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Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Return to Normal

We are back safe and sound in Nova Friburgo. After all the excitement and good food and excellent wines in France, we did not stay in Rio for the New Year's celebration on Copacabana beach. As you might imagine we were ready to just be home and to be quiet. Despite the lost luggage, despite the cold winds blowing and despite quite a few days of nasty rain, oh and despite going to the Louvre on two different days and finding it closed, I have no complaints about this trip. We did learn a couple things (subject to being forgotten before the next major trip) that could be useful.
  1. We learned that it is better to be father away from the main tourist centers for sleeping and, especially in Paris, take the subway and busses wherever we want to go. The restaurants in the area of our hotel were pretty much family-tourist places, believe it!, pizza and sandwiches, beer and hot chocolate, and no really good bakeries for a pastry for breakfast, and rap music playing 24/7. My stomach just can not handle rap music at 9 am.
  2. We learned that you should by the subway ticket for one week, you can ride everywhere on the metro system, as many time as you want - on both subway and bus system - and there are times when the ticket windows are not open, or at least no one is manning them and you have to have change to buy from the machines.... anyway do it once and then go where you want.
  3. We think that you should go to Paris when you are young - like 45 or 50, don't wait for your 60s - this is a huge city, fast paced, energy absorbing - don't travel with young children, wait until your children at 10 or more and are really eating table food. It would be a shame to travel there then eat pizza because it is the only thing your kids will eat.
  4. The week before Christmas there were less tourists (it seemed). Starting the day after through, when we left on the 29th there was a horrible mess of traffic and even with some museums closed the crowds walking around became 'confining' for me. So maybe seeing the city between mid November and mid December is a better time.
Paris is a beautiful city. The old and the new architecture are both spectacular. I almost went into visual overload with the beauty around me. And this was in winter with bare-branched trees and no flowers, can you imagine what it must be like spring or fall? Despite all this constant beauty I still found moments of profound joy, moments of pure beauty.  I can see why Paris is known as a city for artists. The colors (when the sun is shining) are soft and luminous. Here are a few shots, just a few to show you what was really beautiful for me.
I hope you enjoyed them.
DSC_0375  DSC_0358  DSC_9722 
DSC_0239  DSC09030


  1. Haha, fun post!

    Who plays Rap Music at 9AM? Okay, I do play Rap earlier than that sometimes but I don't play it loud for everybody to hear, lol!

    Thanks for posting things that you've learned, we learned something from it too! Someday I'll visit Paris and remember you, Ms. GingerV and the things you learned.

    I love the last shot. Wonderful!

  2. Great photos. I liked your phrase, visual overload. I can see how that could happen. :) Glad you're having some quiet time to recuperate!

  3. I have thoroughly loved your Paris posts -- the photos are enchanting. Thank you for the tips on when to go and at what ages; good for this momma of young ones to know : ) Fortunately we've a few more years of traveling Brazil before we start venturing elsewhere.

    Loved your recent comment on my blog, too; so good that "being grandma" rejuvenates you! Just a few more months until, right?

  4. Gorgeous Paris shots, makes me want to go back. We enjoyed visiting in our 30s with teenagers, I'd like to go back just me and Wookie.