Otherwise entitled: Paris, je t’aime.
After Salzburg it was on for the epic last month around France before I head to NYC and then back to Texas for a month before returning to DC to finish my last year of school. I arrived in Paris in the morning, dropped my things off at my hostel, and immediately went out to explore the city. I’ve been to Paris before– my French class went together, but it’s been a considerable bit of time since then so I wanted to do and see everything again. I hit several major museums– the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay (I apologize now for not using accents. Blogger doesn’t recognize them and inserts random script), Musee Rodin, Orangerie. Since I’m returning to Paris at the end of my trip I saved some things to do then as well which you will hear about in a month. The museums were impressive, as always. Below, photos of my trip.
Above, the Louvre with the triangle designed by IM Pei in front of it. I entered through the glass triangle to get my ticket, and spent hours wandering the museum. Most people forget that the Louvre was actually built and used as a royal palace, but you get glimpses of that throughout your visit. Several world-famous paintings hang here, including the Mona Lisa, Liberty Leading the People, Napoleon Crowning Himself, the Venus de Milo, etc. Personally it’s not my style of art, but it’s an amazing museum. With one exception: I would really prefer that they ban photography all together. Too many people using flash. THAT RUINS PAINTINGS. Getting off my soapbox now. Below, under the Louvre, where you can see the original foundations.
The Louvre actually houses a ton of Egyptian treasures that various people (in particular Napoleon) stole from Egypt at one point or another. Another rant: I was surprised at the intensity of my feeling, but I really feel that things like this should be in their original homes. Perhaps not some of the small figurines, but ENTIRE SECTIONS OF TEMPLES? I don’t find it acceptable that people can take a chunk of an ancient wall and cart it off. Another note: when walking around ancient sites, touching them destroys them! So if you ever go to Egypt, LOOK DON’T TOUCH. Ok, really, I’m done ranting, I promise. Below, the Napoleon III apartments in the Louvre. It’s only one photo, but there are several rooms lavishly decorated like so.
Above, boat floating in the Tuileries Gardens. Below, the Egyptian obelisk in the center of Paris. The Egyptians actually gave this to the Parisians, and it has a twin that I saw when I was in Luxor. Cool!
I took a free tour of the city on my second day, and it was really interesting. The guide was really knowledgeable and I saw tons, not to mention the fact that I walked my feet off. Below, a fairly famous French monument– the Arc de Triomphe.
Above, Font St. Michel. Below, the facade of Notre Dame.
Above, the Pont Neuf. Ironically named “New Bridge,” it’s the oldest bridge in Paris. The faces are from cartoons drawn by a king’s artist at a party. Below, the infamous Eiffel Tower.
Above, approaching Versailles. I learned something really handy– my Italian student visa made me the equivalent of a “European youth under the age of 26,” meaning I get free entrance to almost all museums! So I got into the palace for free. Sweet! Below, the Hall of Mirrors.
Above, one of the views from the Eiffel Tower, of Les Invalides. Below, the Centre Pompidou, famous because all the pipes and etc. are on the outside of the building.
My last Parisian adventure was something completely different– Disney Paris! Below, Mickey and Minnie from the parade.
It was a whirlwind, but it should be exciting to go back, especially given the fact that the most important French holiday will happen while I’m there!