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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

It’s been over a month since I was in Paris! I need to get back into better habits about my blog! In any case, I am finally going to get these posts up…so here it goes!

My trip to Paris with “Historische Kunst- und Bilddiskurse” was from March 22 to the 27.  The first day we arrived in Paris, via TGV (an express train) was a Sunday, and already fairly late in the day.  We were welcomed by two of our professors and received an introduction to the week at one of their apartments, which included a small introduction to French cheese! I think I liked the cheese a little too much!

Afterward, once we had checked into out hotel and the sun had set, we set out on a introduction to the city of Paris and wondered the dark and mystic streets. Here’s a picture of our exploratory posse:

in-the-streets-of-paris

You can already see in the background of this picture what our next destination was. Actually, it was food…we were looking for a specially tasty falafel stand, but it just happened to be in the direction of the Pompidou!

pompidou-by-night

Here you see the Pompidou lit up by night. It’s the famous art museum with the piping on the outside. There was an exhibit on Alexander Calder there that I would have very much liked to see, but the purpose of our excursion to Paris was to learn more about Symbolism, an art movement that took place at the end of the 19th Century. In the following blog posts I will get more into the details of the movement, the artists involved, and the museums we visited in their reference.

After finding food, we headed in the direction of the Île de la Cité, where Notre Dame is located. The night lighting and the bridges on the way were gorgeous:

ile-de-cite

We took a short stop outside the Notre Dame, and then a few from the company came up to me to tell me about the wonderful English bookstore on the south bank.  So many knew of it and like it, that we decided to detour over there. So we reached the Rue de la Bucherie:

street-of-the-bookshops

The Street of the Bookshops! There was a lovely antique bookshop there as well as the English bookshop, where I contemplated purchasing Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray…it seemed befitting; the only novel written by one of  my favorite playwrights as well as a literary work of Symbolism…but in the end I shied away from either antiques or relevant literature, considering the additional weight on my back while traveling. However, as we were leaving the Rue de la Bucherie, I did find something quite close to my heart:

cheap-books-in-german

I just love this! It’s like a deja vu of culture…a moment of complete and total juxaposition completely out of left field…in a street in FRANCE…a sign in ENGLISH…selling cheap GERMAN books…wonderful!  I loved the subtlety of it was well, a very inconspicuous and cheap cardboard box!

We then slowly began our saunter back to the hotel…crossing back over the river Seine and catching our first glimpse at the Eiffel Tower. One of us wanted to wander off in that direction, but we decided to save that for a later night. From a bridge, I took two pictures:

first-eiffel-tower-viewthe-seine

Tried from the train ride and walking through the streets of Paris (no knowing what was in store for the next few days) we winding through the maze back to our hotel.  On the way we went through an underground shopping mall, the Forum des Halles (picture below) and then crashed into bed.

forum-des-halles

My room, which I shared with two other girls, was on the fifth floor of our quaint little youth-hostel like hotel.  The following morning we were surprised by tasty instant coffee in milk and a large baguette with butter and jam…the same breakfast we had the following four mornings, but which never got old! It became the morning fuel for what I’m starting to call “Art History Bootcamp”…but more on that in the following posts!

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So, I will be writing a longer post about my trip to Paris for the seminar on Symbolism soon…this is the teaser trailer!

The last time I was in Paris was in the summer of 2000…believe it or not, 9 years ago!  When I was there, I had a picture taken of me in from of Picasso’s former studio near Montmartre.  9 years later I found myself in the same street and was surprisingly able to recognize the door after all that time! So here’s a Parisian time-warp for you:

picasso-paris-2000picasso-paris-2009

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