April in Paris

Trip Start Mar 20, 2012
1
13
15
Trip End Apr 04, 2012


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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, April 1, 2012

Today we headed to Versailles. When it was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris (about 20 kilometers away). The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution.

There are 2,300 rooms in the chateau. We visited only a handful, which were part of the king's and queen's apartments. The queen's apartment still has some of Marie Antoinette's furniture.

What impressed us the most were the gardens. Situated to the west of the palace, the gardens cover some 2,000 acres of land. There are 50 fountains and 200,000 trees. Now that's what we call a backyard.

We also had time to visit the Louvre (to this day the largest museum in the world, and home of the Mona Lisa) and Montmartre, a hill that is 129 metres high, giving its name to the surrounding district. Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur on its summit and as a nightclub district (the Moulin Rouge is here). Many artists had studios or worked around the community of Montmartre such as Dalí, Monet, Picasso and van Gogh.

While in Montmartre, Syl and I visited Place du Tertre which is a few streets away from Sacré Cœur. With its many artists setting up their easels each day for tourists, the Place du Tertre is a reminder of the time when Montmartre was the mecca of modern art. At the beginning of the 20th century, many penniless painters including Picasso and Utrillo were living there. Today I was in search of an artist named Karadec. I met him in 1995 during my second trip to Paris. I bought a painting from him that year and then again on my third visit. I was able to track him down again today, some 17 years after I first met him. Syl picked an excellent painting that he had finished three months earlier (it had just finished drying). I was thrilled to have found him again. He is truly a nice guy. Even though he is French, he is fluent in Spanish, so we had no problem communicating.
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Comments

L to L on

finding that painter is an awesome story!!! I'm soo happy you guys had such a blast and an opportunity to meet the mother land! Can't wait to get together and hear more about your trip!

Paris Lover on

I almost bought a painting from Karadec, but decided against it :( I desperately wish I could go back for it now. Do you know of any way to reach him? Does he have phone or email?

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