Paris Ė The City of French People
Hop on a train, ride through a long tunnel, and 3 hours later youíre in Paris.
First night there and off to the Eiffel Tower.
The line to ride the elevators was absurdly long so up the stairs we went.† Several hundred later we made it to the second level out of 3.† We were there in time to catch the twinkling light show they have every hour on the hour.† For some reason a still photograph doesnít really capture the effect.
Next day:† Le Chateau de Versailles.† Opulent rooms, amazing gardens, and long, really slow moving lines.
It rained about seven drops.
Louis [insert large Roman numeral here]ís chapel.
Something like 1% of the gardens.
They only turn the (100s of) fountains on like once a week, but we were lucky enough to be there at one of those times.† They also pipe in classical music during the fountain show, which was pretty neat.
Of course, they turned the fountains off before we got halfway down the grounds. Well, I guess it was like an hour later.
Day 3 was a whirlwind tour of Paris.† First stop: the Louvre. First stop in the Louvre: the Winged Victory of Samothrace.† Famous, Armless and Headless.
Next stop: a small painting behind a big Plexiglas wall and surrounded by hundreds of camera-toting tourists.† The Louvre is so huge that people just kind of pick something they want to see and then walk blindly to it.† The rooms between Nike and Mona are filled with paintings by Boticelli and his students, but everyone seems to just walk by them like theyíre wallpaper.
And then to armless goddess number 2.† And then like a flash, we moved on.
Notre Dame Cathedral.
A view carvings ornament one of the doors into the cathedral.
The flying buttress architecture on the backside of the cathedral.
Next we moved to the north of the city to Le Sacre Coeur (the sacred heart) Basilica.† Itís impressive on both the inside and out.† Inside the entire thing is decorated with mosaics that look like huge paintings.
It also has a commanding view of the entire city.† I highly recommend a trip up to here if youíre in Paris.† A lot of people donít seem to know that it exists.
But we canít stay in one place for too long so we moved on the Arc du Triumphe.† And then we walked up a coupled hundred stairs to the top.
Looking back at the Sacre Coeur.
The French are secretly using the Eiffel Tower to send rain clouds to England.
The Champs de Elyesees from the Arc.† Lots of rich people and expensive shops.† My dad and I sat on the sidewalk and had a beer for only 7 euros.
The next morning we went to the Musee de Orsay, the home for art made from about 1850 on.† Itís also definitely worth a trip to the large number of Monets and Van Goghs, among others.† Thus concludes a successful trip with the family.