Five days in Paris was like a dream. I got to see and do everything I wanted. Well, except for that pesky fireworks issue.
Anyway, to recap everything we did every single day would be boring for you and so I decided to split it up and write about the most interesting parts. Which, of course, left some room for a few random photos and stories. Which is what you get today!
La Grande Arche–
France is all about the masculine and the feminine, and so, as a companion to the Arc du Triomphe (the masculine) is La Grande Arche de Défense (the feminine). We didn’t make it there the last time I was in Paris and it was something Joe really wanted to see. We went while we were waiting for Kelli to arrive, correctly assuming she wouldn’t be too sad about missing it.
It’s practically impossible to get around Paris without taking the Metro at some point. I’ve been to a lot of cities with a lot of public transit systems, and I have to say that the one in Paris is one of the best I’ve experienced. Plus, some of the entrances are really pretty.
Joe and I also visited the Pompidou Centre while waiting for Kelli. You might recognize it for the weird fountains in the courtyard. This one, in particular, makes me giggle like a 12 year old boy.
I have two lenses for my camera. The lens I use most often is an 18-55mm lens. I also have a 50-300 lens that I don’t use much because it’s heavy and I don’t usually need to zoom in that close on things. And I busted it out for exactly one photograph on the whole trip. To take a picture of the statues atop Notre Dame.
At Père LaChaise Cemetery, which is where everyone who is anyone in Paris is buried, we particularly wanted to find the graves of Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Chopin, and Oscar Wilde. We found all four. It’s interesting and sad what is going on with Oscar Wilde’s tomb, though. For years, people have visited the spot and kissed the statue that sits on top of his grave. The problem is, lipstick stains and the stone is porous, so every few years it has to be stripped. They’ve put up a glass barrier around the lower half of the statue, but it looks like they’re going to have to go higher.
Kelli and I really wanted to see the Catacombs, but Joe wasn’t into it. He’d already seen them and was anxious to get to the next stop on our tour: The Louvre. So we sent him ahead with the plan to meet at the exit just before closing time. It turned out to be the right decision. We got to see the Catacombes, he got to see the Louvre and everyone was happy. Except for my feet. My feet were KILLING me by the end of the day.
Here I am pretending to be scared to go into the Catacombs.
And here’s another favorite picture of what we found inside. I was mesmerized by the miles and miles of skeletal remains down there. And the way the light played on the bones was just beautiful. In a creepy sort of way.
After the Catacombs, Kelli and I finally made it over to the Louvre with one hour to spare. One hour is not much time when faced with the behemoth that is the palace turned museum. Our first stop was the Mona Lisa, obviously. But on the way to the Mona Lisa, we came across this beauty:
I don’t know what it is about Winged Victory that I love so much. But I do. She’s beautiful.
Getting the next picture was NOT EASY. I had to fight through hordes of people and at one point I was so smashed together with other people that I couldn’t move my arms. But it was worth the effort, n’est-ce pas?
And, finally, we paid a visit to the Venus de Milo. Another piece that, inexplicably, I adore. She’s just so beautiful. And I was lucky enough to get a photo that didn’t have a bunch of people in it.
We did and saw so many things in Paris. And even though there were times it felt like we were rushing from one monument/museum/cathedral/point of interest to the next, I really believe five days is sufficient for me. When it was time to move on to London, we felt good about the time we had spent and were ready to move on. We didn’t feel like we’d missed out on things. It would have been nice to get inside Notre Dame. And I still feel bad for Kelli and Joe that Versailles was closed when they tried to go. But it was a perfect time in Paris.
And we were ready to move on to London!