Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Sights and Smells of Paris

Going to Paris for business and pleasure recently was a great idea.  October is off season and most of the tourists are gone.  Looking out my window I am reminded I am in Paris. I love the architecture and the quaint neighborhoods.  Not fond of looking straight down to the street although staying on the top floors is the best for views.  The smells of the neighborhood consisted of fresh bagettes, cigarettes, rain, dry fall leaves, and dog doo on the sidewalk. Fresh caffe au lait was a welcome smell in the early hours.

The line at the Louvre museum on Sunday morning was not as long as I thought it may be for this popular day.  It was a cool windy overcast day so it was a perfect day for the Louvre.  You can easily spend one whole day here.  I especially love the old masters paintings and the Napoleon III apartments.  This is a room from Napoleon III's apartment.  Love the chandelier and the gold gilding on the walls, doors, and every surface imaginable.  Very impressive when you are standing in this luxury.  The smells at the Louvre consisted of old, dusty, patina finishes, tapestry, and worn leather.

Sainte Chapelle is a great example of High Gothic architecture.  This chapel was built between 1242-1248 in accordance of the wishes of King Louis IX.  It was built to house the relics of the Passion of Christ.  It has a splendid upper chapel that was used for the royals and a lower chapel that is also remarkable.  The photo is taken in the upper chapel with amazing 15 stained glass windows that tell "stories".  This chapel was a part of the Palais de la Cite which was the residence of the royals from the 10th to the 14th centuries.  This chapel is being restored so the smells were of dust and scaffolding, metal and paint smells.

I also went to the Palace of Versailles, boutiques, perfume boutiques, the Tuileries Gardens in all of their fall splendor, and many rues too many to name.  The Metro and  sidewalk cafes contain many smells of  cheese, meat, wine, caffe, and chocolate.  Sweet tarts and pastries were everywhere.  Laduree macaroons tempted me more than once.  If I erased the cigarette, cigar smoke and the overheated people in the Metro would be a pleasant experience.  The smells of rain approaching and leaves falling added to the ambience.

My personal facebook page has more photos and some videos I took with my iphone.  Enjoy!