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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 13 - Church

Second week in Church. It was good. I wasn't falling asleep so much as last week, so that's definitely good :) For Relief Society, it was combined with Priesthood for a fifth Sunday lesson. I understood very little. Then I headed over to the English Sunday school. There were about 10 people in the class, all were adults except for Emily, who is another girl on the program, and me. But it was really great. I was paying really close attention to the lesson because I could actually understand what he was saying. It was a really interesting lesson actually. We talked mostly about Cain. Interesting insights. Anyway, then off to Sacrament meeting. I grabbed some English translating headphones, but they were mostly static. I caught a couple words, but the rest was loud static. Oh well. I think when I get back to the states, I will want to pay really close attention to what is being said because I will be so grateful that I understand!

That was pretty much everything I did this day. I read Howl's Moving Castle. I got this book when I was in about 5th grade from Terra Otterson. Until now, I had never read past the first page. I don't know why, I just never got around to it. Now I am finally reading it and it is really good. I am liking it a lot. It is kind of quirky :)

Well that is all for this day. Pictures will appear on the next post :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 12 - Walk #11

Warning: Picture overload! Walk #11, entitled Lutetia Pulchra est: Musee National du Moyen Age, Sorbonne, Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, Arenes de Lutece, was very long and there was so much to see!

We started here, at the Cluny Musee, which was once a fifteenth-century hotel. (By the way, when I mention a hotel, it doesn't actually mean hotel, but rather a residence)I think this is from Notre Dame. Not entirely sure.One of the many, many tapestries that are in the Cluny Museum. Original stained glass from Sainte-Chapelle. A cool arch... not sure where it is from, but you can be sure that it is really old :)Part of the Woman and the Unicorn series. The room was really dark, so I couldn't get a very good picture. The book calls them "breathtaking." They are way cool, don't get me wrong, but they aren't really that different than the other tapestries in the museum. Cool story from Courtney: When they were in their original location, the bottom part (you can see that it is a little lighter) got ripped off somehow. Well, it was replaced not too long ago (probably 100 or so years ago; I really don't know) and it matched the original tapestry exactly. Since then, that part has faded while the original's colors have remained intact. Pretty cool.This is the Sorbonne, which houses the University of Paris, I'm pretty sure. The book says: "The Sorbonne was founded by Robert de Sorbon in 1257 to train future theologians. In fact, this area is now called the Latin Quarter because the future theologians all studied and spoke Latin (not because the Romans once lived here). The Sorbonne has historically been a launching pad for social unrest and riots, particularly in 1968 and again in 2006. As a result, access to the inner courtyard and the school itself is limited to students and professors."This in the Pantheon, not to be confused with the Pantheon which is in Italy. Again, from the book: "The Pantheon, or temple of the nation, was originally built as a church dedicated to Sainte Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, who, according to legend, saved Paris from the Huns in 451. As the finishing touches were being put on Sainte-Genevieve, the revolution broke out, and in 1791, the new Republic decided to transform the church into a final resting place for the great men of the nation. Mirabeau was the first to be 'patheonized,' followed by Voltaire and Marat; although, when it was discovered that Mirabeau has participated in a royalist plot, his remains were the first to be removed." I hope at least some of you find these little tidbits interesting. If not, it isn't too hard to skip over them :)The martyrdom of St. Denis, who I talked about on another day.Inside of the Pantheon.I'm trying to figure out how to take pictures with me in them. I'm pretty protective over my camera so I don't really want someone else to handle it, even though I'm sure it would be fine. Anyway, so far, I am not doing a very good job. Hmm, I'll just have to keep working on it!Realism in action: Dirty feet.The stairs that lead to the crypt.Voltaire's remains are right there. And Rousseau is over here. I really like the hand coming out with a bouquet. The Curies. Hanna. She was a revolutionary, didn't you know?Alexandre Dumas. He wrote The Count of Monte Cristo and other things. I really want to read that, in the abridged version, along with the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables (both abridged because I'm not a fan of tangential things). Don't let me forget.Speaking of Hunchback and Les Miserables...Some guy's heart is in that vase. Kind of weird.Another view of the Pantheon. It is pretty cool.Now this is Sainte-Etienne-du-Mont which "was originally a monastery (parts of which still exist at the back of the church). The church was built in the 13th century but was extensively rebuilt from the 15th through the 17th centuries."The inside. It is pretty cool. I love the winding staircases. Another part of the wall that I talked about on Day 11.Stairs leading to the Roman arena seats. How crazy is it that people walked up these steps hundreds and hundreds of years ago?The seating arrangements.Another crazy thing. People, including this little boy, play in the arena area. In the place where humans and animals once fought to the death, they play soccer. We don't have things like that in America.
And here is Hanna as a lion. Looks more like a T-Rex to me!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 11 - Walk #7

Today we, Hanna, Haley, Courtney, and I, went on Walk #7 entitled Marais Walk 1. We were planning on going on Walk #8 - Marais Walk 2, but it was raining quite prolifically by the time we finished the first one that we decided against doing that.

