The weekend before this past one my son and I went on a trip together. When I had asked him in May whether he would like to join me I had not expected he would be interested, but he was – as long as Mom pays the bill, and he gets out of the pandemic stay-at-home for at least a little bit...
When we got
to the airport, we both agreed that we had been really missing the atmosphere of such
a place. I did notice, though, that is was considerably less crowded than I have seen the Munich airport before.
And then the feeling of being close to getting on board a plane...
We were a bit limited in our duration of the trip due to the fact that he is back in school now, and I had further plans coming up, and there were only three weekends to do this at all – because we were going to Paris to see the final (?) Christoand Jeanne-Claude wrapping, of the Arc de Triomphe.
I have written about my other attempts at seeing a real live installation-sculpture of theirs here. Has it really been eight years...? So when Christo died last year and I heard that the wrapping of Arc de Triomphe would still take place, I made a promise to myself that I would go.
Negotiations with the young one were a bit complicated as to how to shape the program around visiting the Arc proper, I probably would have just sat there for hours until in the middle of the night, but you can’t do that with a 16-year-old.
So we had booked a tour of the catacombs, on the way to which I dragged him across the cemetery of Montparnasse as it all was in walking distance from our hotel.
Then we went to see the Eiffel Tower, and he was duly impressed at how big that thing is.
A boat trip on the Seine for the highlights, passing by formerly wrapped Pont Neuf and Notre Dame still under reconstruction.
Of course we passed a former site of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's activity, the Pont Neuf.
I loved this wooden boat which we saw from the tour boat.
And I caught this man walking along the Seine, a picture that would well fit into a series of photographs I follow on Instagram, @josetorerowalkers. Not quite as spectacular as some of the pictures posted under that title, but I think it would fit.
Afterwards when we continued our way on foot, we passed a demonstration against the most recent health and safety rules of the French government, and the youngster was impressed by the amount of weapons the attending police were carrying. I didn’t dare take a picture of that.
And then... the first glimpse ahead, behind the trees.
Coming up onto it from one of the roads that show the narrow side.
And then the full glory.
It was absolutely wonderful to be there. We were lucky with the weather – sunshine, to bring out the reflections of the fabric used. (We managed to get a couple of pieces as they were being distributed by the helpers.) It was warm, everybody on the Place d’étoile was smiling, and we circled around a number of times.
(Imagine here another hundred photos - which you can find on the internet... I am not going to post them all!)
We even came back the next morning, he patiently tolerated this whim of mine, did a few more circles around, and just as we were going to leave, a man came up to us whether we wanted to go up onto the platform, he had tickets which he could not use, but we would have to do it NOW as they were for 11.30 and it was 11.24. Up we went, enjoyed the view, and seeing the folds of the fabric on the top.
After that we went to Montmatre and let it all peter out before we had to go back to the airport.
We did see the cathedral, too, but two stops in coffee
houses were just as important.
We had a great time together, the youngster was suitably impressed with the fact that my French got us around (his would not have been any kind of help!), he got a decent impression of Paris, I fell back in love with it after it must have been almost 30 years... What a wonderful way to spend a weekend with your 16-yr-old...