Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trip to Paris

Paris Diary

Day 1, Friday

Visited Musee du Louvre, and stayed in the museum for more than 6 hours.
Met Florent in front of Mona Lisa.
Saw many sculptures and paintings.
Had a great dinner together.
 Ate chicken and white wine, very delicious.
The Airbnb was kind of shitty. No wifi, and no cooking.
Food is very expensive here. I guess the dinner cost over 20 per person, but Florent paid for me.

Day 2, Saturday
Musee d’Orsay
Another great day for 18,19th century arts.
Saw many famous paintings here, too. Learned a lot about Impressionism here. To put Impressionism in one word, is they emphasis the effect of light, more than the accuracy of the object itself. This was manifested in those works with sunset sky. Where everything was covered with a pink-orange hue. Besides, they found the shadow is not merely different shade of black, but the complimentary color of the objects color. They were playing the illusion of human vision that makes the painting more realistic to our experience instead of perception. 
There are free wifi outside the museum, which saved my life. I am able to contact Gordon and Chris, Thi.
After visited the museum, I went to Notre Dame by bus. The Church is on Cite Island. 
So many people. Food are also very expensive there, but the snacks were delicious.
There were police and securities checking backpack at the door of every tourist site. But the enforcement is the loosest I have ever seen. I bumped into a small inn in the Alley. Beautiful.
Then when I was looking for wifi and cafe. I met an old men who recommended me to have some Crepe. So we shared 2 crepes. One with chocolate bananas, another with bacon and cheese.
I gave up contacting Gordon. and I found the old man is a conductor/cellist living in Basel, Switzerland. We agreed to keep in touch, and I will listen to the Music he recommend. His name is Albert Roman. And hopefully I will go back to Shanghai on 15th September, and we can meet there again. We took some photos together in front of Notre Dame. And we walked to a pub area near Chatelet Metro, passing Pompidou Museum. There we found a good outdoor table and have beers.

I went home, slightly drunk as yesterday. I used the microwave to warn the frozen pizza as dinner at 1 am. I took a shower, and the condition of the shower compartment was a disaster. I should give it negative review on Airbnb.

Day 3, Sunday

Today I woke up pretty late, and one to Musee Rodin. Great sculptures in the park and in the mansion where he used to use a his studio in the last part of his life. To be honest, his work before his 40 is just mundane. He, like many other painters, mature in his own style after 40. The muscular from of the male sculptures captures the animations and mortal nature of humans. The object of his works are the normal people, thanks to his patron. So he more of less broke the limit of the purpose of art — doing portraits for the royals and higher class. There aren’t too many of his work there. The best sculpture might have been seen somewhere else before I visited here. The thinker is on repair. There are tons of young Korean tourist everywhere. That will make a huge change to their country in the next 30 years. After Rodin Museum, I went to Grand Palais, but did not enter. Tens of thousands of tourists were gathering alone Champ Elisee, to welcome the end of the France de Tour, the biggest cycling race in the world. That was really exciting to be part of it. I also went to Eiffel Tower. it was beautiful. There’s nothing to see on Camp de Mars. and River Siene is just okay, the scene is not as beautiful as in Cologne, or Florence. I went home early around 8 pm

Day 4 Monday.

Today  I packed up and went to Notre Dame, and it was just okay. Not very big, and not especially decorative comparing to other Cathedrals. I checked in around 11:30 at Sant Mercel, and found Bastille a bustling place to visit. Many cafe there, and much fewer tourists. To my surprise, the room was even worse. I realized probably that was what you can get if you want to be in that location with that price. Then I went to Pompidou Museum. I got a shrimp curry and rice noodles in a Chinese fast food shop nearby. Tasty. There is a high proportion of East Asian descent in Paris. Even locals can’t tell I am a tourist. Meaning I am not getting a lot of attention on the street, making my trip very comfortable. In addition, there are Asian tourists everywhere in Paris, but I approve it is one of the most impressive cities in Europe.
Pompidou is the Louvre of Modern Arts. All famous works in Dadaism, Cubism, etc can be found here. Once again Picasso proved he was a genius.
I left there, and went to Bastille, and found a good restaurant and dug in my medium lamb shaft. Delicious. 

Day 5 Tuesday.

So the last day in Paris. I visited the famous cemetery that buries historical figures such as Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Ingres, Dumeire, Proust, Bellini, Bizet, Jim Morrison, etc. It was for free. A must see in Paris.

Then I had lunch in a Korean restaurant. Tested good.

In the afternoon I went to MontMarte. It is a high ground where you can overlook the whole Paris, and on the very top of it stands a Basilica, which is much magnificent than Notre Dame. It was the area where painters like Van Gough and Cezanne, Picasso gathered and worked because it was cheaper in their time. However, it has become very expensive after the tourism comes in. Most of the streets are filled with cheap souvenir shops, and not so much about artists anymore. The food here is cheaper than the city center though.

Before I left the place, I started random wandering in the region to kill the remaining time. Montmartre now then showed its most lively part to me when I went off the main tourist route. It was the area that locals considered ‘dangerous’ at night. It is an area where black people live. There were Afro barbershops, cheap electronic, clothes, and many other things. I think it not dangerous before sunset, and it was indeed an eye-opener to me.

I think I have seen a lot in this trip, and shortly touched the real life of Parisian in the last minute. I saw Gypsies got searched by police and soldiers patrolled in small groups with machine guns. However, Parisians were not scared and loose their friendly nature as I experienced many time when I was looking for directions. As long as they are still having the long noon coffee break and enjoy their lives just seating at an outdoor table watching papers or taking sunbath. The ‘No Problemo’ philosophy will marched on, until the defeat of terrorism.

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