This is Hotel de Sens which is one of the oldest buildings in Paris. From the book: "Until Paris has its own archbishop in 1622, the archbishop of Sens presided over Paris and spent much time here. Of course, he needed a nice place to stay, os he had this private residence built. Construction on the Hotel de Sens began in 1475, and it was completed in 1519. From 1605 to 1607, the first wife of Henri IV, Marguerite de Valois (Queen Margot) lived at the Hotel de Sens. Today, the hotel houses la Bibliotheque Fourney (the Fine Arts Library of Paris)."
This is the wall that was built by Philippe Auguste around 1200. He built it to keep Paris safe from outside forces while they built the city. Notre Dame was finished during the time that this wall was up. This is the "mysterious" side entrance to the Saint-Paul Saint-Louis church.And here is the back of said Jesuit church.Interior. Pretty cool inside.And this is the front which faces a busy street. The outside patio area of the Hotel de Sully. And here is the Hotel de Sully.Place des Vosges. It is the oldest square in Paris.And then we came to Victor Hugo's apartment.The first floor of his apartment is pretty boring. There are a lot of pictures of him and of random people. I don't know what purpose they served since I don't read French. There were also several busts of Hugo on the first floor. This one is the most dynamic, but it is by Rodin, so what else could one expect?Then we went upstairs and saw his actual rooms. This is a pretty sweet mirror. It would be cool to have one of these in my own home one day.This was his dining room. The wall paper is a little trippy. The curtains matched. Then we headed to the Musee Carnavalet. The writer of the walk wrote three paragraphs about it and raved about how cool it was. Um... maybe it is because I'm not really into history, but I did not find it very interesting. Sorry Robert Erickson.This is a room. I like the colors: pink and green. Cute.This is a stuffed fox in said room. Don't know the purpose, but it is sure cute.Last, but not least, an awesome hair style. Try it someday :)

The walk continued to the Hotel Chatillon (now the Swedish Cultural Center) and the Hotel Lamoignon (now the Historical Library of Paris). Since we only saw their exteriors and it was raining, I did not get my camera out and take pictures. They weren't much different than the other hotels though. Hope you enjoyed Walk #7.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Food

At home, I was never much of an eater. I liked food, sure, but I never really craved food in general. Not that the food wasn't great, I just never really thought about it much. Paris has changed me. The food, even the most basic things, are SO good. It is difficult to explain properly. Anyway, I find that I can't wait until dinner. I love eating lunch around the corner from the institute. Breakfast, not so much, but it's going to get a little better since I got some yogurt to supplement my toasted baguette and confiture breakfast. Anyway, just thought I would share. It will be interesting to see if this want for food diminishes once I get back to the states or not. We shall see.

Yesterday, Rosalie and I went to the grocery store that is around the corner (kind of) from where we live. I got some yogurt and pudding stuff for breakfast, snacking, dessert, whatever. I just don't want to be hungry, ya know? Anyway, I wanted to get it cold and I'm not sure what our refrigerator privileges are, so I just stuck them outside my window. I think it is kind of fun to be using this very old technique of keeping food cold.

Day 10 - Walk #10

After we went to see the Eiffel Tower, we did Walk #10. Isn't it cool that we did Walk #10 on day 10? I think so. Anyway, this walk is called Playing Hooky in le Quartier Latin.

We started off by looking at this fountain. It is of Saint Michel and he is slaying a dragon. Cool.
On our way to the next stop, I took a picture of this. Look at those needles. Store owners in the city will sometimes put these up if they have a sign on which birds can perch so to prevent said birds from perching and excreting on customers :) It will sometimes kill the pigeons, but mostly it will injure of take off a toe or two or a foot.I'm going to quote from the book again. I do this because it is hard for me sometimes to try to explain it especially since I haven't done any research on it or anything. Plus I think it is interesting and you might too. Here goes: "One of many small experimental theatres that popped up in the years following World War II, La Huchette had modest success until suddenly, in 1957, it staged the hit of a lifetime: Eugene Ionesco's absurdist La Cantatrice Chauve (the Bald Soprano). Although the play had its debut in 1950 at a different theatre (where it had a 25 show run), La Huchette's 1957 double billing of La Cantatrice Chauve and Ionesco's La Lecon was a bigger hit than anyone could have imagined. Yes, bigger than Cats! or Les Miserables. So big that the play is still running more than 50 years later (15,500 shows and counting!)."

The narrowest street in Paris, called the Fishing Cat (Chat-qui-Peche). It has been around since 1540!This is l'eglise Saint-Severin. This is a modern stained glass window. Only the first three bays have glass art dating back to the 14th century. Still, this is probably 50-100 years (or maybe more) old.

This is a cafe where revolutionary thinkers came in to discuss their ideas while drinking coffee. Diderot, Rosseau, Marat (I mentioned him in my Conciergerie post), and Voltaire were some of the many that came here. Not too shabby. And here is a statue of Voltaire that concluded our walk.