Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Paris, mais oui!

We're in Paris!
But wait, I skipped a few chapters.  

After leaving Pommard I drove through Bourgogne to the airport to get Greg. It's way more fun on a honeymoon to actually have your spouse with you.  We got in the car, asked the gps to take us to Lion Sur Mer, hit the 'avoid toll roads' option to get the scenic route, and headed off. 3h30 it told us. That's livable. 

Cut to 3h30 later. We're in a traffic jam not even really out of Paris yet. Time to destination? About the same as when we left.  Crazy traffic. My thigh was trembling from having to ride the clutch for hours on end. Seven hours later we reached our destination. Jasmin was there to welcome us with an aperatif (love this country) at Villa Louis, a wild, art filled former dance hall/casino/museum that has stood on this beach for 150 years.  It was here when Napoleon Bonaparte became the first president of the French Republic.  It was here when the allied troops stormed the beaches we look at through our upper floor window. Crazy.  It's chaotic and magical, stuffed with collections and treasures.  In the morning we did a little history tour of the d-day beaches.  Very moving.  More on that later (sketches too). 

We left Normandy for Paris that afternoon, this time picking the fast route. The gps took us straight through the heart of Paris. In rush hour.  It was a bit white knuckled, involving high levels of teamwork.  The Arc de Triomphe was insane!  The car right in front of us got rammed by a truck that managed to squeeze between two non-lanes and disappear. So could have been us. Greg scanned for danger as I tried to stay steady on the wheel, and somehow we managed to get that car parked 6 floors under the Gare du Norde, down a ramp that could double as a spiral staircase, at exactly the right time. Thank you gps. 

So now here we are. The apartment we're staying in is lovely, airy, with a view of the rooftops of Paris that I will never forget. We're in the heart of Montmartre. Day one we headed up to the Place du Tertre and breakfasted while I did this sketch. 
Afterwards we visited Sacre Cour and wandered the streets of our hood for hours. We dined on rue Lepic (where both Van Gogh and Hemingway, two of my faves, once lived), then ended up back at Place du Tertre for a very entertaining nightcap. 

Here's a quick sketch of the rooftops from the apartment. Did I mention that I love this place? 

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