Friday, August 7, 2009

Paris By Pictures, As Promised

In exact opposite order of visitation, below is a sequence of our stops in Paris. You cannot take a bad photo in Paris and you cannot visit a bad site. My only advice, spend more time there then you think you need. That way when you've hit all the must-see landmarks, you can spend a little time living life according to the Parisians. Slow and steady.

Luxembourg Palace: Ironically enough, this was our last and most relaxing day. We were museumed out at this point, had stopped for some tasty gelato and strolled to this lovely landmark and it's gardens. We found two chairs, sat and people-watched. It was fantastic.

The Panthéon: Our hotel was in walking distance to this site, however, we never ventured in. Like I said, we needed more time. Guess we'll have to go back.

View outside our hotel room: We stayed at Hotel Acte V located at 55 rue Monge. It was a great location within walking distance of the metro, a boulangerie, a street market and the Latin Quarter.

View in line for the Catacombs: This was our longest wait - I think close to two hours. Honestly, I could've passed but Shawn enjoyed himself and it was an enlightening experience which is all I could ask for.

Steps to Sacré-Coeur Basilica: This was our longest commute on the metro and also the most sketchy. We made it safe, sound and satisfied with the view. From these steps, there is an amazing panoramic view of the city. Pure contentment.

Rodin's The Kiss: This was personally my favorite museum and this piece happened to reside in Rodin's former house, now the museum. We also received a quick French lesson upon entering and therefore had a nice little convo with some locals.

Rodin's The Thinker: This is the first sculpture along the zen path outside the Rodin museum. Each is almost hidden among greenery and is larger then life. It was a perfect day to stroll the statues…

Louvre Pyramid: This marked the entrance to the enormous museum. I believe this was the first we visited and also the greatest undertaking. We hit what we wanted to see and were impressed by the volume of art but instead chose to watch Pigeons court in the courtyard.

Arc de Triomphe: By far, this was the easiest place to find but the hardest to get to. The metro entrance drops you off right next to it, but thanks to the nature of the roundabout that surrounds it, you have to walk underground to get to it. The view from the top is well worth the trip.

St. Chapelle: Everyone at Notre Dame kept referring to St. Chapelle for it's original stained glass windows. We brushed it off as a helpful reference should we make it to see them. Knowing now how breathtaking they are, we are grateful we were pleasantly amazed. It's probably one of our most memorable reactions, ever.

The Conciergerie: We had never heard of this place but were impressed to see and read about the prison that held the people awaiting the guillotine. Including none other then Marie Antoinette.

Notre Dame Cathedral: With all the history and symbolism that exists in this church, I think we truly could have spent an entire day here. It's beautiful, it's huge, it's architectural, it's historic and when you see it, all these things are magnified.

Eiffel Tower: This makes me smile. This was our first site on our first night in Paris. As we were on the metro, it started to play hide-and-seek with us, right in the middle of it's light show. It was a giddy tourist moment when we finally approached it in it's entirety, however, I'll play the giddy tourist anytime I get to see something like that.

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