Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sept 18 - Day 2 of France - Paris

Day 2 (Sept 18) of our trip to France was our last day in Paris.  We were all pleasantly surprised when we woke up after a full nights sleep and not much of a trace of jet lag. 

Matt, Ted and I started our day off by taking a 2+ hour tour on the hop-on, hop-off red bus (Les Cars Rouges).  I would highly recommend this to anyone who visits Paris.  It passes by all the famous landmarks of Paris and allows you to hop-on and hop-off at about 5 different locations. We caught the bus right outside of our hotel at the Louvre stop and then enjoyed the views of Notre Dame, Musee D'Orsay, Opera, Arc de Triomph, Grand Palais, Trocadero, Eiffel Tower and Hotel de Invalides. 

We had lunch in the Latin Quarter near Notre Dame and then Matt and I set off to explore Sainte Chapelle which is easily one of the most beautiful churches we have ever seen.  It is located near Notre Dame on the island in the middle of the Seine River.

The fantastic Gothic exterior of Sainte Chapelle - Consecrated in 1248 and housing the Crown of Thorns
The upper chapel of Sainte Chapelle - Fantastically high and ornate stained glass windows - As you would your way up the spiral staircase from the lower chapel and emerged into the upper chapel, you could not help but say "WOW!!!"
 Matt and I then explored the Latin Quarter on foot and came across the Pantheon of Paris.  It was a beautiful building.

The front facade of the Pantheon - Modeled after the Roman Pantheon of course.
The interior domes of the Pantheon - Magnificent murals and statues.
We really enjoyed Paris and it seemed that everywhere that you looked, it was a gorgeous site.  Here is a view from the street on which the Pantheon was located - what a view!!

Is that the Eiffel Tower peaking out?  I believe so - Not a bad view anywhere in the Latin Quarter.
We met everyone back at the hotel to take our Seinne River Cruise in the evening.  We were all quite excited to be doing a cruise at sunset to marvel at the great views of Paris at night.  We were a bit disappointed as the boat was huge and we were going to be one of the last ones to get on (and have to sit outside).  We elected to take the next boat, but did not realize that in doing this, we would miss our bus transportation back to near our hotel.  It started raining during the boat ride (thank goodness we were inside) so we had to find our way back from the Eiffel Tower area to our hotel.  It involved lots of Metro stops and we even  managed to get lost in the Metro.  Not to mention that I became a criminal during one of our last transfers, my metro ticket stopped working so I had to jump the turnstile to get on the subway.  It was quite the late night as we had dinner at 11pm and managed to make it back to the hotel by 1am. 

We were rewarded with a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower at night.
I'm still working on photos for the next couple of days so look for more posts soon.


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