It's been a while since my last post, but we spent most of last week in Germany--I know, do we *ever* sit still? Not much. Lee had to go for work and I tagged along with him just because I could, and we got to have dinner with some friends of ours while we were there so that was fun. And now we're back, Lee's got another short business trip in a few days and my uncle will arrive for the Olympics on Sunday. Yeah, we don't sit still.
So, back to Paris. The last full day we were there, after we went to the top of Notre Dame, we went back to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed to the top of it as well. There were lots of stairs...I counted and wrote down the number, but my notebook is in the other room and I'm too lazy to get it so just trust me when I say it was a lot of stairs.
This is a replica of part of one of the sculptures on the outside of the arch; we should have had one of us stand in front of it so you could get a scale reference because it's pretty huge.
This is talking about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the vault of the arc.
This says the monument was begun in 1806 in honor of the French army; work was interrupted, then restarted in 1826 and it was finished in 1836. It was consecrated (I always think of churches being consecrated, maybe in this context it's more like dedicated?) by King Louis Philippe I to the glory of the French armies.
There are two levels inside the Arc, and then you can climb (yet more) stairs to go out on top and see the avenues radiating from the Place de Charles de Gaulle, which is still often called L'Etoile (the Star). I think it says L'Etoile on the Metro stops. But check out that traffic! This is why I wouldn't want to drive a car in Paris, how the heck is traffic *supposed* to move in this giant roundabout?
To be honest I can't remember which street is the Champs de Eisleys (Champs-Elysees). Maybe it took me too long to get these pictures posted...
This kind of reminds me of a scene in Moulin Rouge...something got thrown (I forget what) and tinked off the Eiffel Tower. Aw man, now I'll have to watch that movie again to see what it was that got thrown. I also like the shot when everyone throws their hats in the air inside the Moulin Rouge and it cuts to a cityscape and you see them all fly up into the sky.
From all the places we climbed (Eiffel Tower...Notre Dame...Arc de Triomphe) we saw several of these buildings with an open courtyard in the middle and lots of greenery. Lee liked how it was growing all over the interior walls of this building; when we were looking at houses here, we were told that the houses covered in ivy almost certainly had trouble with mice.
Hey, the horizon is only *slightly* crooked in this one.
Remember I said we climbed a lot of stairs? This was the way down from the top of the arch.
This kind of gives you an idea how totally *massive* this structure really is. When we looked at it from the top of the Eiffel Tower, you can see that it pretty much dwarfs most everything around it. Pretty impressive.
I like that squared-off whirly pattern along the top; it always makes me think of Greece. When I was a kid, my cousins (who are half-Greek) sent me a gold ring with that pattern on it for my birthday the year they lived on Crete.
These flower panels decorate the archway.
Oh look, more naked statuary. I know from reading Wikipedia (source of all knowledge and truth in the universe) that these are supposed to be "heroic nudes" fighting their armored enemies, but ain't no days I would go out on a battlefield in my birthday suit. Tangent: last week I happened to find a link on the Internet complaining about the way women's armor is depicted on comic books and video games; men get full-body armor and women get metal bikinis. Like that's going to stop anyone trying to kill her. And then if she *does* get armor, it's all molded around the contours of her chest (so you can still tell it's a woman under there) but all that would do in a real battle situation is guide swords and other pointy things right to the center of her chest instead of making them glance off to the side, which would render her just as dead as the metal bikini route. Yeah, sometimes my web surfing takes unexpected turns. I found that one after seeing an author's attempt to recreate fantasy book covers (warning: totally hilarious photos).
Blah blah blah, that's all four sculptures. We couldn't get around to take a straight-on photo of this one because they had part of the area roped off and were doing some kind of ceremony or something; we didn't stick around to find out what.
Our last night in Paris we decided to hit up the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. It was YUM.
We didn't go see a show at the Moulin Rouge, but we did have to take the Metro over there and take pictures with the famous windmill (Moulin Rouge literally translates to Red Windmill).
And there's my honey pie. Hope you enjoyed the Paris pics...now, at some undesignated point in the near future, we'll start with Italy pics!
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