Paris, March 2003

I haven't been to Paris for quite some time. In the early 90's two project partners were located there, so I got to travel to Paris quite a few times, after that I didn't get back to France for about a decade. Back then, the last thing I did in Paris was visiting Eurodisney (as it was called then) about a month after it opened, so it must have been in April 1992 or thereabouts. Somehow it seemed fitting to start a trip to Paris by visiting Disneyland Paris (as it is called now), sort of picking up where I left.

A couple of things have changed since then (the addition of the Space Mountain and Indiana Jones rollercoasters and the change from 'Captain EO' to 'Honey, I shrunk the audience' the more obvious ones), but mostly it remained the same. In some respects almost too much so. In the evening there was the 'Main Street Electrical Parade', which had only a couple of weeks left before it would be gone for good, and it seemed somehow familiar. Looking through some old pictures I found that I had seen that one before, not in Disneyland Paris, but in the original Disneyland, more than 15 years ago.

Castle at Disneyland Paris Phantom Manor Gate to Adventureland Skull on Pirate Island Skull from the inside, grinning Discoveryland entrance

Castle at Disneyland Paris Parade Parade Parade Dragon Cinderella's carriage

Cinderella's carriage Cinderella's carriage Suspension bridge Disneyland sunset Main Street Electrical Parade

Electrical Parade Train Electrical Parade Swans Cinderella's Electrical Parade carriage Electrical Parade Clock Tower Electrical Parade - red lantern at end Castle at night

During a dinner, the idea came up of visiting the Musée d'Orsay to look at the Van Gogh pictures there, when our local hosts mentioned that there is a sort of 'art walk' in Auvers-sur-Oise, which is a village near Paris where Van Gogh spent the last months of his life. He painted quite a few pictures in those two months (about 70) and they put up panels showing his pictures next to the motifs he painted. So, while Auvers-sur-Oise doens't have original Van Gogh paintings, they've got some original Van Gogh motifs.

This seemed more interesting than spending time in the museum, so it was time for a day trip in Van Goghs (and other impressionist - the place was popular) footsteps. Fortunately the panels now actually show the paintings themselves, instead of the earlier plaques which basically just said "Van Gogh painted here".

There's also a statue depicting Van Gogh.
Van Gogh statue

The motifs cover the spectrum from 'not here anymore', as in the case of the bridge over the Oise, past 'barely recognizeable now'...
Van Gogh painting and painted

...via 'slightly changed by the passage of time, but still similar'...
Van Gogh Painting Van Gogh Motif 'still the same as a century ago'.
Auvers church Auvers church

And while other places might have original Van Gogh paintings, Auvers-sur-Oise has the original Van Gogh.

(Actually two of them, since his Vincent's brother Theo is buried here as well.)

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