We both feel quite tired this morning probably due to the overload we are receiving from the sights and sounds of Paris. Almost every building is beautiful with amazing detail, striking entrances and set out in row after row.
We have a very busy day today and plan to cram lots in and after breakfast we head out in to a lovely bright Paris morning.
We walk up Saint Marcel and make a right turn to get the public bus in to the world famous Louvre museum and as it is very early the line to get in is pretty short and we only wait some 10 minutes to enter. The wait is also a pleasure as the museum is housed in the grand palace which dates back to the twelfth century has to be the best in the world second to none.
The plan is to head straight for the famous painting of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci which obviously gets busy. We speed walk like a couple of players in the amazing race TV show, rushing past all the other amazing paintings and in to the Italian paintings section, follow the signs and in to a the large room housing the masterpiece.
The room and area around the painting is packed and is a push and shove job but I make it to the front then squeeze my arms up and snap a few pics. If getting in was difficult getting back out was worse with no one wanting to move as they all want the square foot I am standing on and I wonder how David Beckham must feel with this kind of crush and madness. Finally I pop,out of the melee and reunite with Kaz and we take five before continuing in a much slower pace.
There are over 380,000 objects in the museum and clearly we will cherry pick the most famous and revered works.
The painting Les Noces de Cana by Paolo Veronese created in 1553 in Venice depicting a wedding scene in Galilee where Christ performs the miracle we all love of turning water in to wine. This painting is huge, covers an entire wall floor to ceiling and has a lot of details and people in it.
The sculpture Aphrodite by Alexandros of Milanoch more commonly know as Venus de Milo, it is made of marble and stands six foot eight inches high
The painting St John The Baptist by Leonardo da Vinci which is thought to be the artists last work.
I could but won’t bore you with anymore details but have a look at the pic’s. All are amazing and this place should be on the list of everyone visiting Paris.
Amazingly we check the time and although we have been here for almost three hours we have not even scratched the surface of things to see and we are already pretty walked out.
We head for the exit where we see a woman lying on the ground pretty upset with armed soldiers standing over her and paramedics tending to her, we have no idea what happened but at a guess I would say she just needs oxygen. We get outside and again the line to get in is massive, we are glad to have got there early.
Next on our list is the Arc de Triomphe which stands at the western end of the famous Champs-Élysées and has twelve avenues running of it and as you can imagine the roads around it are pandemonium with crazy people driving through. The Champs-Élysées itself is both long and wide and looks like it could be used by North Korea as a venue to show off its weapons.
There is an opportunity to stand in line and head to the top some 164 feet above but we think that pretty tame. We hop,back on the bus and head for our final tourist destination, the Notre Dame Cathedral whose construction started in 1163 but was not officially finished until 1345 and as we stand in front of it we are not surprised that it took so long.
The details are just incredible and like all of Paris it seems that Architects just wanted to out do each other no matter how grand the building was. Outside the building there is a marker on the ground where time is taken for all of Paris a bit like Greenwich meantime in the UK.
Knackered by all this culture we head back to what has become our favourite spot on a corner five minutes from Notre Dame at the Boulevard Saint Germain and has the river next to it with all the amazing bridges on view. It’s a kind off funky student type hang out with easy sofa chairs and a library it’s also where we try out our French on the French who quickly change that and speak fluent English but they are amused that we at least have a go.
With darkness and cold arriving we head back to the hotel and start the process of leaving for Rome in the morning. Our flight is at 11.55 but we are leaving from Orly airport which is a bit closer that Charles de gaul which we arrived in to. We then go out to a local restaurant for our last Paris dinner but confess we chose the wrong one and the meal was rubbish and there were lots of smokers outside but the smoke was getting sucked in to the place by the open door.
Kaz had a meatball salad and I had prawns ravioli but these were not prawns more like little finger nail pieces of prawn chopped and we really should have returned both but as usual paid and left although we did say we didn’t enjoy the meal we still paid for it and in fact the waiter added a bottle of sparkling water that we didn’t order or receive. A wee pocket filler for him perhaps and would never work with two Scots but good try. We return to the room and it’s lights out on Paris for the last time.
Rome here we come tomorrow.