Friday, June 13, 2014

The End of a Journey

My final week in France had come to an end.  Spending it in Paris was the perfect way to conclude the journey.  The week began with a journey to the Louvre.  The subway system is pretty efficient here and I arrived there quickly.  Walking up to the Louvre I was astounded at the sheer size of the palace.  It was gigantic.  The line to enter the pyramid wound around the structure for what would likely be an hour long wait.  Fortunately we were able to skip the line and go directly into the museum.  The amount of relics and paintings in this place is ridiculous.  I spent over 3 hours in it and only viewed about a fifth of the total amount!  Weaving my way through the dense crowds was entertaining, especially since I was able to see the Mona Lisa and other great works of art.

Later that evening, I went with the group to Notre Dame where we traveled the arduous climb to its top.  The view was phenomenal.

I also visited a few other notable museums like the modern art museum and one which had Monet's and van Gogh's works of art.  Both were exquisite and worth visiting.

The day before visiting the impressionist museum I took a trip to Giverny and visited Monet's house and garden.  His garden was remarkably beautiful with a plethora of flora and so many various exotic species that it is no wonder he spent most of his evenings painting there.

After admiring his garden I noticed a heavy focus of nature in his art and could easily decipher which works were his in the museum.  It was interesting to paintings of the garden I had recently visited, and I recommend others visit his garden before appreciating his artwork.  Another quality I observed of Monet is the influence of Japanese art I'm his life.  He admired their appreciation of nature and one can see the impact it had in his art.

The gardens in Paris are beautiful and soothing.  The botanical gardens was another one of these gardens I enjoyed visiting.  It had a wide selection of plants from across the globe.  The garden had a section for each geographical landscape you could think of and plants/flowers to go with it.  Inside the greenhouse was a mass of prehistoric plants that created a jungle-like atmosphere.  This garden also had an exhibit showing the evolution of plants.  If you're in the area this garden is worth a visit and it's inexpensive.

The last and best trip was the the Chateau de Versailles.  The best word to describe Versailles is amazing. The palace itself is enormous, but it paddles in comparison to the size of the garden.  Each room in the palace is decorated witty great works of art either on the walls and/or the ceiling and are extravagant enough for any king.  One could spend half a day in the palace on its own, but the real attraction is the garden of Versailles.  The garden is immense.  It has so many sections you could spend a whole day exploring them all and still have more to see.  I was able to go on a guided to with through the gardens, which gave me access to sections only available to gardeners.  Once our time with tour was up we went back to the gardeners headquarters and enjoyed some refreshing beverages with the master gardener.  My time at Versailles was cut short ,and I was unable to see all of the gardens I wanted to.  However, this means that I will have to come back and visit it again!

This trip has been a wonderful once in a lifetime experience.  I have enjoyed every moment here and am disappointed this journey is nearing its end.  However, as one journey ends, another begins, and I will enjoy my next journey as much as this one.  Although I feel as if my time here was cut short, I will forever remember and cherish this adventure.

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