Monday, March 17, 2014

Paris Day 5

We started out the day at 8am. We are headed out to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre today. 

Interesting Fact: Pollution is a problem in Paris. Today since there is a pollution warning only odd numbered license plates are allowed into the city and the metro is free. Odd today because it is an odd numbered day. We actually saw a man getting a ticket for having an even numbered license plate. A whopping 22 Euro fine.

We drove through the city by Notre Dame Cathedral. It is chilly, mid 40s, this morning. The forecast calls for mid to low 50s and overcast with no chance of rain. 

The observatory is located at the end of this garden.

We passed the garden where the Thinker statue sits. The picture is blurry and from the back because we were on the bus and didn't want to pay to enter and take a picture.

We stopped at the tomb of Napoleon. It is safe to say that this is a beautiful "tomb," but maybe a touch overdone.

We also went past the National Assembly.

We went to the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower as soon as it opened. A guided tour is the way to go. We breezed past all of the people waiting in line and headed right up.

The Arc de Triomphe from the Eiffel Tower.

This is a picture of the museum of the worlds fair. 

The end of this little island stands a "mini" Statue of Liberty that the US gave to France as a thank you.

We ate lunch at Pizza Vesuvo on the Champs de Élysées and then we are off to the Louvre for a guided tour.

This is the outside pyramid at the Louvre.

This is the inverted pyramid inside the lobby of the Louvre.

We didn't wait in any lines and walked right into the Louvre with our local guide. First stop was Captive by Michelangelo. Apparently, these statues were part of a series of sculptures that was never finished.

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo de Vinci has her own wall where she sits behind bullet proof glass.

We viewed the consecration of Napoleon by David. 

Interesting Fact: Napoleon commissioned this painting and it did not actually depict an accurate scene of his coronation. The painting was of him crowing Josephine as his Queen and he had his mother painted into the picture even though she didn't attend the ceremony. Apparently, Napoleon asked the Pope to make the long journey from Rome to Paris to crown him and when the Pope was delayed Napoleon just crowned himself and then Josephine.

This is the first of two Madonna of the Rocks paintings. The 2nd painting can be found in London and it looks similar to the first, but with more religious elements, like halos and wings on the angel.

They do not know who sculpted the Venus de Milo. She was found in pieces in Milo and reassembled, but her arms were never found.

Interesting Fact: All Venus statues of the time are easy to spot because they are the only female representations that are depicted nude or partially nude. Men were often sculpted nude, but Venus was the only female.

Anyone can copy a painting from the Louvre. There are a few requirements: 1) Obtain Permission from the Louvre. 2) Your reproduction must be a different size than the original. 3) Your work must be completed within 2 months.

We saw many other great works at the Louvre. After the museum we did a river cruise of the Seine River. It was really chilly with no sun, but not unbearable. I was able to get several great shots like the obelisk.

Notre Dame front and back pictures.

After the River cruise we headed back for a few hours of down time before we left for the Moulin Rouge. We grabbed a quick catnap and then 10 of us headed off by bus to the Moulin Rouge for dinner, drinks, and the show. There is no way to describe what this experience was like. It was a cabaret and a variety show all mixed together with a three course French dinner, unlimited red wine, white wine, and champagne.

There was no photography inside the building, but I did manage to sneak a few pictures of the interior prior to the show. First off, this place was high class inside with security and it is right in the midst of strip clubs and a somewhat seedy neighborhood. I didn't know what to expect, but it blew away my mind. Our guide walked us in with no wait and we were literally a few feet from the stage. 

The interior is decorated with an almost circus tent feel.

The show has 60 dancers with hundreds of costumes. Between songs they have variety show acts. These ranged from a death defying roller skating couple to a juggler. I know it sounds crazy but the roller skating couple was AMAZING. After the show our guide picked us up out front and carried us back to the hotel. What a jam packed memorial day in Paris. Tomorrow we head to Switzerland.

Day Outfit

Night Outfit

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