Dennis' time in Paris was shorter than Beth's - he had to leave Wednesday morning, she wasn't leaving until Friday morning. Despite having what seemed like plenty of time to see everything they wanted to see in Paris, time was, of course, short, so the last bits of sight seeing were squeezed in.
Dennis and Beth saw the Eiffel Tower several times, but they didn't go up it until Tuesday evening. It was still light out when we got there:
but we did not have reservations so we got to wait in a fairly long line before ascending to the top. By then, the sky was beautiful:
|Only moments to spare to capture the setting sun over Paris! Phew! We made it!|
|And only a few more minutes until the lovely twilight hour!|
Wednesday morning Ron went off to work and we helped Dennis get ready and into a taxi, and then it was just us girls.
First stop - the Avenue des Champs-Élysées of course!
|Finally! A chance to check out those Parisian fashions!|
We strolled the Champs-Élysées and wandered into quite a few shops, including this one. Each shop has some kind of plaque or sign on the building, and this one really caught my eye:
|Naf Naf - aka The Three Little Piggies!|
Beth found some good buys and got something a tad cooler to wear:
|I love Paris in the Spring time...|
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées ends at the Arc de Triomphe, where it then becomes Avenue de la Grande Armée. The Arc de Triomphe is a monument honoring those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. The Arc is decorated with the names of great battles, locations of French victories and the names of military leaders and there are sculptures and reliefs depicting important moments of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era.
|Under the Arc|
|Tomb of the Unknown Soldier|
|A few of the French victories|
|Beth and the Le Départ de 1792 sculpture on the southeast facade|
On Beth's last day, we went on a walk through the Left Bank. We saw lots of stuff! We walked from our apartment to the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood.
|X marks the spot - the Montparnasse Tower with two vapor trails|
|Chess in the park|
|Jardin du Luxembourg - Not all the flower beds were planted yet, but still beautiful on a sunny day|
|Beth and the Luxembourg Palace - now the French Senate|
|Newly planted flowers - we saw the gardeners with flats of flowers working on the beds|
|The two of us at the Medici Fountain|
We left the park and went to Saint Sulpice. Only a few photos this time:
|I loved the way the light streamed through the high windows and illuminated the unlit bulbs of this chandelier|
|Here too, are the names of parishioners who gave their lives in WWI|
|Candles lit in honor of the dead|
We left St. Sulpice and wandered through the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and decided to join the tourists and locals alike for a coffee at Les Deux Magots:
|If you squint and tilt your head just so you can see Beth on the left side|
|I'm pretty sure we sat in the exact same spot as Hemingway and Picasso|
I would also like to mention that in order to get these photos I suffered a tremendous indignity. I was bird bombed. Actually, I think I was ostrich bombed. I was leaned over my camera and I felt a horrific smack on the back of my neck. I reached back and there was a HUGE slimy bomb that weighed 50 pounds, took two people, 300 napkins and a glass of water to semi- quasi- sorta clean up. And for the rest of the day I had a hardened, greenish patch of semi- quasi- sorta cleaned-up ostrich bomb on the back of my head. It was a heavy burden, and it was bothersome. I kept reaching back to touch the annoying thing on my head and neck, only to be reminded that even if cows don't fly, ostriches do. In Paris. I'm sure of it.
After coffee, we went across the street to visit Paris' oldest church:
|Saint-Germain-des-Prés - the bell tower dates to the 7th century while the nave and transept date from the 11th century|
|The interior, although restored, is painted in the medieval manner|
|Rounded arches of the Romanesque style|
|A quiet moment|
After visiting the church, we headed towards the Seine where we saw the Institut de France:
|Institut de France|
The Institute of France, Parliament of the Learned, is comprised of:
- The French Academy, est. 1635
- The Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres, est. 1663
- The Academy of Sciences, est. 1666
- The Academy of Fine Arts, est.1816
- The Academy of Ethics and Political Science, est. 1795, abolished 1803, re-est. 1832
Directly across from the Institut de France is the Pont des Arts; a pedestrian bridge that links the Institut de France and the palais du Louvre. It is a popular place for lovers to attach a padlock to the railing:
|Padlocks on the Pont des Arts - we should do that before we leave France!|
|Kinda cool that you can see 3 bridges spanning the river|
We had a wonderful visit with Dennis and Beth and were sorry to see them go. We hope they had as much fun in Paris as we did! One think I know for sure, they needed a vacation from their vacation!