October 9th, 2022
Spent the week in Paris, as the first leg of my European adventure! I flew out to attend a work event, and it was really great to see all my colleagues that I've been working with for years but have either never met, or rarely see in-person. I was really busy this week, trying to make time for sight-seeing as well as spend some time getting to know my coworkers in a more casual environment.
Here's the Moulin Rouge, which was just a stone's throw from my hotel. Unfortunately, this also meant I was hearing rowdy late-night partiers all week, but I didn't let it bother me! I was cycling up Avenue des Champs-Élysées and found myself behind this girl riding with her little puppy dog poking his head out of the knapsack. Too cute! The Arc de Triomphe. I had never heard of the bizzare roundabout surrounding this, and had a funny time trying to navigate through with my bike. This roundabout quickly taught me that in Paris, you have to navigate very aggressively if you hope to get anywhere. Here's a shot of L'église de la Madeleine, a catholic church completed in 1842. This will be the first of many architecture photos from around the city! There is no shortage of unique, famous and interesting buildings scattered around Paris. It made for some really fun cycling! Just down the street from the church was Place de la Concorde, the largest town square in Paris. It was constructed in 1772, and has been the site of many notable historical events. I was worried about leaving my car (with all my belongings) in this parking garage, until I saw this Bugatti Type 35 just casually parked nearby. Okay, must be a safe area! Me and some coworkers went for a late-night boat tour around the Paris canals, and passed by the Institut de France. Jules Mazarin ordered its construction in 1661, which if my math is correct, is a very long time ago. Eating dinner at a fancy french restaurant called Chez Toinette with some coworkers. From left to right, clockwise: Griff, Mary-Ellen, myself, Ambre, Sébastien, Akira, Collin and Yaar. Here's my meal from the above evening. Escargot as an appetizer, roasted duck for the main course, and finished with crème brûlée. I went for a guided tour at the Louvre Museum, the largest (and likely most famous) art museum in the world. I spend 1.5 hours with the tour guide, then another 30 minutes by myself before the museum closed. This wasn't enough time to even scratch the surface! Of course, I saw tons of artwork at the museum. I think the sculpture garden was my favorite, and in it was this piece by Pierre Puget titled "Perseus and Andromeda." It was completed in 1684. If you want to see more photos from the Louvre, here's an album. After the Louvre, I went cycling around town and spotted the Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois. This might be the oldest building I consciously noticed, having been built in the 13th century! Kind of interesting to think about all the electric scooters now parked in front... The famous Sacré Coeur, which was mere minutes from my hotel. It was really cool to always see this palace looming in the distance, watching over the city. Went to a wine tasting in Les Caves du Louvre with a couple of my teammates, and got this cool photo in one of the rooms. It's a formerly royally owned wine cellar from the 18th century. Despite not usually enjoying wine, I liked what I had and it was really intersting learning about the history and science behind wine making in France. From left to right: me, Akira and Haines. And, of course, the monument which needs no introduction: La Tour Eiffel, or the Eiffel Tower. Here's some pastries and such from the week. On the top left is a fig tart that a coworker bought from a really famous bakery, and then some macarons and assorted pastries from a shop. On the bottom is a spread from a lunch cafe. Some bolognese for a late afternoon lunch. Watching the gentle rain fall and people scurrying to and from was really relaxing, and the service here was great!
This was probably my favorite meal, believe it or not! A wood fired pizza from this small hole-in-the-wall that I just so happened to stumble upon. The server was the owner, and he was such a nice guy. He spoke only a little English, but was happy to meet me and chat.