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Trip Report "Our Small Adventure" an Ongoing Paris Trip Report

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Some of you may have seen my post from Lisbon. We're away from home (California) for five months and after spending January in Lisbon we're now ensconced in our flat in the Marais on what I'm calling "Our Small Adventure".

The weather in Paris has been glorious, cold but fairly clear for the last week. It's very different to come here with four months stretching ahead instead of the normal week or so. On one hand you feel you'll have lots of time to see things and on the other you feel the pressure to get going because there is so much to see here. In that regard a city like Lisbon is far more relaxing because there isn't as much that you feel compelled to visit which creates a charming laid back feeling.

So what about Paris? Well there are lots of tourists even in the dead of winter, it must be a nightmare in the summer? Currently the Seine is currently high so the Batobus is bypassing the Hotel du Ville and the Jardin du Plantes.

The Dali exhibit at the Pompidou is well worth a visit though I would recommend going on a weekday evening as it's absolutely packed at other times, including before opening on Saturday and Sunday when it's open to members and advanced purchase ticket holders.

The Louvre is always thronged with people, the only answer is to wander away from the crowds which is fairly easy as everyone is going to the same ten things.. As usual seeing the Mona Lisa is the least artistic experience you could have, what with the bullet proof glass and the massive tour groups. It's all about having your photo take in front of it.

I love the Mesopotamian section at the Louvre with some monumental temple sculptures and of course the fantastic French sculpture gardens. The new Islamic Art galleries at the are also very interesting though the layout is a little odd. When you get downstairs it's easy to bypass an entire room if you are not careful. Here the material is laid out in a chronological fashion which is in contrast to the Met where the revamped galleries there go country by country. IMHO the Met exhibit creates more of a feel for the decorative arts by showing them in complete rooms or courtyards which give you a feeling for the culture.

I'm listening to a series on the Louvre from Great Courses and revisiting after each short lecture. The museum is so enormous that I needed a way to break it down into more manageable chunks. I've joined and am looking forward to getting to know the place.

I'm loving the Richard Lenoir Market on a Sunday morning. My idea of a perfect Sunday is to walk over there, do my shopping and then stroll up to the Canal St Martin (passing a small flea market) and back to the Marais via the Marche des Enfants Rouge which is what we did last Sunday, fabulous in the winter sunshine.

We had a complete disaster on arrival because though the flat is beautiful there was ongoing work on the apartment building stairwell and interior. It was meant to be done in December but was delayed by a month or more. It was so bad we had to move out for a couple of days because of the chemical they'd used to treat the wood. The situation is tedious and at the beginning it seemed like the end of the world, but you have to take the bad with the good. Though it's still very noisy and dusty (they are refinishing the stairs) we are in Paris and the landlord has agreed to give us a free week next year :). We had considered one other apartment in the 10e and I went by it last week only to see the entire road is under major construction so I'm glad we didn't stay there, I think it would have been worse!

On the blog there are pictures of various walks and I'll be posting lots more about museums and of course the Marais where we are staying. Hope it's helpful. http://somuchmoretosee.blogspot.fr/search/label/Our%20Small%20Adventure

Not sure if there are any Fodorite living in Paris or on an extended visit? If so feel free to contact me on the blog if you'd like to get together.

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