Wednesday, October 10, 2007

photos from France

Some photos from our trip to Versailles and Paris. I will admit Paul took most of these with his digital camera, but a few are mine when I borrowed his camera. I won't have my film back for a week or two still, but was excited to come home and look over the hundreds and hundreds of photos Paul took -- he has a great eye, and shoots architecture and landscapes much better than I can. That instant gratification of digital certainly is wonderful.

Leaving Toronto. We arrived at our terminal and sat down at the windows just as the sun started to set. I poked Paul to get his camera and after he had taken a few shots, it seemed like almost half the terminal had come up to join him in taking photos. It was hilarious to see everyone lined up against the widowed wall of the terminal, snapping away. :)

Flew through the night, and was surprised to see how much brighter and bigger the moon was, hanging just above and to the right of the wing. Sunrise above the clouds is beautiful -- pink and day followed, blue.

Landed in Paris and met Stephanie and Celine from the Paper and Co Show, and Anna Aspnes and Mou Saha, who flew in from the US to teach. Stephanie drove Anna, Mou, Paul and I to Versailles, and everyone took photos out the window.

Versailles is such a beautiful little town.

The Palace at Versailles, King Louis the XIV was so amazing. It is hard to believe that people actually lived like this. Such opulence. The whole place is full of gilding, gorgeous paintings, chandeliers and statuary.

Pretty moss and lichen.

Our last night in Versailles, and all the teachers and volunteers/organizers from the show went out for dinner together -- crepes for dinner followed by crepes for dessert!

One of my favourite things we did in Paris -- visited the Notre Dame cathedral and took a tour to the top to see the chimeras. It is such an amazing feat of architecture and art, so wonderful to finally be able to see it in person.

Figures from the weighing of the souls panels at one of the three front entrances, and some short, squat saintly types from the front doors. The amount of detail that went into sculpting the entire front portion of the exterior is breathtaking. I've always been fond of the headless fellow, probably because of the concerned yet calm reassuring pat of his neighbour - as if to say, it's OK.

The view from the top.

Of course, it wouldn't be Paris without the Eiffel Tower. We climbed up over 1700 steps to the second level, all the wile bargaining with myself that if I made it I'd go eat good cheese once I got back down; I did, and I did.

Then we went to see the Arc de Triomph.
And the scary roundabout that goes around about it.

We walked back to our room later that night, and night had fallen, but not on the Eiffel Tower.

Pretty gothic church steeple, and a cute little nursery we walked through.

On our last day we finally got to go to the Louvre. I had so looked forward to this. There was so much there I wanted to see, had waited so long to see. What an overwhelming experience, I mean, everyone tells you that, but to see it all in one place, all that art, all that history, it is almost humbling. I laughed right out loud when I saw this vase from the Roman antiquities collection, because the face on it looks exactly like some of Summer Lily's self portraits. :)

I loved Paris, and Versailles. What a beautiful place. How fun to be swept up by an amazing, busy, beautiful city for a week. The history there is staggering, humbling, it is impossible not to love it and love the city for it and love people for it.



Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing!! great pics

Jennifer B.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ashley,

this is Stephanie (the driver on the pic). I am so glad you enjoyed your trip to France because reciprocally we really enjoyed having you for Paper & co Show. It was also an amazing week-end for us the organizers. it was really nice meeting you.
I wish you all the best for your new book. I am sure it will become a bestseller !!

Stephanie XXX

Marissa said...

Ashley, these photos are great. I've been dreaming of world travels lately, but your pics seemed to satisfy my urge for tonight, at least.

I especially loved the pics of the Notre Dame cathedral. That place looks amazing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I really enjoyed seeing your photos. You certainly saw more of Paris than me, but I'll be dragging the boys back there before too long! What was your favourite thing?

Anonymous said...

Wow ... you really had fun in paris ... even me living in Paris since I was born, never took a pic of the gorgottes !!! Thank you for sharing I re-discover the CIty !!!
And of course, thanks to have come (and to have taken a pic of Stéphanie driving ... I'm rolling on the floor laughing :)
Céline H