Counting this day we only had 3 days left in Paris. So let's make the most of them, yes?
We started our day with the usual. A coffee and croissant, just as any good Parisian would.
Since we knew some things would be closed on Sunday we had to plan ahead. Frankie loves to take little cruises on the water. He says it relaxes him. He had researched river cruises and found a canal cruise instead.
The Canauxrama website that Frankie found said the following:
This romantic and out of the ordinary trip of around 2.30 hours offers an opportunity to hear the history of the districts of the "Parisians' Paris" as you cruise along the calm waters of this canal, lined with hundred year old trees and spanned by elegant footbridges.
That is all Frankie needed to hear, so he purchased the tickets online the night before and in the morning, after our coffee and croissant, we were on our way to catch the boat.
We had a little bit of a rough time finding it and it was getting very very close to departure time. So close in fact that we even had to run a little! (Don't get crazy, it was really just a little, and more like a fast paced walk.) But we made it and got to even enjoy a little scenery before leaving the dock.
The description from the website said that we would go through four double locks and two swing bridges....
...I went through them and still have no clue what happened. I grew up in arid west Texas where the the only locks and swings I knew about were found in the hardware store (it was a small town so we didn't even have a Wal-mart!) or on the playground.
Here is a lock.
All I know is that we went into this little area and a gate closed behind us. Water started to flood in from the front and the boat was raised to the level of the water in front of us. It took awhile to fill. Then we went forward through a different gate and continued our journey. I have no idea why we had to do that. I have no idea how it looked from the outside. I have no idea, just no idea.
I have a video of the lock filling, maybe it will help.
It was a cold trip up the canal but that didn't take away from the beauty.
Here are some things we saw along the way.
Friendly people on bridges.
Lots of street art.
Something that I still don't know what it is.
And finally the coolest movie theater ever!
That huge silver sphere is called The Geode. It is just over 37 feet in diameter, took 10 years to build, and has 6,433 spherical equilateral triangles covering the outside. I tear up just thinking of the mathematical beauty of it all.
The canal cruise was cool but there were some boring parts. Two and half hours isn't bad if you're an adult, but the few kids on the trip did get bored rather quickly and took to running up and down the aisle until FINALLY one of the adults with them told them to stop.
After we got off the boat we walked around looking for lunch before our next destination which was Victor Hugo's house and saw some interesting things along the way. Let me share some of those photos with you.
I had no idea there was an Office Depot in any other country besides America! Looking at their website they are in 60 countries worldwide! Who knew!?
Food! Greek style sandwiches with fries and tzatziki sauce instead of ketchup. Yum! One of the cheapest meals you can get in Paris is from these type of Middle Eastern sandwich shops and they are really good too!
The following are just random wanderings in Paris.
And then we were there!
We went through his house, dug in this things, used his toilet...just kidding. I wanted to go to Victor Hugo's house because I was in the middle of reading Les Misérables and the movie had just come out. Let me share some of what we saw.
Victor Hugo's signature.
A room decorated by Victor Hugo himself....let's face it. That's a lot of brown. A lot of brown. Then there was his bedroom.
Rug on the floor...
...and on the ceiling....I think he decorated this one too.
That is about all for Victor Hugo's house. Our next and last stop for the day was the Pompidou Center for some modern art.
Just outside the Pompidou Center is a large entertaining fountain. Since it was winter it wasn't flowing but it was still visually fun. We saw a video that showed the fountain in the non-winter months and all the sculptures in it twirl in the water.
I really loved the fountain even if it wasn't spinning. Let me share what some those sculptures look like.
I love the colors and the shapes. I want one just like it in my front yard!
Also nearby is a very large street art. Not sure if it was part of the Pompidou Center or what, but I liked it.
All of this was near a church. We tried to go in but never found the entrance. It does make for a cool picture though.
From the fountain if you look towards the Pompidou Center you can see an observation window up high. If you can't see it in the first photo take a look at the second one and maybe that will help.
We decided we needed to see that and it was the first thing we went to in the Center, but first we needed a coffee.
We finished our coffee and went into the Center. It is a little disorienting at first but we figured it out, made it to the observation window, and saw views like these!
Now on to the things inside the Center. We were in there for four hours, so I have much to share!
I have to say that I have a love/hate relationship with modern art. Some of it is so stupid that I don't even see how it can be art. That is the hate relationship I have with it. Some of it is so weird that I think I like it, but I am not sure. That is the love/hate relationship I have with it. And then some of it is amazing! That is the love relationship I have with it.
I am going to group some photos together that show my three feelings on modern art. I will start with the stuff that I feel is so stupid that there is no way I can classify it as art.
It is a canvas with lines on it. Lines! That is it. Lines. Ugh!
It is a canvas painted dark blue. That is it! Just a solid color. Ugh!
