Yosemite Hike - 2011

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Very Impressionist

Late night last night, as we didn't get back until after midnight from our bike tour. Slow morning, again battling this is a vacation against the, "there's so much to see see in just 3 days. Paris awaits and here we come with two-day museum passes in hand!

Our apartment is a long stone throw away from the d'Orsay, in the distric 7 area near St. Germaine. Time to see some art and first stop the old train station now converted into an art museum. Thanks to friend Kelly Grawleski we went directly to the fifth floor to see all the Impressionists and yes, we loved the behind the clock view - very Hugoesque!

Standing behind this clock in the d'Orsay and seeing the hands move was an amazing sight. It looked massive from inside!

The Fortune Family refers to our residence artist and art historian Sydney for all inquires about art style, paintings, and artist. Quite impressive her knowledge of both the art and artists that we took in.

Next up, a pleasant walk down the Seine to the Notre Dame. A quick moving line allowed us to view the church built in the 1100s from the first level. Unfortunately, an hour and a half line to climb the Notre Dame tower to see the hunchback of Notre Dame. We decided to save that for another time.

Lunch in Paris is either at a cafe in the corner where you sit down and pay for the bad service with high prices. We tended to gravitate toward purchasing panini's on the run. We miss our friendly London and it's easier food on every corner!

Sitting eating lunch on the isle of Notre Dame we noticed Saint Chapelle across the street. Some of the best sites are not the major ones, but the undiscovered off the beaten path where the expectations are not too high. Saint Chapelle presented some of the most amazing stain glass windows anywhere. It is also right next to France's Supreme Court, so threaten the kids to behave or over to the court where most criminals would get the guillotine.

In St. Chapelle, the fifteen separate panels of stained glass cover 6,500 square feet and over 1,100 different scenes from the Bible telling the the entire Christian history of the world, from Creation in the Genesis, to coming of Christ, to the end of the world.

The one tour we did book for our trip, was the Eiffel Tour, to avoid two hour plus lines. We were all impressed by the tour and the history of the Tower and its varied uses, despite many Parisians thinking it is an eyesore. Most interesting to learn, it was built for Paris' 1889 Universal Exposition and expected to stand for 30 years and be torn down.

The first part of the tour took us underground to witness the radio and secret military quarters to intercept German transmissions during WWI. The tower also transmitted TV signals when that first occurred. It stands 1,063 feet including its antennae.

Finally what everyone was waiting for, an elevator up to the 2nd platform of the tower for an amazing view. It did not disappoint, although we felt we should have walked up it. It was a clear day and could see 70 km out supposedly. We had no idea how expansive Paris is, as one tends to spend all the time in the center where all the sites and museums are located.

Looking up into the Tower

Can't get much better than today, as it was truly a glorious! Hard to believe tomorrow can bring some other amazing history and experiences for our family. To prepare for the walking tomorrow, we Fortune Four walked down the Eiffel Tower, 720 stairs, to end the day!

Unfortunately the TV in the apartment isn't working do we're left to Internet updates for the Olympics and viewing out our window to the neighbors TV.

Shelby: Behind the scenes tour of the Eiffel Tower
Sydney: Seeing the city of Paris from atop the Tower
Jana: The tour of the Tower
Scott: Second platform of the Tower

Location:Paris, France

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