Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Room with a View

Terry and I took the Paris metro from the airport to Hotel Pantheon. We were delighted to find out that out that we had been upgraded to a room with a view. A municipal building in the square in front of the Pantheon had a wedding ceremony going on.  Colorful confetti was thrown over the coulee as they left the building. A crowd of guests stood in the street afterwards. A wedding photographer took pictures of the couple with the Pantheon as a backdrop. There was no mad rush to get to a reception. A large vintage sedan with its chauffeur was waiting at the corner.

This view was from the hotel window and it was the first sketch I did in Paris after I opened the window shutters. It was obvious from the start that there would be no shortage of interesting subjects in this city. Terry and I went inside the Pantheon to look around. In the basement there were catacombs with crypts. One room held the remains of authors Victor Hugo, 1807-1885, and Emile Zola, 1840-1902. The Pantheon had a huge pendulum suspended from the large central dome. There was an exhibit of original manuscripts from Jean Jacques Rousseau. Terry and I looked through but didn't linger. Murals and statuary decorated every corner and alcove of the interior. One huge room housed a scale model of the Pantheon itself.

It was good that our hotel was near this major landmark since it helped us navigate back after we got lost on the myriad of angular rooked streets of Paris. Inevitably we were always lost since there was no grid pattern to follow.  Streets would often end at public places and only a few of thee street names ever seemed to actually be on the map. Once while I was trying to read the map, a little old French lady walked right into me to push me aside. She was like an ant unable to consider the notion of walking around. The country celebrates youth even more than America, so perhaps that is why the older ladies seem so bitter. I eventually abandoned the maps and wandered the streets by instinct and feel. Every turn would result in another stunning find so that is when the adventure begins. It only became important to get a feel for where the River Seine was in relation to where we were.

1 comment:

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