Welcome Friends! I hope you enjoy tasting these teaching and travel tidbits.
Come along with me as I attempt to navigate my way through a new country, school system, and life for a year!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vive la France!

My friend, Cindi has ancestors from France, so when she made her first trip to Europe to visit me, we decided to take the Eurostar Train to visit the country of her people.  After exploring London and Kent for a few days, Cindi went ahead of me to Paris while I was teaching school.  By the time I joined her on Saturday morning, Cindi was a pro at getting around the city, so we were able to dive right in to see as much as we could in a short time.  We met at Musee d'Orsay.  I loved their collection of Impressionist paintings, but I'm sorry to say photos were not allowed.
Looking out from behind the clock in Musee d'Orsay

Inside Musee d'Orsay

 Next up was Notre Dame.  I haven't been here for 26 years, so it was wonderful to be back!
Notre Dame

Dazzling Notre Dame Window

Parisian Street Performer

 I have to admit I didn't really know what the Conciergerie was, but we stopped by on our way to Sainte-Chapelle and found that it was a former royal palace that became a prison during the French Revolution.  It was here that Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before her execution.  I'd read a novel about her, including her time here, so it was really interesting to see.
Marie Antoinette's Cell in the Conciergerie

Cindi and I take a break at a sidewalk café.

 We were able to get booked on the last boat to travel down the Seine that night.  We began our trip in daylight, but by the time we returned to the dock, it was dark. 
The Seine

Eiffel Tower

On the Boat Ride

So Pretty at Night!

The Eiffel Tower by Night!

Then they added twinkle lights!

 Our main focus on Sunday was a visit to the Louvre.  It's been remodeled since I was last here in 1987, so I was really looking forward to returning.
Outside the Louvre

Cindi and Winged Victory

Of course, Mona Lisa, behind her bullet-proof glass was a highlight.

I always love seeing paintings that are used in our art docent program
at Sierra Hills, so I was excited to see this Portrait of an Old Man with a Young Boy.

Venus de Milo

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

The Code of Hammurabi, 1772 B.C!

From the Louvre, Cindi went back to the hotel to get her suitcase.  Since I was traveling light with only a daypack, I continued on through the Tuileries to the Place de la Concorde and the Arch de Triomphe which she had seen before I arrived in Paris.  
The Tuileries Garden

Obelisk at the Place de le Concorde

Arc de Triomphe

 Our last stop was Sacre Coeur.  I took the funicular up to the highest point in Paris and took in the views from the top of Montmartre while Cindi did some last minute shopping in the lanes below.  It was a treat to hear a choir of nuns inside the basilica during the Sunday worship service.  The Eurostar station was only 2 metro stops away, and from there we took the 2 hour train trip back to the UK through the undersea"Chunnel" through the English Channel.  I think Cindi enjoyed her first trip abroad, and I certainly enjoyed having company from home to join me on a quick trip to Paris. 

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