Monday, December 14, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Spotting the beast through the foliage for the first time.
Champ du Mars, the park attached to the Tower (formerly a military school with equestrian ground to train cavalry), from the first floor of the tower (halfway up the south pillar).
Champ du Mars from the second floor, where the four pillars meet in the center
Champ du Mars from the top of the tower. The haze is not smog (for a welcome change!), the top of the tower was actually in a cloud while I was up there.
The Grand Palais something or other across the Seine from the tower, one of many palaces in Paris with a very similar name, from the first floor.
Same Palais from the second floor.
I think you get the drill by now.
On this loevely fall day 9105 km was still too close.
That's right; I peed at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Sadly not off the Eiffel Tower, but I'm pretty sure I would have gone to jail for that.
The spire at the top from the top floor.
Yeah, you knew it was coming. Do I look nonplussed enough? I was really going for the nonplussed look.
The Etoile de Charles de Gaulle at the end of the Champs d'Elysees with giant French flag. The giant Tri-Color isn't usually there, that was just for Armistice Day. I should note that this arch was built to commemorate one of France's last major military victories, which was during the Napoleonic wars (maybe I'm a little to hard on the French? I mean, our last real slam dunk military victory was in 1945; perhapsI should take it a little easier on them? Nah...)
A scene from the Champs d'Elysees, one of many pretty streets in Paris and a fairly famous one. The Tour de France finished on this street every year, among other things.
Aww, maybe if they put their flags together people will forget that they've invaded each other numerous times! I have to admit, they do seem to get along pretty well these days considering.
A lovely fountain. Don't let the blue skies in these pictures fool you; this was the first reasonably sunny day I've had since being in Paris. I'm not complaining; I am absolutely loving the clouds and rain after being without it in SoCal for two years.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Day One: Notre Dame and the Louvre
Carie being her usual silly self on one of the many bridges on the Seine River. The spire in the background is the Notre Dame cathedral.
Carie in the Louvre. Poor Carie injured her knees in 15k-run-sans-previous-training last weekend and it hurt to walk, especially up and down stairs. Standing and walking around a museum for hours was not what they needed, so we got a wheelchair from the museum and I pushed her through the museum. Sorry Jason, I know you were gunning for most doting boyfriend this weekend and it seems I stole your thunder.
The imperial apartments of Emperor Napoleon III in the Louvre gave us some interior decorating ideas for our new place once we move back to LA.
Carie reading the Code of Hammurabi in front of the original Code of Hammurabi, the first recorded written law. I didn't previously realize it was in the Louvre, but it was neat to finally see it.
The entrance of the Louvre by evening. Paris really is a very pretty city.
More interior decorating inspiration from the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
There was a neat hall of paintings of French military victories in Versailles, with battles from 600-1809 (to be fair, it was comissioned in 1830, though I can't imagine what victories they would add since then). This was one of Louis XV's victories somewhere. Note the skull and crossbones on the cavalryman on the left in the background; this one's for you, Jeannie.
Napoleon to the world: "Yo. Back atcha." From the same hall.
The statues in the Versailles garden were apparently too obscene to display publicly.
Carie and me in the Gazebo o' Love in Mary Antoinette's gardens. Louis got the war room, Mary got the nice pretty gardens.
Even cuter THATCHED-ROOF COTTAGE! with some sort of tower thingy in Mary Antoinette's estate. Apparently people actually live in these; we're trying to figure out how to get that gig.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
After the wonderful visit with Carie, which wa s as usual not long enough, I traveled to Les Houches, a tiny town in the French Alps 5km from Chamonix. For the last week I've been at a plasma flow control conference at a secluded physics school up the hill from Les Houces, which has been an extremely good conference though I won't bore you with the details here. What you're really interested in are the awesome mountains and glaciers here, and let me tell you that they are really awesome. It pains me that I don't have my climbing gear, because I want nothing more than to run up Mont Blanc. I'll come back and climb some of these someday.
Tomorrow I leave for my two month stint in Paris. Actually, I'm just outside of Paris in what looks to be some nice pastoral French countryside. I'm looking forward to it, though I'm not looking forward to living near Paris while not knowing any French.
Also exciting is that Carie found a deal where we could get season passes at Mt. Baldy for $50. That combined with an El Nino year means our ski season this year will be much better than the last couple.