Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paris - Day 2

Warning, this is a long one! We did a lot on Day 2!

Our hostel-hotel wasn't much to boast about (we stayed at the Garden Hotel), but Dale and I were lucky enough to get a room in the top floor so we got to wake up on Day 2 in Paris to this nice sunrise:
This was our walking day. Our friend Gabi, who was on a vacation in Paris with her cousin and invited us to join in on the fun, had made an itinerary so we knew where everything was, when it was open, and had a rough idea what we were doing the whole time. In the morning we met up for a quick cup of espresso and pain au chocolat (which are so deliciously addictive. Here's a fake it recipe if you want to try one). Then it was off to see the July Column
This is where the Bastille Prison was until the storming of the bastille in 1789 and this tower was resurrected to commemorate that event as well as the beginning of the July Monarchy. You didn't know you you'd be getting history lessons following my blog did you? ;)

Next, we walked over to Norte Dame. As you can tell it was a cold, cloudy, drizzly day in Paris. But that was perfect for all the sites we were visiting between walking. We approached Norte Dame from the back, walking along the Seine, so this picture is looking at the newest part of the building.
Norte Dame was so much more impressive then I had imagined. There is so much detail in every aspect of this building and I loved all the gargoyles!
We forked over the 8 euros and climbed the 422 stairs to see the gargoyles up close and admire the city from the top of the towers - and it was worth it!

See what I mean? Pretty cool right?! We even got to see the bells in the tower, although we couldn't find Quasimoto :)
Here's what the inside of the church looks like:
Once last picture of Norte Dame, this time from the front of the original 2 towers of the building and with Dale and me in the picture.
Then we stopped for lunch at a little bistro in the Latin Quarter. The French, or at least in Paris, have "menus" where for a fixed amount you get a starter, entrée, and dessert and there are a couple options for each. We opted for the menus since the individual items were more pricey. Then it was off to the Pantheon, Dale and I had visited the Pantheon in Rome several years ago and this Pantheon was pretty similar. I thought Pantheon was the building in Rome's name but it turns out this is the name of secular mausoleums. Here's the outside.
The inside is pretty cool too.
Dale's a bit of a nerd and was excited that this is where Foucault proved the rotation of the earth and they had a Foucault pendulum set up to watch.
Underneath the Pantheon you can go into the crypts to see the burial place of many historically important people who were either French or died in France (Voltaire, Alexander Dumas, Marie Curie, Victor Hugo, Louis Braille, etc.)

By now we were getting tired of walking and it was getting late so we stopped for a coffee and then hopped on the metro over to the Arc De Triomphe. The Arc De Triomphe was built to honor those who died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and below the center of the arch lies the French Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1.
We paid to climb up the stairs here as well and got to see the city at night from above. It was pretty spectacular.

And finally we walked home along Champs-Élysées and did some window shopping - we may have been in Paris but we still couldn't afford this stuff! Here's one last picture for today and it's of Gabi and me at the Swarovski store. They have a staircase made of crystals but it was much more shiny in person then this picture suggests.
Did you make it this far? Thanks for reading! As you can tell, it was a long day and we fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow!
Love Always,


Anonymous said...

GABBY! she's looking great! Looks like you all had an educational blast. -M

Anonymous said...

Looks like you guys had a great time in Paris!!
Thanks for sharing with us....Love and miss you guys....Aunt Dana

Matilda said...

M, Gabi is good and I told her hello for you! She is visiting Fede and Nyra now!

Dana, Paris was so nice and it was great to take a quick break from cold and snowy Sweden! Love and miss you all too!

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