Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mer, Soleil, Paris, Aznavour, la Famille

Place de l'Opera
Champs Elysees

How to park your Smart car

The Seine by Notre Dame

Rue de la Montagne Ste Genevieve

Stained Glass in Eglise St Etienne du Mont

"France makes me happy!" :)

Eglise St Etienne du Mont

A new coat in front of the Pantheon

After the concert

In front of the Olympia concert hall

Charles Aznavour rocks!

Another nice day by the sea...
We spent our time from Sept. 11-18 between Nice, Strasbourg, and Paris. The heat wave was still hitting Europe and we enjoyed days at the beach as if we would be still in July... Quite a treat coming from Denmark where the summer had long long long disappeared...

Our main motivation for going "North" to Paris via Strasbourg was our tickets to a concert by Charles Aznavour at the famous French music hall called l'Olympia. At 87 years old he had booked the concert hall for an entire month with plans to then tour the rest of France until Christmas.

In a shape that most of us near 40 could envy, he sang 27 songs over 2 and half hours, with no break! The warm energy in the room was quite palpable, even to C who was missing out on half of the French lyrics. This evening really illustrated how Charles Aznavour is sort of a grand father to pretty much any family in France. People just love him, and he clearly loves to be on stage. It looked like he was at home, at least more than on the TV sets where he has been spending a lot of time these days, advertising for his concerts, his new album, and his latest book.

This evening was not only great, it felt like a so unique and perfect way to spend an evening in Paris! Especially with a fine early dinner before at the old Parisian restaurant Chartier and an aperitive on the boulevard, at sunset, right before the concert... Chrysa also chose this opportunity to get herself a brand new and cheerful coat from Desigual that has since attracted much envious looks from other women ;-)

We also spent a fair amount of time exploring Paris' past and history, by visiting some of its oldest sites and paying homage to Sainte Genevieve, one of Paris' first patron saints who rests in the church of Saint Etienne du Mont in the Latin Quarter. During our visit we met a French fan of 17th century painting who joined us on a tour and shared his knowledge of what we were seeing. We ended this quite inspiring day with a dinner at L'epigramme, a modern Paris bistro. We ate there with Q's sister Sigo, who will be studying in Paris this year, and her boyfriend, Manu. Then Sigo took us all to the Grand Palais (built at the end of the Champs Elysees avenue at the same time as the Eiffel tower) for a special exhibition and "meditation in action" for the victims of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

On our way to Paris we made a stop-over in Strasbourg to return Q's parents car that we had been borrowing for too many months now... That was a quick but always enjoyable opportunity to cross Q's beloved Switzerland, and also to remain in awe at the wonderful vistas on the Aosta valley in Northern Italy. After this scenic but a bit long trip (10 hours in the car...), we were welcome by Q's parents and grand father. We enjoyed a fine dinner, with C now able to participate and even launch complete conversations in French with Q's family! They were all quite impressed (they should be!).
Dynamo Fukushima - Grand Palais