Monday, July 18, 2011

Gimme Paris

 It is irritating that I have to admire the pompous and unabashedly power hungry leaders of all these foreign countries, they built the prettiest stuff.  Henry VIII? Prime candidate there, commissioned like half the buildings in England. William the Conqueror? Yep. Windsor Castle and the Tower of London are two notches on his stick. Emperor Nero in Rome built the Colosseum. Hoity-toity beyond hoity-toity Louis XIV did Versailles and the Saint Chappelle Chapel in Paris to just name two, the greedy guy. Marie Antoinette built her “little cottage” (little, my bum) on the edge of the Versailles gardens as a vacation home, which Deanna and I went to. Ha, they may have spent absolute loads of money and ignored the poor, but boy did they know how to build some cool stuff!
London-> Tower of London, by ole William the Conqueror who fought quite a few battles
so he could gain some extra land. 
Rome-> Nero's Colosseum. All the stone walls on the bottom were originally in the basement,
they were the cages where the animals were kept. There was originally the floor on top
of that where the gladiators would fight and the entertainment would take place.
Paris-> Versailles. Louis XIV was such a prick building this huge palace and the gardens just cause he fancied the big and the expensive. Granted, he did introduce ballet to the world, so he did do some good stuff. The palace is fabulous though.
Paris-> gardens at Versailles.
Paris-> Dee hangin out in the Versailles gardens
Paris-> La Sainte-Chapelle by Louis. This was
oh so fabulous. Stained glass that looked like lace
A close up for ya.  Louis you may be stuck up, but you can build a CHAPEL.
It only took 5 years to build as well. Huh.
Rome was super for all its churches- many even older than the ones in England. Several we went to while there were founded in the 100-300 AD range- freakin archaic. Italian churches were quite a bit different than in England…  they had such colored and ornate floors whereas the ones in England just had tombs all over but made up for it with fabulous gothic ceilings.
Venice-> beautiful floor mosaic in the church Santa Maria e San Donato
on the island of Murano (home of famous Venetian blown glass).
The churches were very cool in Rome, and it’s a good thing, cause otherwise I think Rome woulda been a bust, horrible enough to say. It was really dirty, and 80% of the men on the street were dirty too--creeps trying to “pinch our bums” as Ken indeed warned me about! And the cobblestones! Those things are brutal on your feet, all uneven with who knows how many invisible-till-you-trip-on-em crevices. But the churches? Fabulous.
Rome-> cobblestones. Right hazardous, I'd say. You can see the Colosseum
peekin out at the end of the walkway there.
And whoever stole my wallet (and they better be feeding their 14 starving children and not buying dope) in Rome can go to Hades. They caused me a ton of hassle, the dog. Canceling credit cards and having to use Deanna as a bank.

Paris I think was my favorite. It was sophisticated and classy and oh so European (everybody so stylish and always having baguettes and croissants) but was still obviously a city where people truly lived. There were schools and chic office buildings and guys in suits on the metro. It was way cool to be in a place that so fit the picture in my head of Europe and was actually a place where people thrived. As opposed to Rome where it was so dirty and seemed a bit too ancient with all the churches built in only the generation or two after the time of Jesus Christ. Venice was just a dream world, so quiet with no cars and not a school or a pharmacy or business buildings or anything else that spoke of people besides tourists in sight.

Paris, I could live in, no problem. None at all.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa! I have just had a brilliant thought! (Not often that happens). You need to write a small booklet for student tourists going to Europe! You could illustrate it extremely well and add your "on site" comments through your own eyes. You could add how to keep your money out of the hands of thieves and what to do if that happens! (It probably helps to have an Auntie Thellie and a friends like Deanna! Cheerio!