Friday, July 17, 2009

Je t'aime Paris!

Oh gosh, I have been neglecting my blog! This post is about the Paris portion of our summer trip. Paris is beautiful to say the least. It is also different than any other city on Earth. It is obvious that beauty is a high priority in the French culture. In Paris, some sort of beauty is everywhere. The buildings, the trees, the monuments, the people, the food, the street performers, the art, the flowers - they are all beautiful in different ways.

We drove down the Champs Elysees and saw the Arc de Triomphe. The traffic was horrendous but it was worth it because the Arc is so large and impressive. It was built in 1836 during the reign of Louis Philippe. Since 1920, it houses the tomb of France's Unknown Soldier and commemorates the dead of World Wars I and II. It is really breathtakingly beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes!

We visited the Louvre, of course. We even took naps in the lawn just outside.

We saw the Mona Lisa. There were so many other people also visiting the Mona Lisa - WOW!

This is a better shot of the mysterious lady.

We saw the Venus de Milo, too. She was created sometime between 130 and 100 BC and is believed to depict the Greek goddess, Aphrodite (the goddess of love and beauty).

We took a train to the Chateau de Versailles. Days could be spent here exploring the gardens. It was a little eerie touring the chateau because I kept thinking of the mob of people invading the palace during the Revolution. I was also amazed at the access given to the hoards of people touring the building. I wish I could have toured the kitchen area and the work rooms, etc.

How strange that the Treaty of Versailles was signed here in the Hall of Mirrors ending World War I? The history associated with this place is mind boggling.
The Chapel....

We stayed at Hotel du Louvre which was really nice, right in the heart of things.

Isn't the bar beautiful?

The lobby is also very pretty.

We visited the Paris Catacombs. There are over 1 million people's bones in this particular catacomb. Over 6 million Parisians are in all the catacombs!

The pretty!

I love the art installations around the city.

We ate at a neat little restaurant called Quai Quai on the Ile de la Citi. The food was fabulous and the service was excellent.

Sidewalk street performers...

We climbed the stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The lines were too long to wait for an elevator! The Eiffel Tower itself is way more beautiful than I thought it would be. It is amazing how much thought went into making the structure beautiful. It is more than just a tower.

Me at the Jardins du Palais-Royal. There was a group of men playing boule on the other side of the trees. It was so neat and relaxed and enjoyed by many.

The view from our hotel balcony...

The next post will cover Bourgogne and some of the countryside. Au revoir!


anita said...

just gorgeous. we girls never tire of all things parisian! what a pretty pic of you on the sidewalk!
i have the same shot under eiffel, but we saw it at dusk, just as we turned an alleyway corner, the lights came on and it started its sparkling..i always add..just for me! we stayed at the prince de galle hotel on st. george which is one block from the arc..we kept crossing the street in that traffic! we took the underground metro to the louve and notre dame and such. so much fun!
i love your pics

anita said...

i am adding you to my blogroll!