We arrived into Paris early on a Sunday and we set out right away. Arc de Triumphe.
Sculpture on the side of the Arc de Triumphe.
Mom & me. Off we were from our hotel wander up the Champs Elysees where we stopped for some breakfast at the Cafe George V. We look pretty good for flying all night.
Grand Palace I think - this was our first morning walk in Paris.
This was right near the Place de la Concorde.
Obelisk (from Luxor, oldest object made by humans in Paris).
Beautiful, clear winter/spring morning.
There's the birthday girl again.
The Louvre. So we kept walking up the Champs Elysees and went all the way to the Louvre. We didn't know it until after we got there, but it turned out it was the first Sunday of the month, and every first Sunday is free admission to the Louvre.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace, also called the Nike of Samothrace,is a 2nd century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Since 1884, it has been prominently displayed at the Louvre and is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world. The Nike of Samothrace, discovered in 1863, is estimated to have been created around 190 BC. It was created to not only honor the goddess, Nike, but to honor a sea battle. It conveys a sense of action and triumph as well as portraying artful flowing drapery through its features which the Greeks considered ideal beauty.
The Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard (Cour Napoléon) of the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) in Paris. The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city of Paris.
View of the Eiffel Tower from our hotel room at the Hotel Elysees Union.
A short walk to the Tracadero Circle with a great view of the Eiffel Tower.
Mom and the tower.
Save view, just a little later.
The front of Notre Dame.
The back of Notre Dame.
Me and Mom.
Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart)
We were on a city tour that thanks to cancellations we were the only ones to enjoy a private tour. The tour took us past many of the main sites in Paris with actual stops at Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur. At Sacre Coeur we walked thru the church and then around "Artists Square" where there were dozens of artists there to paint your portrait or caricature. This is the view from behind Sacre Coeur.
Do I need to say.
Stained Glass windows in Sainte Chappelle. La Sainte-Chapelle (The Holy Chapel) is the only surviving building of the Capetian royal palace on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, France. It was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including the Crown of Thorns - one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom. Begun some time after 1239 and consecrated on the 26th of April 1248, the Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture. Although damaged during the French revolution and heavily restored in the 19th century, it retains one of the most extensive in-situ (an artifact that has not been moved from its original place of deposition) collections of 13th century stained glass anywhere in the world.
Took the Metro to the Buddha Bar. It is located behind one of the most exclusive hotels in Paris. They say if you want to see "anyone" go to the Buddha Bar.
Rainy and very windy. Can't complain this was the worst day we had. Off to the Palace and gardens of Versailles, which count among the most prestigious of the world's heritage sites and represent the finest and most accomplished achievement of 17th century French art. King Louis XIII's former hunting lodge was transformed and enlarged by his son Louis VIX, who installed his court and government there.
When King Louis XIII visited the castle it took 12,000 horses to bring his entourage.
Pictures tell the story of beautiful Versailles. Some amazing things about this place and the history and furnishings (like the 10 million dollar chest of drawers or the 1070 piece porcelain dish set or the Opera house that they still use today).
Museum D'Orsay. Displays a range of the fine arts between 1848 and 1914.
Monet - Poppies Blooming, 1873
Monet - Regatta At Argenteuil
Monet - Irises In Monets Garden
Monet - Water Lily Pond
Monet - Lady with a Parasol
Museum D'Orsay. Used to be a train station and is truly a spectacular place itself and wonderfully displays some amazing works of art.
The Thinker at the Rodin Museum
Boat Ride - Notre Dame
Boat Ride - Statue of Liberty.
Chateau Chambord in the Loire Valley. It was intended as a hunting lodge but its architecture makes it an extravagant chateau with 77 staircases, 282 fireplaces and 426 rooms.
The main staircase comprises of two concentric spiral flights of stairs that wind independently around a hollow central column, so if two people each take one flight they can see each other through the openings in the central column but will never meet!
It is suggested that Leonardo da Vinci may have helped inspire the project. There were some landings where we stopped to view several of the rooms, but all together there was 145 stairs that we climbed.
Chenonceau Chateau on the River Cher.
Louis XIV fireplace.
Mom in front of garden at Chateau Chenonceaux.
Mom in front of Chateau Chenonceaux and River Cher.
Our room at the castle, LeChateau de Reignac near the village of Loches.
This is a Chapel in our hotel/castle. LeChateau de Reignac is the former house of Marquis de la Fayette and was renovated in 2003.
The sitting area in LeChateau de Reignac. We were the only guests for that night and were treated royally.
The village of Loches. We were directed here by the owners of our Chateau as it is a medieval city with much of the original walls still in tact.
Chateau Usse, the castle of Sleeping Beauty stands over the Indre Valley. It inspired Perrault to write "Sleeping Beauty".
Chateau Usse remains a symbol of the medieval fairytale castle inhabited by brave lords, beautiful ladies and poets. It was mainly built in the 15th and 16th centuries. Usse has stayed the property and residence of Louis XVIII ancestors and welcomes its visitors into an ancestral home still inhabited to this day by its owners..
Chateau Villandry is known for its gardens. This chateau is also privately owned and used by its owners.
There is the ornamental kitchen garden and is completely replanted in spring and in summer; an ornamental garden which consists of the garden of love and the garden of music.
And here we are at the Eiffel Tower again on March 9, 2007 - Mom's 70th birthday.
This is the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne, where we had our reservations for dinner. What a wonderful experience. We had a table for two at the window. First they brought us small cheddar cheese puff pastries. Went to the bar area where met a couple from Massachusetts and chatted with them. Back to our table to order dinner. Mom had a wonderful lobster appetizer and for dinner beef tenderloin. I had lobster and sweetbreads for dinner and a scrumptious chocolate dessert. Then back to the bar to enjoy another cocktail before leaving. Mom didn't want the evening to end - I think we were there for over 3 hours.
Our last day in Paris we were trying to squeeze in as much as we could. We took the Metro to the Opera but that station was closed so we got off at the next one and walked back. On the way we had a nice view of Sacre-Coeur Cathedral up one of the streets.
Then onto the Opera National de Paris - where the famed Phantom of the Opera lived.
Can't begin to describe this beautiful building. Even brought tears to Mom's eyes when we came to the long golden room with chandelier after chandelier in this hall.
The Opera House is a beautiful building.