It is two chairs stacked together. Seriously. I saw something like this in the gym a few months ago at the school I work at. Ugh!
It is two BLANK canvases except there are lines showing where the one behind would fall on the front one. Pa-lease! Ugh!
I think it's Ikea.... Ugh!
It is red canvases painted on a red wall. Then I read the description, which I should have known better than to do. It said, and I quote,
In 1973, Claude Rutault took the radical decision to paint his canvases in the same colour as the walls on which they are hung. Paintings therefore become indistinguishable from and resemble the walls on which they are exhibited and are no longer intangible objects since they can change colour.
Radical?? And if it is indistinguishable, then what is the point of having art?? Ugh!
Please, they just forgot to actually put the paintings in and since we were in a modern art museum everyone thought that was how it was suppose to look so no one questioned it. Hey, I'm questioning it!! Ugh!
Ok, now that it is out of my system, let's move on to the weird. There are things in there that were weird that I liked and things in there that weird and I am still scratching my head about.
This was the very first piece we saw inside the Center. Hmm...
I just don't even know.
This one is a woman tending to a cemetery plot, which is a strange topic, but what made it even more different was the fact that it was painted on a mirror.
This one is called Aesop's Pens. He wrote a lot of fables...
I read that the artist's wife was the model for this and that is why it is called Habibti, which means My Darling in Arabic. Dang, man, give your woman some food!
I didn't take this one for the art. I took it for the man. I know some Americans dress in such a way that everyone knows they are from America. Don't believe me? Have you seen this website? (Warning, not for the squeamish!) So when I saw this guy and he screamed European (which is weird to me, and I am not trying to offend anyone...did you look at the American link??) and he was looking at weird art, well I had to take his picture!
This says in German...I think...."So said God"....again, I think. So you are looking at it going, okay, did a three year old write it? Nope. I captured a video to show the process.
Well, that made it cooler!
"What is that???", you ask.
Well, let me show you a close up!
It is called, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. Creepy!
They had a Salvador Dali exhibit and pretty much anything he does is weird! And I like it!
That is Salvador Dali himself!
I don't know...it's a toe.
Now for the things that I just loved!
This rainbow of color was originally created for a room in the apartment of President Georges Pompidou. I would love waking up to that everyday. How could you have a bad day surrounded by all that beauty?
This was the biggest helmet I have ever seen! I want to say it was about 3.5 feet tall. Interesting!
Here is a sofa to go in your rainbow room from above!
This reminded me of something you might find under the sea. It was big enough for me to walk in, not that I was allowed to, but still.
What this one looked like was pantyhose with something stuffed in it. What this smelled like was wonderful. The "pantyhose" for lack of a better term was filled with cloves, cumin, pepper, and turmeric. It was art for the nose!
If you just saw the picture, you would think, heck, I have some of that tubing under my house, but now let me show you the video.
When we first walked up to it, we thought it was moving towards us, but it wasn't. It was just twisting. It somehow draws you in and all you can do is sit there and stare at it.
These were in a room all by themselves. There were 150 of these aluminum figures! It was rather spooky and rather amazing.
If we still had a chain link fence (which thank goodness we don't because now the dogs can't bark at everything they see through a wooden fence) I would so dream about doing this...I wouldn't really do it....that would take so much time and patience!
I just love this one and I can't really express why. Maybe it is the chicken, maybe it is the blue Eiffel Tower, maybe it is the goat head. I don't know but what I do know is that I love it.
I saw this one and my little math heart just jump with delight! If that is not a calculus revolution problem then I don't know what is!
We were done with the permanent exhibits and on our way to the Salvador Dali exhibit so we had to pass through the lobby. That is where I captured these next ones.
And then at the other end of that plane...
It was rather pathetic how excited we got seeing a Texas flag. But we were in Paris France, thousands of miles away from that great state and BOOM there was that beautiful reminder of home.
One more from the lobby because I liked the way it turned out.
One from the Salvador Dali Exhibit. My favorite work by him called The Persistence of Memory.
After four hours it was time to go back into the real world so we headed out. Right outside the Center is an enormous statue featuring French soccer player Zinedine Zidane and Italian soccer player Marco Materazzi showing Zidane headbutting Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup Finals.
It is gigantic! Do you see the person walking by it??
We walked some looking for a place to eat....we seem to do that a lot. Along the way we saw some beautiful scenes of nighttime in Paris.
We ended up at a restaurant over near Notre Dame and as we sat there waiting for our food I saw a cat IN the restaurant. The waiters saw it too and just stepped around it so it must have been a permanent fixture in the place. I had no problem with it being there. I know a lot of people would have freaked out. But then the CUTEST (in my opinion) thing happened and I was able to capture it.
The cat joined us at the table!
And that is where I leave you for the night. Stay tuned because on our next day in Paris we travel down to the sewer! A real treat that you will NOT want to miss!
Until then, take care!