Saturday, November 26, 2005

Paris Chronicles: Day Three

Tuesday. It was the most beautiful day Paris had to offer. It was clear and sunny, just gorgeous. So, we couldn't waste the day in a museum.

We woke up and had breakfast at the hotel. I was feeling kind of weak so I went back to bed and Brian went for a stoll. These are a couple of pictures from his camera:
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Check out the parking on this little guy.

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So I finally got out of bed and felt a bzillion times better. And then we went to check out the other side of town.

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The metro rules.

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Opera National de Paris Garnier
With a mixture of styles ranging from the Classical to the Baroque, this building from 1875 has come to symbolize the opulence of the Second Empire.

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The Opera Quarter.
It has been said that if you sit for long enough at the Cafe de la Paix across from the Opera, the whole world will pass by. During the day, the area is a mixture of commerce and tourism.

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The Galeries Lafayette. The primo department store.

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Inside Galeries Lafayette. It's like a dream.

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My favorite part was the extensive shoe collection, and the yarn section.

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Built in 1906, The beautiful department store, with its dome of colored glass and wrought iron, was a sign of the new prosperity.

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The interior was arranged as tiers of galleries around a central grand staircase. Once again, not good for people with vertigo!

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Lunch at the cafe inside. I had a quiche and some yummy fruity dessert, and brian had the salad bar and some pasta.

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Magnetic silverware.

After lunch we got on a double decker tour bus.
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View from across the Seine

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Pont Neuf. Said to be the most romantic spot in the city.

Despite it's name (New Bridge), this bridge is the oldest in Paris and has b een immortalized by major literary and artistic figures since it was built. The first stone was laid by Henri III in 1578, but it was Henry IV who inagurated it and gave it its name in 1607. The bridge has 12 arches and spans 912 feet. The first stone bridge to be built without houses, it heralded a new era in the relationship between the Cite and the river and has been popular ever since.

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A kiss over Pont Neuf.

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La Samaritane, a department store. It is one of the oldest in Paris. It is full of bargains and often carries the same merchandise as Galeries Lafayette, at lower prices. It includes a shop devoted to sportswear and equipment, and there are good sales on household goods and furnishings. There is a panoramic view of the Seine from the restaurant, Le Toupary.

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Us vs Notre Dame.

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So, it was kinda brisk out and this guy lost his head keeping himself warm.

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This is how hard we were laughing at the headless passenger.

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Vendors along the Seine.

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Looks like a pumpkin patch.

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Le Chien.

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The Champs Elysees, and the Arc de Triomphe.

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A return to the Arc.

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The Eiffel Tower from Trocadero.

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Another passenger we had to laugh at.

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Is this where Napoleon is buried?

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Time to meet Armen and David.

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Armen and Jag comparing photos of our Paris tour. Having wine, watching the world pass by on the patio of Le Marrioner in the Marais.

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David and Armen.

The Marais is arguably the mosst fascinating area of Paris. A place of royal residence in the 17th century, it was mercilessly abandoned to the people during the Revolution, and descended into an architectural wasteland before being rescued in the 1960s.

Sensitive restoration has brought the area to life again, with some of Paris' most popular museums housed in its elegant mansions. The main streets and narrow passageways are bustling with fashionable boutiques, new galleries and restaurants. Many of the traders have been driven out by high prices, but enough artisans , bakers and small cafes have survived, as has the ethnic mix of Jews, former Algerian settlers, Asians and others. Today, the Maris is also the center of the Parisian gay scene.

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We ♥ Paris in the fall.

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Dinner time.

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The cat that dined with us.

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I'm pretty sure I was the only female in the restaurant.

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The food was excellent. We had some wine, of course, and I had steak, fries, and cheese! Oh yeah, and a goat cheese salad. MMmmmm.

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In front of Hotel de Ville.

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Home of the city council the town hall is a 19th century reconstruction of the 17th century town hall that was burned down in 1871. It is highly ornate, weith elaborate stonework, turrets and statues overlooking a pedestrianized square that is a delight to stroll in, especiall at night when the fountains are illuminated.

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The square was once the main site for hangings, burnings and other executions. It was here that Ravaillac, Henri IV's assassin was quartered alive, his body ripped to pieces by for strong horses.

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Point Zero, in front of Notre Dame, from which all of Paris is measured.

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Me, standing on Point Zero.

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Brian copying me.

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Firestarter.

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Crypte Archeologique.

Situated on the main square in front of Notre Dame and stretching 393 ft underground, this crypt exhibits the remains of foundations and walls that pre-date the cathedral by several hundred years. There are traces of a sophisticated underground heating system in a house from Lutece, the settlement of the Parisii, the Centic tribe who inhabited the island 2,000 years ago, giving their name to the present city.

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The return to Pont Neuf.

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Dancing on Pont Neuf.

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Goodnight!

2 comments:

allan said...

what a dazzling chronicle of your trip. I can't wait to see what you two crazy kids are up to next.

Brian said...

are you ever going to finish day three?