You know how it goes trying to get together with old friends: everyone’s busy, schedules fill up, time gets short and soon, it’s been way too long since you’ve seen them. I think that situation gets to the extreme, though, when you have to plan a get-together in Paris, but that’s what we did the last week with long-time friends from Seattle.
First, our friends Greg and Michele arrived in Paris after a few days in London. We met them Saturday, had lunch, then went for a long walk. The next day we all went to what has become our favorite Paris museum, the Cité de la Architecture and du Patrimoine. I’ve written about this museum before, as we visited it a couple times last trip, and it still is the most impressive place.
This museum has three parts. The first is hundreds of casts of interesting and historic aspects of buildings around France, made in the early 1900s. Walking through the two galleries, you can see the highlights of French architecture, without ever leaving the building:
The second section of the museum has replicas of old, old churches, with copies of the wall paintings of those churches. Pictures to follow, when I find them!
The third section we’ve neglected and will require another visit. It has many exhibits about how French cities developed. A key aspect of French cities is that their architecture often developed in areas of many city blocks, so there is a coherence to the architecture and to the way people live in them that is usually missing in cities that have just grown. One highlight of this part of the museum is a complete apartment unit created by Le Corbusier for an apartment block he created in Marseilles. Le Corbu is universally recognized as the first and probably best of the Modernist architects, and he was deeply interested in creating complete living environments, with parks and schools and stores, rather than just creating a building. We’ll return to see this floor more thoroughly and I’ll post more about it.
An amazing museum, worth a couple days of visiting, we think.
We also found that the museum has a rather nice place to sit and rest.
Then Monday our friend Norma arrived in Paris. A month ago she emailed me about something and when I told her we were in France, she replied, “I’m coming to France!” and indeed she did. We met her Monday and spent a few hours in Paris.
Then we took the train to our France home-for-a-couple-months, Samois-sur-Seine.
First on the next day’s agenda: get cheese! Here’s Norma at our favorite (well, favorite and only cheese shop).
Tuesday we went to one of our favorite small towns, Moret-sur-Loing (for more on Moret, look at Moret-sur-Loing, 2013). Norma had exactly the same reaction we had two years ago: love at first sight. Moret remains a favorite place for us.
We also had some very nice meals:
Then, it was time to go…
It was great fun to see our friends here, and to show them the city we love and the country-side that we also love.
Tomorrow: off to Brittany.