France

Statues, Paintings, and Artifacts, O MY!

July 27 2012

After officially checking in to our hotel we started our walk to Le Orangerie and the Louvre. I mapped out a path that would allow us to see some other sights and walk through the Tuileries.

We passed Place Vendome first. It was surrounded by very fancy expensive stores. We took some photos and kept going. I was excited to see Place de la Concorde since it is Egyptian. The Obelisk of Luxor was given to Paris by Mohamed Ali.  The obelisk, 22.83 meters high and weighing 230 tons, which marked the entrance to the Temple of Luxor, was installed in 1836. I loved that the obelisk and the Eiffel Tower were diagonal from each other. It made for a great picture.

We went to Le Orangerie because of Monet’s Water Lilies. The museum was free with our museum pass. We had to check our bags and cameras. Monet’s work was incredible and definitely made me glad that we stopped. They encompassed the whole room. Then we went downstairs to see the other pieces of art. I was surprised that I recognized some of the paintings and some of the artists. We stopped at the gift shop so I could buy some postcards. We were only there for 30 minutes, but we really didn’t need any more time. We went right before they closed so it was almost empty.

We walked through the Tuileries. I kept thinking about King Louis XVI and his contemporaries leisurely strolling around the Tuileries. The ferris wheel surprisingly didn’t seem strange. There was a mix of tourists and locals walking around. We approached Place du Carousel and took pictures on both sides. I can’t believe the statues on top were once completely made of gold.

The Louvre looked absolutely enormous. I can’t believe people once lived in it. The pyramid didn’t bother me. I guess that’s because I am so used to seeing it in movies, pictures, and documentaries. Our museum pass allowed us to skip the super long line and walk right in. We chose to come on the Louvre’s late night. I decided to have us start with what used to be the moat and then the Egyptian exhibit. My mom was super tired and wasn’t interested in the Egyptian artifacts. I left her on a bench and ran through all the rooms snapping pictures. I really wanted to spend time examining each item, but I couldn’t. I really wish I could go back and spend half a day looking at them. Since my mom was so tired we tried to just walk to see all the highlights. We saw the Napoleonic Apartments, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and the famous paintings of the renaissance. My friends Janelle and Megan warned me that the Mona Lisa was going to be very small. They were right! It was super packed in front of the painting. I took a couple of pictures and kept moving. We went back to the lobby area. I dropped my mom off at a bench. I looked around the gift shop and everything was just too expensive. The cheap books on Egypt were in French. O well. I still needed to see Hammurabi’s Code and I wasn’t leaving without seeing it. I ran through a bunch of exhibits and passed Greek and Roman statues. I found Hammurabi’s Code and took a bunch of pictures. I ran back and was officially exhausted. I was looking for the inverted pyramid that Dan Brown talked about, but didn’t see it.

We started to walk back to the hotel and passed a bunch of souvenir shops. We picked up a t-shirt and a couple of other things. We also passed a cookie place and bought a small bag. We made those cookies our dinner. We went back to the hotel and settled in. We soaked our feet in hot water and went to bed.

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Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, France, History, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Short Man Huge Sarcophagus

July 27 2012

After the Eiffel Tower our plan was to walk to Invalides. My mom decided to stop a couple blocks away from the tower to look at souvenirs. I didn’t eat on the plane so the hunger was starting to kick in. I waited outside the stores and ate crackers while she browsed.

I had walking directions to the Invalides, but they seemed wrong. We kept stopping people to ask for directions but everyone told us our directions were correct. We just under anticipated how long the walk would be in a straight line. We finally found it.

We walked around to the front of the building, which has great architecture. We took out our Paris Museum Pass to use for the first time. We bought a 2 day pass at the airport. We walked right in and they stamped our pass.

The courtyard looked like it was undergoing renovation. The statue of Napoleon was very life like. We made our way to the area that his tomb. My mom was surprised how large his tomb was. It actually was a beautiful sarcophagus. There were two floors to walk around and a mini gift shop.

Next we did the bottom floor of the museum. We saw lots of armor from different time periods! It was all very fascinating. We decided not to do the second floor because we still had so much to do. We used the bathroom and left. It was raining so I decided not to walk to our next destination. We hopped on the metro and headed to the Madeline.

Once we came out of the Madeline I decided I was still hungry so we stopped at Fauchon. Everyone told us to go here. They have beautiful but expensive macaroons. I just bought a cheese roll. It was good and hit the spot. We crossed the street to the Madeleine. The view from the steps was fantastic. You could see the obelisk in the distance. The Madeleine is free and I was glad about that. It only took us about 10 minutes to walk around and see everything. It was pretty, but boring.

We then walked back to our hotel to see if our room was ready.

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Climbing to New Heights in Paris

July 27 2012

Before arriving I knew about the elevator situation. Some of the elevators were down because of repair. This was causing long lines for tickets. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not be going to the top of the Eiffel. I had decided just to walk to the 2nd level.

After an eight hour plane ride and not sleeping for over 24hrs I thought it would be a smart idea to do the Eiffel Tower first. I have no idea what I was thinking. We took the train from our hotel to the tower. The view approaching the tower was amazing!

We waited on line for the stairs. The line was directly in the sun and we were melting. It was also about to rain so the humidity was ridiculous. I was drained before we even started climbing the stairs. The stairs felt like they never ended. I just wanted to sit down and catch my breath. I kept chugging water. This was so not the thing to do after a long plane ride, lack of sleep, and a time difference.

We finally got to the first level and I sat and rested for a while. When I finally felt like I could move I walked around. The view was beautiful. I took tons of pictures. It was worth the climb. It was a great orientation to the city of Paris. We debated walking to the second level, but I was just way too exhausted.

We spent time shopping at the gift shop. We used the tiny bathroom and started our climb down. It started to drizzle as we walked down. It was cool watching the elevator as we walked down. One couldn’t help but admire the workmanship on the tower

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Paris Trip Plan July 2012

My mom and I spent about 3 full days in France in July 2012. We were able to do Paris and Versailles. I wish we had one more day so I could have spent the whole day at the Louvre. I saw everything on my list (all the highlights plus loads more). We had a great time even though we were exhausted. Click below for our detailed trip plan.

Trip Plan

Postcards from France

From: Paris, France To: Versailles, France

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Paris July 2012-Hyatt Hotel

We have stayed in Hyatt hotels all around the world and this definitely was one of the best. The staff were all helpful and friendly. We asked for a quiet room and actually got one! No noise at all. The free chocolates in the room were a nice choice. The bed was extremely comfortable. The room was a great size. The bathroom was quite large with both a shower and tub. There was a walk in closet and lots of outlets. The breakfast was very extensive and delicious. We loved the quiche, breads, and cheeses. The location can’t be beat. It is within walking distance to the bus for the airport and two train stations. It is also close to many great shops and restaurants. Cons: Our toilet barely flushed. It would take 3 times to flush before anything would go down. The internet was very spotty. It only worked for me in the closet. Click here to visit the hotel’s website.
Photos of Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome, Paris
Photos of Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome, Paris
Photos of Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome, Paris

Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Food, France, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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