Wednesday, October 12, 2011

England/France - Day 11

The next morning we woke bright and early. It was going to be a busy day.
We saw this clever scooter - very cool!
On the way to the Louvre we saw this bridge with railings covered with padlocks.

I was not aware of this tradition but apparently the locks are placed there by couples as a token of their love.

The Louvre used to be the palace for the king of France from the 12 century up until Louis XIV built Versailles in the 1600s.  It is one of the largest museums in the world.  And we had to see it in two hours!  Thank goodness for Rick Steves and his highlights tour!
The sculptor of the infamous Venus de Milo is unknown.  But the statue is considered the epitome of classical Greek sculpture.

The Winged Victory
Of course we saw this famous face.
But only after we pushed through all these people!  Incredible!

I loved every bit of everything I saw at the Louvre.  Hopefully I can return someday and spend more time.
We were told by several people that we had to eat at the Relais de l'entrecote - a traditional French steak and fries restaurant.

It was delicious!  The steak was so tender and the sauce was yummy.  And it was endless refills!

Ah the dessert!

Next stop was the Sainte-Chapelle.  This cathedral was commissioned by Louis IX to hold his Passion Relics including the Crown of Thorns.  What is it the most famous for?
The windows!

We saw this street performer on our way to the...
La Tour Eiffel!
As we walked the long walk towards the tower we saw this man.  He and his clear glass ball mesmerized us for a while. He was in the zone.  And he wasn't even asking for money!

One conclusion we made after this trip is this:  People  love Poppy!  Especially Asian people.  There were multiple occasions where Asian tourists were drawn to Poppy and couldn't stop admiring her!
This group gave Poppy some Micky Mouse ears to wear.
Then they wanted to take pictures of Poppy wearing the Micky Mouse ears.
Then they wanted us to take pictures of them with Poppy wearing the Micky Mouse ears!  It was the sweetest, funniest thing!
And darling Poppy was such a good sport through it all!
Anyway - we finally made our way to the tower.  We decided to go all the way to the top!
It's a looooooong way down!
For some strange reason, in the last several years since having children I have developed a fear of heights.  As the elevator was approaching the top, my legs and feet started to tingle. And I didn't appreciate it when Wes did this.
The Louvre museum is the large U-shaped building right in the middle of the picture.
L'Arc de Triomph.
We followed the throng of people back to base of the tower and decided we would walk to the Musee D'Orsay - the impressionist/post-impressionist museum.  We saw this neat building with plants growing on the side.  Love that!
Unfortunately we underestimated not only the distance to the museum but our level of exhaustion and sore feet.  But we walked and walked and finally made it to our destination.  Becca and James were smarter and took the train.  We enjoyed perusing works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Gauguin, Van Gogh and others.
At this point we were very hungry and tired.  As we walked to the metro we passed a closing boulangerie with some baguette sandwiches sitting on the shelf.  James and Wes asked they owner if they would sell us both sandwiches for 7 euros.  The sandwiches looked really unappetizing to Becca and me so in the meantime we had located a corner cafe that looked decent.  But it was too late - the boys had purchased the sandwiches.  We still had a yummy dinner a the cafe but the boys ate the sandwiches anyway because they were so pleased with themselves for getting such a great deal.  I think one of the sandwiches was smoked salmon and the other was some type of meat that looked really yucky and questionable.  But in the end - it all worked out!
We finally took the metro back to the hotel and sadly realized we only had one more day left in Paris!!!

At this point, things at home were getting a little crazy.  Nothing out of the ordinary - just our usual busy lives. And our babysitter - Danielle - had already gone above and beyond what any babysitter should be asked to do!  And she did an awesome job.  But it was becoming clear that two weeks is too long to be gone!  Our lives are too busy to leave the kids for that long.  Even by the end of the first week - the older two were really struggling.  They missed us and needed us to help them navigate their busy lives.  We were looking forward to our last day in Paris - but we couldn't wait to get home to our kids!

1 comment:

Becca said...

What a superb thing you've done chronicling our trip! It makes my heart smile and cry at the same time! What a wonderful time we had. I miss you two so much! We have to plan another adventure, for real. Italy 2014? I'd love to print your blog for my records