I spent about three days in Paris, visiting with my mother and staying with my aunt Christine and uncle Jean. My mum is on holidays in France and Switzerland and since its a lot closer to visit her here than in Australia I came over for a couple of weeks. Yes, thats my excuse for my little holiday :)
The afternoon that I arrived we went for a walk along the Seine, browsed the books being sold along the banks and had a coffee in the latin quarter. The streets were alive with people going about their affairs, there were children playing, people speaking more languages than i could recognise. It really felt like a living city.
The next day Christine, Mum and I went to see Versailles - the residence of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI (I think). The decadence of these kings was pretty amazing, to have build this giant castle with enormous rooms of mirrors, chandeleirs, paintings and tapistries, and to have gone to war for the sake of glory while the people starved and were taxed to death seems amazing. I think as long as the people of France can wander through Versailles nobody will suggest a return to the monarchy. The gardens were really beautiful, not gawdy like the castle, but still the work that must have gone into maintaining it while the country bled is a bit sickening.
That night we had dinner with my cousin Olivier and his partner Marc. They've got a really nice modern apartment and made an amazing dinner. My french is good enough to understand most of my family's rapid-fire conversations but not quite good enough to participate. Olivier worked as a graphic designer on the new Swiss passport so he showed us some of the work he did there. Its a really beautiful work with some clever subtleties for security. I need to renew mine.
Thursday I wandered through Paris again, partly by myself and partly with my Mum. Then we sent to a really funny show with my uncle and aunt, it was sort of a clown show, but they were a string quartet. It was an awesome mix of physical and musical comedy. And then Friday we packed up and drove to the alps.[IMG: http://ian.mckellar.org/email/09c6cf3b29590120263bdb18516d2648-cloudyparis.jpg](comments)