Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From The City Of Lights To The Eternal City: Part II

Friday, May 15 {Versailles, Musee d’Orsay, Arc de Triumph, Palace de la Concorde, Opera House, Eiffel Tower}

"Secrets travel fast in Paris" --Napoleon Bonaparte

Woke up early (its going to be a long day) and headed to Versailles.

Got lost on the underground but we found our way... eventually....

We took the audio tour of the palace and it was incredible!

The rooms were covered, top to bottom, with gorgeous paintings.

My favorite was the Hall of Mirrors. 

It was raining outside but that didn’t stop us from venturing out into the gardens.

I would have liked it more if it wasn’t so cold, rainy, and windy but the grounds were still beautiful!

We left Versailles and headed back to Paris to the Musee d’Orsay (an old train station that has been turned into a museum).

I didn’t like the art that much (Realism and Naturalism doesn’t do it for me), but the building was really cool and there was some Impressionism (Monet and van Gogh) art, which was nice to look at.

Next, we went to the Arc de Triumph.

We hiked to the top of the Arc for a better view of the city.

We went on a walk down the Champs Elysees (see pic above) towards the Place de la Concorde.

 Stopped for lunch at Brioche Doree where we got sandwiches and desserts : )

Ended our walk at the Place de la Concorde where we saw the other Luxor obelisk (I saw the other one at the Luxor Temple IN Egypt).

From there, we headed towards what we thought was the Opera House. Turns out we went in the opposite direction... It’s ok though because some Paris policemen where around and they tried to “help” us. Turns out they don’t know their city very well : )

We eventually got our bearings and headed for the Opera House.

After taking pictures, we jumped on the underground and headed over to the Eiffel Tower (the final stop of the day).

We paid and took the elevator to the very top.

The ride up was scary because it was so high! But you can't complain about the view!

It was well after midnight by the time we got back to solid ground.

Little did we know that the trains don't run that late... After a moment of panic, we found a taxi and got a ride to our hotel.

It was a long day we finally went to sleep around 2AM.

Saturday, May 16 {Louvre, Catacombs, Napoleons Tomb, Rodin Museum, Night Train}
"I think she smiled at me"

We woke up early, grabbed our backpacks and headed to the train station.

We stored our bags (who wants to carry a 25 lb backpack around the city) and then headed out into the city.

First stop, the Louvre.

We knew that there was no way we could see the entire museum so we choose to go into the Denon wing.

Here we saw the Greek statues (Pre-classic, Golden Age, Parthenon freezes, Venus de Milo), The Roman statues (Winged Victory), The Grand Gallery, The Renaissance, The Italian High Renaissance, the Mona Lisa, French paintings (Neo-Classical), and Romanticism.

The first of the “Big 3” we saw was the Winged Victory. She was huge and gorgeous! 

When we first saw her we were alone and walking up the stairs towards her. I had a few moments of silence and alone time before the crowds came in.

Next, we saw Michalengos Salve, which was beautiful and it got me ready for Rome.

After, we went and saw Venus de Milo.
She represents perfection and she is perfection.

We said goodbye to Venus and headed towards the Great Gallery.

On our way down the gallery, we saw two painters that we painting copies of some of the great works of Renaissance art. They were incredible and the paintings were exact!

We walked into the room were the Mona Lisa was and right across from her is Veroneses - Marriage at Cana. It was huge and gorgeous!

I turned around and there she was, Mona Lisa. She is perfect and I could have sworn that she smiled at me.

We walked through the rest of the Denon Wing and went outside to take pictures by the pyramids.

Next, we got on the underground and headed over to the catacombs.

This is a must see! Going down into the catacombs was crazy but seeing the thousands of bones lining the walls was amazing.

I had a really strange feeling walking through the catacombs, it was a little creepy, but you have to respect the dead.

After getting out of the catacombs, we went to see Napoleons tomb at Les Invalides.

His body was brought back from exile and buried here, under a huge dome in a beautiful red sarcophagus.

After bowing to the emperor, we headed to the Rodin Museum.

I’m not a fan of Rodin or anything like that. The Thinker was cool and the museum grounds were pretty, but I wasn’t impressed.

To end our stay in Paris, we took one more walk down the Champs Elysees in an attempt to buy some souvenirs.

I got a Paris sweatshirt and a painting.

We went back to the train station, got our backpacks, jumped on our night train, and headed to Venice.

Goodbye France!

1 comment:

Lauren Jayne said...

You are so right, the Louvre is virtually impossible to do in one go! So is Versailles, I felt like I could have spent hours and hours walking around the gardens.