Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Day 155: Around Paris - Tues 7 Oct, 2014

Day 155: Around Paris - Tues 7 Oct, 2014
Raining lightly, cold. Off to catch train to Charles De Gaulle station (absolutely longest maze underground to get out of the tunnel up into the air) and Arc de Triomphe (which describes how we felt on finding ourselves in front of this freedom icon, almost 50 years after studying it in school and dreaming of going there one day!!)

Dreams DO come true....

Newest version of planking??

Took hop on/off bus past all major sights, beautiful Opera House designed by Garnier. Construction struck opposition at time, myth said it was being built over underground lake, which later became a story, which became the Phantom of the Opera (GirlRob’s all-time favourite). Passed rhino and horse statues of the Musee d’Orsay, and the backside of a bronze copy of The Thinker in garden of Musee Rodin. 

Opera House
Musee d'Orsay

George Washington

Bronze copy of Rodin's Thinker

Evolution of Man Museum

Tantalising glimpses from the bus

Musee des Beaux Artes (Petit Palais)

Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées 


Madeleine Church
Restoration vision...

Went round circuit of Place de la Concorde (used to be Place de la Revolution containing guillotine for public beheadings!), which features the impressive Obelisk of Luxor, a gift from Egypt dating from time of Ramses II. This red granite monolithic column (built with single stone) has a gold-painted pyramidion at top. The hieroglyphics from the Temple of Luxor tell stories of Pharaohs exploits and pay tribute to the gods. Vital statistics: 3000+ years old, 23 metres, 227 ton - a true antiquity. 


Dome housing Napoleon's tomb

Les Invalides, containing military history of France

The twin fountains have major figures seated as in prow of a ship, florentined, painted in bronze and gold paint. Maritime Fountain represents oceans and industries; Fountain of Rivers represents major rivers and harvests.

Drove through narrow archway onto grounds of Louvre, for quick glimpse and out again (we know we need a full day for that experience...). Spotted Carousel Triumphal Arch – the smallest of the three arches on the Triumphal Way, the central axis between the Louvre and La Défense. The arch is crowned with a replica bronze chariot, as the original has now been returned to Venice.


Carousel Triumphal Arch 

La Conciergerie, former prison

Lunched at cafe near Notre Dame Cathedral, tempted to see it today but wanted to take slower-paced boat trip along Seine (and some of its 37 bridges) whilst weather was still reasonable.

Notre Dame de Paris

Looped up and back, circling Isle de la Cite, seeing many of famous buildings again from a different (lower!) perspective. 

St Genevieve, patron saint Paris

Hmm, brick ceiling....

Couldn't begin to guess....
Zouave (workman) Alma Bridge

Residence with carpark...

Wanderoos stole a kiss as we passed under Lover’s Bridge covered with locked padlocks (these are engraved with lovers' names and key thrown into Seine to ensure bonds are never broken...)

Queued for lift to summit of Eiffel Tower, an absolute dream come true. Magnificent views in every direction with storm approaching. Identified Montmartre as we descended to level two.


Had dinner and an ale at cafe below the Tower, before taking train back to camp to elevate feet with sighs of relief…

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