Monday, June 30, 2008

Dude... You Gotta See This

What can I say about the Louvre? Words cannot describe. Pictures cannot portray. You must simply go. Look at the ceilings yourself. See the paintings that take up the entire wall. See the ancient sculptures that are finely detailed. Walk right up to them. With no glass or ropes between you. (Except for the Mona Lisa, of course, which has both.) I only wish I had time to see the apartments of Napolean III, but you can't do everything, I guess.

So, the Paris I saw today was a bit cleaner than the Paris that I saw yesterday. After taking the metro down to the Louvre, and spending a few hours there, we ate a late lunch at a cafe across the street, where I successfully requested menus from the waiter in French. It probably sounded awful to him, and after that I could barely figure out how to say anything else. But lunch was good, and we then wandered over to Pont Neuf, enjoying excellent views of the River Seine, the Eiffel Tower, and le Ile de la Cite. The island splits the river and was itself the original city of Paris.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the island, walking from the east tip west to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. We didn't go up into the towers, but enjoyed plenty of time inside. I spent €3 to visit the Treasury which included a lot of religious relics mounted in some very impressive gold-and-jewel devices, as well as impressive gifts from monarchs of long ago, including the coronation crown of (I think) Charles I, and a decorative ceremonial orb donated by Napoleon I to celebrate his coronation by the Pope in the Cathedral itself. (There's a painting of this event in the Louvre.)

We had meant to stop at Chatelet on the way to Pont Neuf, but never noticed it until walking back over Pont Neuf. It's a pillar in the middle of the park across the river's frontage street from the bridge that has (I kid you not) four sphinxes spouting water in all four directions. Uh, yeah, okay. :)


At July 01, 2008 11:42 AM, Blogger Jacob said...

Hey Beak! Sounds like you're having a great time and I'm excited for you. I'm also excited to get to meet up with you in Venice! Hopefully you can check your work email abroad because I sent all our info to you there. We plan on trying to be at your hotel at 8pm unless we hear different from you. So, see you then! - Jacob


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