It was the first time we have been to Paris since the attacks back in November, and I must say it was quiet. I couldn’t believe how short all of the lines were and how few people were in almost every place we went. It was the first time I saw people who actually live in Paris. I noticed people going to work and going out to eat on Valentine’s Day, and I don’t think they were tourists. It was nice. We saw some of the most amazing sites we didn’t even know existed, like the Petit Palais and the Palais de Tokyo. They’re both free! I didn’t think anything in Paris was free! I went back to the Pompidou (not free) for the first time since 2006 and I had a completely different experience and learned a ton. Do you know this artist, Wifredo Lam? Amazing.
One of the most fascinating things I discovered is that the Pantheon, which is a building in Paris that houses the tombs of Voltaire, Rousseau, Curie, etc, is not in fact in Ancient Greece. However, in the sixth grade, for our ancient Greece project, whereby we had to build a famous structure from Ancient Greece, I chose the Pantheon. I remember very clearly making the dome out of styrofoam and spray painting it gold, and then watching as the paint started to eat away at the foam. The memory is very clear. It’s not that astounding that a sixth grader could make that type of mistake. You know Pantheon/Parthenon, so similar. But it is astounding that no one told me I had made this mistake. Unless of course, no one had ever heard of the Pantheon in the first place. Or they thought that Parthenon and Pantheon were interchangeable words. There is, by the way, a Pantheon in Rome. Which would have been a more understandable mistake, but no, that’s not the one I built. I’ve been to that one too. Sadly, I definitely built the one in Paris. But it’s cool though. You should go.