd 4-day weekend we had one 3-day weekend.

I’ve been to Paris a handful of times, usually for work, and I’ve seen most of the major attractions, some a few times over.  This time I wanted to cater the trip to specific things I wanted to do and see, such as Père Lachaise Cemetery and a unique store called Deyrolle.  You’ll see what I mean in my photos.  I also wanted to eat some non-French food and *gasp!* see a movie in VO.  “VO” means “version originale”, the film in it’s original language.   No dubbing though there are likely to be French subtitles.  You’re probably thinking, “What??  You’re in Paris and you want to sit in a theater and see a movie?”  Yup, that’s right, the life of an expat.  There were a lot of VO movies to choose from, unlike Annecy.  I ended up seeing Captain America:  Winter Soldier.  Yeah!!  The theater was a letdown from what I’m used to in America.   No butter popcorn, only salt or sugar popcorn, no stadium seats and a dismally small screen.  I’m talking about one-third the size of screens in the US.  Oh well, I still had a good time!

I also arranged to meet Lino, the father of a college friend, and his wife Kathryn for lunch at Les Éditeurs and a visit to the Musée d’Orsay for the Gustave Doré exhibit.  Lino and Kathryn own an apartment in Paris and split their time between Paris and Vail, CO.  I’ll subscribe to that plan!  When we got to the museum, there was a huge line waiting to get in.  Add to that it was raining, a holiday, and almost the last day of the exhibit.  Lino, being well versed in these things, bought tickets online ahead of time and we were able to enter through a separate entrance with no waiting.  I love the Musée d’Orsay.  It’s a former train station built in 1898-1900 and it’s a beautiful setting for a museum.  There was also a highly acclaimed exhibit called Van Gogh/Artaud:  The Man Suicided by Society.  More info here http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/events/exhibitions/in-the-musee-dorsay/exhibitions-in-the-musee-dorsay/article/van-gogh-artaud-37162.html?cHash=4e6f66cb2b  While it was great to be there, the museum was so crowded it was hard to enjoy the exhibits.

I did a TON of walking.  I also took the metro a lot.  It’s the best way to get around if you want to cover a lot of ground.  By the 3rd day, I had gone through almost 10 tickets so I bought a day pass.  My legs and feet were sore by the end of this trip!  One place where I spent a lot of time was Père Lachaise Cemetery.  A lot of famous artists, writers, and performers are buried here including Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison.

I want to mention that May 8 was VE Day, which stands for Victory in Europe Day.  It marks the surrender of Nazi Germany’s armed forces.

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