Monday, June 04, 2007

A Bit of Egypt in Paris

I took a long walk yesterday afternoon in the sunshine; I even got a bit sunburned. I took 140 pics (I looooove digital cameras) and even tossing half as outright awful still leaves me with a lot of pics to choose from. Decided to divide them up over a number of days so I'll have something to post about even when I'm playing hermit. I'm going to post thematically, not geographically... Today is a bit of Egypt in Paris.

This was my initial objective: Cleopatra's Needle down at the Place de la Concorde. Yes, a real Egyptian obelisque here in the heart of Paris.

And this looks rather foreboding doesn't it:

I forgot to take my guidebook with me (d'oh) but just followed the tourist hordes into the Jardin des Tuileries. It's not as pretty as I was expecting. I'd call it a park, not a garden since there was little in the way of flowers.

This statuary with tiny creatures (cherubs? - I don't know, I thought they were rather creepy, especially the one sitting on the big dude's shoulder) and a sphinx caught my eye. This looks far more Roman than Egyptian. A cornucopia? Not something seen in Egypt.

Nonetheless, it is titled: Le Nil. I can't believe how old this is - finished in 1692 if I'm interpreting this sign correctly.

And how about this sphinx I found on the Quai d'Orsay:

She's cool, but Egyptian sphinxes are breastless. The Egyptian name for them is "Abu Hol" - father of terror. Not a fitting name for this babe.

While eating my sandwich at the Jardin, I read a bit of Eric Maisel's A Writer's Paris. I love reading books about writing and dreaming that some day I will be a writer. I of course have many things going against me in that department: sheer laziness and procrastination being the top two. I've come to accept that I like the dream better than the reality.

A Writer's Paris is illustrated by Danny Gregory who inspires a whole different dream of having gorgeous drawings in a wonderful journal. I keep using the excuse that I need a moleskin journal to do it properly, because who wants to do all that work on a spiral bound notebook? I want it to look pretty...

I need more sunshine. Geez louise and this is June.


Unknown said...

Great pictures! I'm enjoying virtually visiting Paris through you.

Unknown said...

You might not be getting the sunshine you want but at least you got a bit of blue sky - maybe the sun is on its way

atet said...

What fun finds -- all of that Egyptian inspired statuary. Though in the case of Cleopatra's needle, I do know the Egyptian antiquities board would really like it back.

Thanks for the virtual tour of Paris -- *sigh* someday I will go back. Really.

Clare said...

Didn't Napolean bring most of that lot back from his Eygptian campaign? Extend your horizons and try the Luxembourg gardens.

Weather foul - no hope of any let up. We've just to pray that the next moon cycle changes things.

Lily Mulholland said...

I loved that you spelled obelisk the French way!

And leave it to the French to put boobs on a sphinx!

Tres jolie!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, French "gardens" is a generous description. Mostly gravel yards with a few flowers stuffed into borders.

Magpie Sue said...

Was there any indication what the inscriptions on the obelisk were about?

I'm enjoying seeing Paris through your eyes too. Probably the only way I'll ever get to see it! (Well, that and travel dvd's...)

PaMdora said...

holy cow, what great timing! I saw the King Tut exhibit last month in Philadelphia, and I'm working on an eqyptian themed quilt. Thanks for the images - I'm going to bookmark your post so I can study them better.

sewprimitive karen said...

This is such a wonderful treat to look forward to: your ongoing photos of Paris. Veeery curious about the rest of the group you took.

Quilts And Pieces said...

All these things you saw on your walk are so fun. I would wonder what all the hyroglyphics (ok I know I botched the spelling) mean. I love how it always looks. And ummm, quite perky breasts those are. That was the first thing that jumped out at me, I didnt' think I had ever remembered seeing breasts on a Sphinx - and I was so happy to read that you said they normally weren't there. wheh! I wasn't loosing it!

Cher said...

how fabulous to have so much time to explore various parts of Paris..great photos and more to come...hurray.
I am with you- more sunshine please!

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