Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #13

13 of my Favorite Memories of my trips to France
On my last Thursday Thirteen, I was in a hurry and feeling a little bit lacking in creativity. This week I am going to expand my last list. I've always loved France and you can probably tell that I've been there a lot- 4 times, to be exact! Here are my favorite memories.
In no particular order.
1. The Eiffel Tower. What is it about this landmark? It is all things French. And just seeing it makes me start humming La Vie en Rose. The first time I was in Paris, I only got to spend 15 minutes there, with my only view from the ground. The second time there I went up to the 2nd level. Still a pretty good view. The 3rd and 4th times I visited, I went all the way to the top level. And no, I didn't take the stairs. The elevators were perfectly fine, thank you very much!
2. My tour of Paris via bicycle. The 4th time I went to Paris, I was pretty tired of the major touristy types of things to do. Now this probably sounds touristy, but my friend and I found a company that offered bicycle tours of Paris. Even better, some of these tours were at night. Yes! I must say, this was the best $50 I spent in Paris, by far. We started out in the evening and rode through the left bank, explored the Latin Quarter a bit, road by Notre Dame, the Louvre (which is stunning at night), along the right bank and made a quick stop by Princess Di's memorial. We then parked our bikes and took a boat ride on the river-and all of this was included in the price! By far, the best way to explore Paris.
3. My pilgrimage to Chartres Cathedral. Located just about and hour and a half outside of Paris, this cathedral and town are both breathtaking. I had to take a Fine Arts Appreciation class in college which less than thrilled me. But I ended up liking it and I vowed that I ever got to France I was going to visit this cathedral. The architecture was amazing. One of my favorite parts was a labyrinth that was tiled into the floor near the entrance of the church. The town of Chartres is small and quaint as well. I enjoyed browsing the local jewelry stores for Hugenot Crosses to add to my collection. They are very hard to find, but I am the proud owner of 3!
4. Singing at Mont St. Michel. This is a HUGE cathedral located on an island/penninsula near Normandy. My college choir visited there and we had the opportunity to sing in the main santuary. Picture 55 women singing without mics, sound absolutely filling the entire cathedral-the acustics were amazing! Not to mention the view from the top. It is quite a climb up this island to get to the church, but well worth the effort.
5. The American Cemetary in Normandy. All of those white crosses were very moving, reminding us of those that gave their lives for so many.
6. The Louvre Museum. Another one of those things that I didn't get to until my 4th visit to Paris. I remembered so many of the paintings from my above-mentioned Fine Art class. However, seeing them in a textbook and seeing them in mural form is not quite the same thing! The real this is waaayyy better.
7. The Rodin Museum in Paris. I was never a big fan of sculpture until this museum. All I can say is, wow. "The Hand of God" was probably my favorite sculpture.
8. Monet's Gardens. Would've been even more enjoyable had it not rained most of the day. But they were very pretty, and looked just like the paintings.
9. The Metro System. I absolutely love the Paris rail system! Very logical and systematic, you can get anywhere in Paris via rail.
10. Cote d'Azur. The blue coast. Water as blue as it sounds. Very laid back, especially compared to Paris. Warm and sunny, beaches, mediterannian, loved it!
11. Egg and Cheese crepes with some hard cider. YUUMMMM!! There is nothing like a savory crepe, made from a road-side stand to really satisfy. And I got to go to a little creperie that served some mean cider too. They taste great together!
12. Montmartre. One of the highest points in Paris, with great views of the city. The Cathedral de Sacre Coeur sits atop the hill, although both times I was there is was under renovation. Behind the church is the quaint, yet sometimes touristy artist district. Lots of would-be painters willing to paint your portrait for a small fee. Lots of creperies too!
13. The small shop where I started my GAULT collection. Tiny hand-made porcelin replicas of Parsian buildings. I spent about $300 on these babies during my last trip to Paris. You can make entire street scenes! They are so cute and I hope to add to my collection in years to come.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Missy said...

I would love to visit the Cemetary in Normandy!

Thanks for visiting my TT.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Wow, what a great list! I've always wanted to go to France (even with my fear of flying), and you described things so beautifully it's almost like being there. The bicycle tour sounds like fun and the crepes sound so yummy.

Rashenbo said...

Ahhhh France!!! I would love to go back. I was able to go to Paris once on a business trip. My husband was able to go with me so that was nice... but we didn't have nearly enough time.

Thank you for sharing your memories!

Sanni said...

Wonderful list - I love to trip down memory lane... I´ve been to Paris last November and reading your TT brought wonderful and romantic (and *yummy*) memories back. Thank you!

scribbit said...

Do you know what I'd give for a trip to France? The food . . . the architecture . . . I'm dreaming.

JohnH985 said...

I loved my one visit to Paris. The Louvre was amazing.

My 13 are up.

Alasandra said...

I would love to go to France. It sounds like you had a great trip and have lots of fond memories.

Crystal said...

Oh WOW! Sounds like a lovely trip!!

Cheryl said...

Sounds so wonderful. I'm hoping for my 10th anniversary (in 5 years) to tour Europe. I would love to see those sites!

Amy Ruttan said...

I so want to go to Pari.

Happy TT!

Kim said...

What a fun list. Your descriptions are wonderful. I'd love to see your little Parisian buildings.

Kim said...

What a fun list. Your descriptions are wonderful. I'd love to see your little Parisian buildings.

Kim said...

What a fun list. Your descriptions are wonderful. I'd love to see your little Parisian buildings.

Jill said...

That's a great list!! I always wanted to go visit France, but I didn't know more attraction than the ones that you'll always hear about!! But the only thing, I need to get myself more in shape if I want to do some of those things!!!
My tt are up

Mitch said...


That would be so cool... Very nice list.


Mom's Secret Life said...

I climbed the Eiffel Tower on my 18th birthday...too too cool.

I'd love to see Monet's gardens. I didn't get to do that when I went.

Happy TT!

Retta said...

Sounds like a beautiful trip!

DK said...

What a great list you have this week! Thank you for taking us "on the tour". I've never been to Paris; it's one of those places on my "someday" list. Thanks for sharing! Happy Thursday, oh, and thank you for stopping by my blog! Would love to see your Crystal Eiffel Tower collection!

Janet said...

ahhhhhhhhhhh, Paris :-) I've only been twice and can't wait to go back!

Barb said...

Hello Melissa,

Here I am, almost a week after you visited me, thanking you for stopping by and leaving me such a nice comment. I'm so so sorry it took me so long. You don't want to know why!

I can only dream of going to France. Lucky, lucky you that you've been FOUR TIMES.

I make crepes. I'm quite good at it actually, so really, I should go to France, don't you think? I wonder if I could convince my husband of that when he'd be thrilled to just go camping here in the Rockies for a weekend. LOL

Thank you again for visiting me.

Jonathan said...

How was Hotlanta Mel?