Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Paris part Deux

So I was all set to talk about museums today. Hubby and I have never been to so many in one trip. We averaged over 2/day. I had so much to tell you and share. And then I took a look at our pictures. We have like, maybe, maybe, 10. From all those museums! How is that possible? I blame hubby. I mean myself, letting hubby be in charge of the camera for an extended portion of the trip. Note to self: be in charge of camera when planning on blogging about what is being shot.

OK, enough complaining. I'll do my best, and maybe supplement when needed.

First off, The Louvre.

Looking at pictures of The Louvre before we went, I never understood what was going on with the pyramid thing. But it's really cool. Where you buy tickets is in the basement, so the pyramid is basically a huge skylight.

So, the museum is huge. People tell you that before you go, but you have no idea. We actually went twice, and still saw only a miniscule portion of the artifacts. We basically just ran around and saw the major stuff.

Mona Lisa

Madonna of the Rocks

Winged Victory which was my favorite.

Egyptian Sphinx

Venus de Milo

The Coronation of Napoleon which happens to be the biggest canvas in the museum. I know I'm going out on a limb here, but do you think that Napoleon had a Napoleon complex?

Another question: Did you know that the Louvre was a castle, then palace where the kings lived in Paris before it was a museum?

Wow! Maybe I had more pictures than I thought. Here's where the sparseness begins...
The Rodin Museum

This was his actually house, though I'm not clear on when or with whom he lived in it. Hubby kept chanting, "Don't ban Rodin!" If you went to BYU during '97-'98, then you know what that means.

The Thinker

The Orsay Museum

It was a train station built for the 1900 World Fair converted into a museum.

You can look through the back face of this clock. It's very cool.

And we saw art and stuff. (Portrait of the Painter's Mother by Whistler)

Army Museum
No pics. It was WWI and WWII from the French perspective. Very interesting. Did you know that Charles de Gualle won the war for the Allies? And did the British fight in WWII? Cause you wouldn't know it after going through that museum!

The Orangerie Museum

This was my favorite. I'd like to show you some pictures of their downstairs, but I was too distracted at the time of viewing to take pics. Hubby had just informed me that he had cancelled my cancellation of my oldest's piano lesson.

Upstairs are two large oval rooms where there are huge curved canvases of Monet's Water Lillies. They were commissioned by the museum. And the rooms were designed specifically for the paintings.

Monet worked on them for 12 years. They are considered the first art installation and a step toward modernism. They're so beautiful. This was my favorite museum, just for this. Monet died before the installation was finished. How sad.

I think that's it, except for the museum in Versailles, which I'll post all about tomorrow. If any of you are thinking about going to Paris, make sure you get the Paris Museum Pass. I think the only thing we paid for was the Eiffel Tower. All of the museums and most of the sites, including Versailles are covered by the pass. It's a really great deal.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Love Paris in the Winter...

Apparently, there are still a few of you out there reading my blog. (Or waiting for a post, more like.) So, I guess I will post about Paris. If you twist my arm hard enough.

Hubby and I finally made it to Paris last week! It wasn't the warm summer trip that we'd planned. Honestly, I'm totally OK with that, considering the lines were long enough in February. I don't even want to imagine what it would be like during the busier season.

I could try to squeeze it all in one post, but that would be super long and boring. So, I'll do several, dividing it up according to prettiness. Cause that's what I'm all about. Here goes.

The first thing we saw was Notre Dame.

Pictures just don't do it justice, though our new camera comes pretty close!

We climbed up the towers and was eye-level with this guy.
We were a little bummed not to run into Quasimodo. But we did run in to Albert Einstein.

Our favorite church we saw was Sainte Chappelle.

It's just breathtaking.

It was built for the Crown of Thorns that King Louis IX bought in 1239. The Crown of Thorns is now held at Notre Dame and only displayed occasionally.

Right next to Sainte Chappelle is the Conciergerie- the prison where they held people during the Revolution, including Marie Antoinette. They've set up a room to look like her's. Uber-creepy. The whole thing just gives me the heeby-jeebies.

We toured the Eiffel Tower at twilight. (Nothing to do with Edward and Bella, they went to Italy, not France.)

We were only able to go to the second level. That's all that was open. We felt really high up, though. I can't imagine what the top feels like, being more than twice the height of where we were.

When we got down and took more pictures, the lights went off and started sparkling. Talk about mezmorizing!!! We couldn't take our eyes off of it. It's just so amazing.

We also went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. (You can climb just about any monument in Paris, it seems.)

We got an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower. And other stuff. We actually walked by this monument everyday as our hotel was just down the street. Cool, huh?

Napoleon's tomb is housed here. Built in 1840, not by himself. Who woulda thunk it? I think King Louis Phillipe had a little man-crush on Napoleon.

We also took a river cruise that made us freeze, but was totally worth it. (We just popped over to a close cafe and had quiche and omelettes to warm us up! For dinner!)

We went to Sacre-Coeur, another church you can climb to the top of. But by the time we visited the church, I was all climbed out.

Oh, yeah and Moulin Rouge. Totally over-rated. I blame the movie.

So, I think that's enough stimulation for one day. I'll post more tomorrow.