Paris Dairies: Au Revoir

Sunday, August 11, 2013

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PrideParadeCollageSaturday we woke bright and early on a mission- to shop at the famous Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, the largest flea market in the world. I'm so heartbroken we didn't think to take pictures because it is truly a place of hidden treasures where one could wander for hours. One shop selling old photos and postcards, another furniture dated from the Second Republic and its neighbor is stuffed with old doorknobs and clothes. You can see the dress I bought at the market here.


Our later adventures of the day we did get photos of. We picnicked at the Luxembourg Gardens, a beautiful park, but little did we realize it was famous for being a children’s paradise. A Punch and Judy Show, pony rides, geese to feed, an ancient carousel, swings and, of course, those little French sailboats for the fountains were all to be found in plenty. Not as much was for adults. When we went to leave the park though, we found ourselves locked in! The Gay Pride Parade was passing and it was feared that, once the parade left, the crowds would overflow into the park.  To stop that, they locked the main gates (side ones were open still, but on the far side of the park from us). So we did what any sensible pair would do. We watched through the gates and joined in the best we could. It was the first time in a while they had been allowed to have the parade, and, mere days before, the government passed laws allowing gay marriage. The euphoria was something to see; I was (and am) so happy to be married; it filled our hearts to know so many would now be able to be happy in that same way.  


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Monday was one of my favorites for its leisurely pace. We walked through the Tuilerie Gardens once again- this time to enter the Musee L'Orangerie where Monet's great masterpieces,  Nymphéas (or Water Lilies), are installed in oval rooms. Curved canvas line the rooms. Showing no horizons, the water and its reflections are painted, the light changing to show the passage of the day. Seeing it was one of the most moving parts of our trip; I've wanted to see these paintings since I was a little girl reading Linnea in Monet's Garden. Photographs were not allowed in that section of the museum, but would have failed to capture the awe anyway. Also in the museum is a collection of other Impression and Post-Impression paintings, mostly from the private collection of the art dealer Paul Guillaume, who gave many of these young artists their start. Though there were Cezannes and Picassos, my favorite paintings were from an artist I'd never heard of before.   Marie Laurencin painted with a delicate hand to show a world infused with emotion. Above is her portrait of Coco Chanel.

Afterward, we took a leisurely pace, crossing this bridge to get an ice cream and enjoy the sun before heading to our next stop.

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Remember the Hotel Des Invalides? It was originally built by Louis the Fourteenth as a home for men who became injured in war. Today, it still houses such men and their families, albeit at much lower numbers than before. It is now far better known as a military museum- and for what we had come to see, the final resting place of Emperor Napoleon. The man is interred under the golden dome of the building within eight coffins nested within one another. The coffin is huge, but you have to lean over railing to see it sitting a floor below (supposedly this is so everyone will have to "bow" to see it). It was stunning and impressive, but also a little unnerving. Such pomp seems more in keeping with the tomb of an ancient pharaoh than with what is, essentially, a modern man. Interestingly, it was King Louis-Philippe, the last King of the French, who brought the man's remains back from Elba and created this monument to him.

Outside, we ran almost right into a security team! Dior was holding its Fall Show. Apparently the fashion house's Paris shows always take place in front of the Hotel Des Invalides so it appears the golden dome is part of the Doir building (and brand.) We were quite confused. Outside the show was a mad scramble of people- taking street photos we quickly figured out. Amos took one (pictured above). The outfit, while lovely, doesn't seem like it would be that odd, but after a week of Parisians' black on black on black when it comes to dressing, her look seemed terrifically out-there to us!

Our last day we spent wandering Paris-shopping in chic little boutiques, and along the green bookseller stalls that line the Seine, and even in the famous English bookshop, The Shakespeare Company. W sat in cafes to sip wine, nibble at cheese and enjoy each other's company. Our last au revoir to Paris, was a nighttime climb up the Arc De Triomphe and this view.

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See more of our Paris trip here. Or you can see a peek into our trips to San Francisco or Portland.

11 comments

  1. I can't get enough of the last two photos! They're not only beautiful but really transport you to a special place.

    I didn't know about legalized gay marriage in France - that's good to hear.

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  2. I LOVE this post Kristian! That's really beautiful what you said about how happy you were (and are) to be married and how wonderful it was so see the euphoria of others. I couldn't agree more, marriage is a beautiful thing and I'm happy to hear that about France, I did not know either. Looks like such a beautiful park and I the kids events sound fun even if not much for you two. Oh and that is crazy you also saw the Dior show and I am really impresed w/ these last two, nighttime pics are so hard for me.
    Cuddly Cacti
    Mitla Moda

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    1. I had really wanted to see the Luxemburg Jardins after reading the memoir "Paris to the Moon." It is about an American man who is raising a young family in Paris and they talked about this park all the time!

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  3. haha how funny that you got locked in the park! but how wonderful that gay marriage is now legal there!! i can only imagine how happy that parade was. and thats SO neat you walked right into the outside of a dior fashion show.i'd be all agog of the outfits, and that's so funny that a green tee and stripes is seen as so loud there ;) i'm so sad this is your last paris post haha,i dont want it to end!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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  4. Wow, such gorgeous photos, I am super jealous of your amazing trip. What a dream that must have been!! Sounds like a lovely picnic and it's so funny you got locked in. It's awesome they passed those laws, equality for all!!
    Those last couple photos are so incredible, love them!
    xJennaD

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  5. These pictures are gorgeous! I'm so glad you and Amos decided to go to Paris, it seems like the most perfect place to honeymoon.

    xo

    Ashley

    Southern (California) Belle

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  6. These photos are amazing! Seems like you two are having a great time :) And so happy that gay marriage is legal there now!

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  7. Holy moly reading all this sounds like an absolute dream - I think you've inspired me to get over my fear of flying and save up for a trip like this someday. So happy for you and the Mr. It looks and sounds like the most perfect honeymoon...gorgeous photo all around!

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    1. Paris (and indeed all of the European sites I've visited) are definitely worth the flight :)

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  8. Fantastic photo of the Arc dans la nuit.

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  9. Love these photos you've been posting of your trip. It's the closest thing to actually being there for me. Haha. I feel the wanderlust in me stirring. o_O O_o Aaah! I would love to go to Europe! <3 I love the Arc De Triomphe photo! Great shot!

    - Anna

    www.melodicthriftychic.com

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