Archive for france

Le musee de Louvre

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by Scott Hanson

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After a bad first impression I was ready for Paris to show me why it was so great. My first stop would be the musee de Louvre. I decided to walk instead of taking the subway. I always like to walk around a bit and get my bearing when I first arrive in a new city. Paris was a whole different being in the hazy daylight. The moaning clawing zombie had become a lazy sleeping hobo. Still covered in filth and emitting a horrid stench but far less threatening.

The Louvre is a massive complex at the center of which is the famous glass pyramid. The building is beautiful, with ornate stone work and massive white marble statues. Once inside I like everyone else headed directly toward the Italian renaissance paintings. More specifically the “Mona Lisa”. I enjoy art, especially that of the quality the Louvre has to offer. So, I didn’t go directly for Da Vinci. I must have viewed 5000 paintings before reaching “La Gioconda ” and after viewing it I can’t recall a single one. There were as many as 500 people in the room when I entered, but as soon as I was within viewing distance it was as if she was looking directly at me. No matter where I went her gaze followed, no matter which angle I viewed from we made perfect eye contact. The eyes are alive. To give it as little credit as possible, it was unimaginable exceptional and infallible.

In the daylight the pyramid is anything but impressive, the reflecting ponds are littered with trash And the grandeur is drown out by the surrounding buildings. After sundown it was magnificent. The geometries of pyramid and reflecting pond are flawless and complement each other perfectly. It seems everything in Paris comes alive when the sun goes down and the lights come on.


The Eiffel Tower – The French Sure do Know How to Make a Nation Symbol.

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by Scott Hanson

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Whether your Slovakian, Iranian, Kazak, Karakalpak, Taiwanese, Japanese, Jamaican, Lithuanian or American. You no doubt are familiar with the Eiffel Tower. I could never count the amount of times I have seen or heard of the Eiffel Tower. I have viewed it in countless photographs, seen it in movies, read of it in books and studied it in school. I have had an image of the tower burned into my mind since childhood, but it was a fragmented image. It lacked the surroundings, the atmosphere, and the culture. All of the things you can’t get from a photo, a video or a book. This is why I traveled to Paris. To experience it’s celebrated sights with my own eyes and to fully grasp their greatness.

Paris – Arrival

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by Scott Hanson

I stepped of the train after arriving in Paris feeling a bit nervous, then as I walked out of the station and saw the city for the first time my anxiety turned to excitement, this was the home of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. I was in “The City of Lights” and it was amazing.
paris, france, photography, travel
I ventured on a little further in an attempt to find my hostel. The sidewalks were filthy, stained black and littered with cigarette butts, chewing gum, liquor bottles and beer cans. The light poles, phone booths, shop windows, street signs, mopeds and motorcycles were covered in stickers and graffiti. The further I traveled away from the train station the worse it got. Then came the street hustlers and beggars. Jabbing at me with packs of cigarets and cups of change, attempting to converse with me using everything in the french vocabulary except the handful of words and phrases I had learned. I finally built up enough courage to reply “Je ne comprehends pas, Je ne parle pas francais”. It turned out to be good practice as I would be using those expressions quite often. I eventually arrived safely, checked in, dropped off my pack and went to find some food.
paris, france, photography, travel, backpacking
phone booth, paris, france, travel, backpacking, grafitti

Travel Map

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2012 by Scott Hanson

Europa Sulla Mente

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2011 by Scott Hanson

On January 2nd, I leave for a backpacking trip across Europe. The fruition of a unrelenting childhood dream. It has recently come to dominate my thought. This seems like as good a time as any to start my travel blog.

I fly out of Fargo, North Dakota; have an eighteen hour layover in Chicago, before heading over the pond to London. I will be spending a few days in London before moving on to Paris. After Paris my travel plans are wide open. I don’t like anything concrete, especially travel plans. Detailed itineraries are exhausting, I want to leave room for unanticipated adventures. I do however have a list of places I can not miss Nice, Venice, the Cinque Terre, Florence, Rome and Naples. It is a short list which leaves me plenty of room for improvisation. I have been reading a lot of Thoreau lately, consequently there are a few passages I can’t seem to get out of my head. This one seems to back my need to be free of tangible travel plans, “Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve.” (A week on the Concord and Merrimack).