Monday, October 10, 2011

Update & Day 1 of France - Paris

Hi Everyone - Sorry we have been MIA for about a month, but its been a busy one.  We enjoyed our few final days in Maine, loved visiting France and Belgium and survived the 2,000+ mile drive to get back to Denver from Portland.  We are now relaxing and resting after a very busy 3 weeks in Golden, CO.  We will be in Colorado until we leave for Alaska on Oct 31 where we will be in Haines for the month of November.  After Alaska, back home to Colorado for a bit.

I thought I would start to post some of our photos and adventures while we were in Europe.  We left Portland Maine on Friday, Sept 16 for the long flight over to Paris, France.  We arrived in Paris about 6:15am on Saturday the 17th.  We waited at the airport for the rest of the Shetzer family to arrive.

Annie had planned a wonderful tour of France for us.  We would visit Paris, Caen, Mt St Michel, Tours, & Versailles.
 While we were quite sure that we would be really jet lagged because of flying through the night, time changes and very little sleep on the plane, we were all pleasantly surprised that we got in a full day of sightseeing on Saturday.  Annie did a great job with finding the perfect location for our hotel near the Louvre so we were able to walk everywhere. 

Our first stop was the cathedral of Notre Dame.  This was an amazing church just a few blocks from our hotel.

The front facade of Notre Dame

The detailed carvings of the entryway arches

Beautiful stained glass

Opps....  Looks like someone lost their head - Are we sure we aren't in England during the reign of Henry VIII?

We then walked from Notre Dame to visit the crypts under it and then headed back to our hotel apartment for a very short rest.  After our nap, we decided to walk to the Arc de Triomphe which was down the Champs-Elysees from our hotel. 

We walked through the huge complex of the Louvre.
Matt and Ted outside the main entrance of the Louvre.
We walked down the Champs-Elysees with a beautiful view of the Arc de Triomphe all the way.  The walk was a bit longer than we anticipated, but it was well worth it as when we arrived at the Arc, we were able to take the elevator to the top and have great views of Paris.

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc was huge, look at how little Ted and Matt are in this photo.

Ted and I posing from the top of the Arc in front of the Eiffel Tower.

View of the Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

We were all a bit tired from our walk to the Arc so we decided to take advantage of our hop on and hop off bus tickets on the Les Cars Rouges to get back to our hotel.

Ted enjoying the view from the top deck of the double decker bus.

Matt enjoying the view from the Les Cars Rouges

My view of Matt and the Eiffel Tower from our bus tour.
The landmark of Paris...  The Eiffel Tower
We then walked to have a wonderful fondue dinner at Pain, Vin, Fromages.  We were quite surprised when we exited the basement caverns of the restaurant and found it raining hard outside.  This is really the only bad weather we experienced on the whole trip.  We found the nearest Metro (subway) station and proceeded to figure out how to get back to our hotel.  This was the end of the first of two days in Paris.  More to come later...

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