Week 47: Paris: Movies, Bakeries, Sites, and Chartres

Before going to Kenya, I planned to visit two places on my way home from Kenya if I had a layover in London, my dad’s only cousin lives in Paris and one of my best friends, Brian, and his wife, Kellie, live in Edinburgh currently.  Things worked out and it didn’t cost anything extra to extend my layover in London, yay.  I have learned that when an opportunity like this presents itself, you better take it!  So, I did.

I was privileged to visit my dad’s only cousin, Rick, in Paris for one week recently.  In 2006, I visited him for two weeks and had a very good time meeting his friends and getting to know him better.  He has lived in Paris my entire life.  Rick is a movie buff and so we watch movies I haven’t seen when we’re together which I love.  We’ll be on the subway and he’ll ask me if I’ve seen a movie and I’ll give him a very blank look and then three hours later I have seen it.  This trip Rick introduced me to Gay Purr-ee, 3 Women and What Ever Happened to Sweet Baby Jane to introduce me to director Robert Altman, Diary of a Country Priest, and The Straight Story (amazing, if you haven’t see it) and Mulholland Drive (rated R for good reason) to introduce me to director David Lynch.  I really enjoyed all of the movies and look forward to seeing more oldies that I’ve never seen.  Rick also introduced me to Gore Vidal and bought me one of his historical novels, Julian, to read and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I really enjoy trips where I learn about new ideas and gain valuable knowledge (instead of just site seeing) and my time with Rick has always been that way.

We did do some sight seeing because Rick works at several places that are right by the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe.
Cousin Rick and me:

I had forgotten how amazing the bakeries are in France.  Rick helped remind me with breakfast every morning looking like this.

Breakfast from the bakery:

Rick is an English teacher at different schools around Paris so I was able to see a lot just by accompanying him to class.  I’ll let pictures do most of the talking.

Saint Jacques Tower
(Check out those gargoyles)

Notre Dame:

Rick and Oscar Wilde’s Tomb:

Jim Morrison’s Grave:

Outside Louvre:

On Sunday, Rick took me to a town 50 miles north of Paris called Chartres.  Chartres is famous for it’s cathedral, Chartres Cathedral.  The stained glass from Chartres is used on many Christmas album covers and is breath taking.  We were lucky to catch an organ concert on one of the most impressive organs in one of the most impressive churches I have ever seen while we were there.  Rick also took me for a long walk in Chartres without telling me where we were going.  It turned out we were going to a gravedigger’s house who had decorated his entire house (and eventually the next lot) with pieces of shattered plates, glasses, and pots.  It was incredible and I will post a video of it in the next week or so.  It is impressive, you’ll agree.

Chartres Cathedral (check out how different the spires are):

Chartres Cathedral:

Chartres Cathedral Stained Glass Windows:

Eiffel Tower and me:

Eiffel Tower and trees:

Arc de Triomphe

Amazing Park by Rick’s house:

So, after a very good visit in France I was off for my first visit to Italy.

My Luggage and me:

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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