Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Monday In Paris

Wow, we have two amazing days to write about!!! It has been frustrating trying to get on the Internet, but I’m finally able to, even though it is costing over $5 per hour. This is crazy. Anyway, I’ll start with Monday.

Monday was our day at the Louvre. We had budgeted an entire day there, because we didn’t want to be rushed and knew there was a lot that we wanted to see. We arrived a little after opening at 9:00 AM. We have a museum pass, so we didn’t have to stand in the ticket line. Yea!!!! We went straight to the Mona Lisa, to see that before the crowds hit. It wasn’t too bad. They have banned picture taking, so that helps people move along. It is frustrating when people try to take pictures anyway. I guess I’m not very nice, but I blocked a kid who was trying to take one. He was kind of mad.

The Mona Lisa was fine. It was kind of a been there done that moment. There are a lot more paintings I like more.

We explored the rest of the museum at a leisurely pace. Well, not all of it. We looked at most of the paintings, but didn’t linger over many. We spent some time in the sculpture garden, which was enjoyable. We also visited Napoleon’s apartments. That was my favorite part of the louver. I enjoy visiting palaces. 

We left the Louvre around 2 or 3, I think. I don’t remember exactly. WE went to a café to have lunch, which we were very ready for by then! I had a chicken baguette, and Rose had a quiche. We both had fruit tarts for dessert.

After the Louvre, we went to Invalides, which is where Napoleon is buried. It was originally a hospital for wounded soldiers built by one of the King Louis’s. (I get all of those Louis kings mixed up). It is still used as a hospital, and also houses three museums, and the chapel which holds Napoleon’s tomb. We visited the tomb first. Then we visited the chapel next to the tomb, and then the Military museum. The Military museum was actually pretty cool. WE saw a lot of medieval armor and weapons first. Then we went through their exhibitions on World War I and II. Those were really interesting. It was great that everything was in several languages, including English, so we could read all of the displays. It was perfect timing to get a big perspective on the wars prior to visiting Normandy the next day.

We stayed at the Museum until they closed at 6:00. After that…the Eiffel Tower! Rose was getting more and more excited by the minute. We walked to the tower, and promptly placed ourselves in line. We waited and waited. The line went pretty fast. Finally we purchased the tickets and then waited for the elevator. Finally we got on the elevator and went up to the second of three levels. At the second level, you have to get into another line to get to the top. So, we stood in that line. It went much faster, and pretty soon, we were at the top of the Eiffel Tower! The weather was beautiful, and we could see very far. It was gorgeous on top, with a nice wind. I don’t know how long we stayed at the top taking pictures. It was a good time.

By the time we got down, it was after 8 and we were starving. We had a restaurant picked out of my guidebook, so we set off to find it. It was pretty easy to find. We passed a building that I swear came out of Mario world. Nintendo music started going through my head…anyway, we found the restaurant, and, of course, it was closed. Oh well. We had passed about 50 restaurants getting there, so we just turned around and tried to decide which to grace with our presence (ha). We settled at a little tavern like place. They kind of had a menu in English. We could make out half of the words. Between the English and French menus, we figured out what to get. I ordered a hamburger and Rose ordered chicken, both with fries. I think she told you about that already. My hamburger came with an egg on top!! Yep, a sunny side up egg, runny yoke and all. It was interesting, but since I love eggs and I love hamburgers, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Rose’s chicken was cold slices of chicken, but she enjoyed it. After that, we finally made it back to our hotel room around 11:30 and got ready for our early morning to go to Normandy. Monday was a great busy day, and we were looking forward to our D-Day tour! I’ll start a new post to tell you about that.

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