22 February 2010

First Days in the City of Light

Well, here I am in Paris! Retromobile starts on Friday, so these first days are just tourist things, not car related at all.

Let me state here for the record, that I love Paris as much as I love cars! So the following is my tourist take on the city before the car show.

I have noticed since I was here last that the streets are filled with Smart Cars! They are very popular in London, but I had no idea how "big" they are here! I stood and watched in amazement as a guy parked one in a spot I could not have put a bicycle in! Speaking of bicycles, the traffic is brutal, and there are some very brave (?) souls who ride bicycles in between cars in rush hour. You decide - I suppose it can't be much worse than just trying to cross the street here sometimes, though. I am set up to broadcast "live" via Skype from the show back to
Track Chic Live , good Lord willing - but as you know, as good as the internet is, there are still inherent problems on both sides to make the connections. Stay tuned, and I will keep updates posted. I went wandering today, I think I walked about a million miles. From the Museé Orsay up through the Tuileries to the Champs Elysees, to the Arc de Triumph, and back down. I had heard good things about the Museé Orsay. It is written up to be the second most important museum in Paris. It's true claim to fame is the building. It is housed in a restored train station, with it's massive working clock housed at one end of this beautiful barrel roofed structure. There are the usual occupants, Manet, Monet, a prized Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh (minor works), Toulouse-Latrec, Cezanne, and a great many sculptures by artists not known to me. Interesting , though,is the exhibit of the incredible scaled models of the Opera Garnier and set designs for shows performed there, and the model of the Opera housed beneath your feet under plexiglass. My first choice is still the Louvre. Make the Orsay a distant second.
Late afternoon, my wanderings took me to the top of
Notre Dame for an incredible visit with the gargoyles and to see Quasimoto's bell. The only thing missing up there was a great bottle of champagne! It's a fabulous way to see the city, but the climb is not for the short of breath, and the walk back down all those tiny, narrow steps is not for the weak kneed - but very worth it! Go up as late as they will let you. I was able to stay until about 4:45 pm to get some great photos of the sun beginning to set with the lights in Paris below just beginning to flicker on. Please forgive my tourist ramblings. There isn't much going on in the car world on these first few days, so enjoy the tourist tips!
Oh, and I take photos. I take photos to document my trips. I take lots of photos to get a few good shots. Check out a few good shots at my Flickr page -
www.flickr.com/photos/sgreene . Check back, as more are uploaded often.


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