Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Louvre and Sacre-Cour

Today we started out buying a bit of breakfast at the local bakery. Alysha found out what Rum Cake tastes like... ;-) on accident of course.

Street outside our Hotel

Then walked about a mile down to the Louvre Museum - down the I.M. Pei pyramid of the DaVinci Code fame - into one of the largest museums in the world.
Jill, Alysha and Ryan before entering The Louvre Museum

It was a palace until after the French Revolution when in 1792 the National Convention declared it to be a museum for all the people. The place is amazing. The architecture overwhelming. The shear volume of art staggering. We walked about 3 1/2 miles just inside the museum.

Louis XIV's Crown

Gilt Hall - Over-The-Top!

Family in long gallery

Entire Room of Carved Stonework

Intricate carved stonework

Alysha now understands how Karrissa feels about having a small head...

Found a piece of artwork that looked like me!

Italian Paintings, Greek Urns, Statues, Egyptian Artifacts... you name it.

We did get to see many famous paintings, including the Mona Lisa!

The Mona Lisa

Patrons watching the Mona Lisa

The halls were so long, once King Louis had them transformed into a 'forest' and rode horses inside on a 'hunt' for wild stag, *inside* his own palace.

The intricate carvings of stone, wood, gilt areas were also mind-boggling to think of all the hard labor that was provided just to satisfy their Kings and his huge court.

We even went down below the ground floor to where the original foundations of the very first Castle/Palace were built in the 1200's.

Then after a lunch in a nearby restaurant we walked home and took a little 90 minute nap to help with the jet lag thing.

We then took the Paris Metro - including a change of lines - followed by a funicular train... up to the top of the Montmarte Butte where the church called Sacre-Cour was built.

We climbed to the top of this!

The Sacre-Cour Cathedral

We climbed to the very top ring of the dome

Eiffel Tower from Sacre-Cour

Alysha and Ryan after the climb
Ask Lysh about her leg shakes ;-)

A view from the very top
Jill really wanted to go up to the top of the Dome... the first time we went to Rome, we chose not to climb to the top of the dome. Later on our second visit with the kids we climbed to the top and it was great. So up we went on this trek. Over 300 steps to the top of the Dome base, then more up a very small single spiral staircase to the very top of the dome's center. Not a trip for the claustrophobic. Just about all of the climbs were inside cut-stone spiral staircases. (just don't think about the walls coming in on you...)
Bottom dome is the top of the inside - we climbed the thin spiral staircase to top of outside dome

Looking down from the lip of the dome

View from just about half-way to the top

The view from the top was amazing. You are just below the height of the Eiffel Tower and can see a very long ways.

Later we went to the chapel part and watched a Catholic Mass held in French and 'checked out' the rest of the building. We've seen much better cathedrals, but this was a great location with great views of the surrounding areas.

French Public Toilet

Then we went back up the hill to an 'Artist Area' Jill wanted to see (we got to do lots and lots of steps today) Then walked all the way back to the hotel. The kids were too pooped... but Jill and I went out for a nice little dinner of omelets and fries before coming back and writing this blog.
On the way home to pickup snacks Alysha found what she wanted

We finished the day with over 24,400 steps! This was a new personal record. The last record was in Nice with Jill and Ed S. - that was a bit over 21,000. Today was about 12 miles of walking. (plus last night's little reconnoiter ran about 6 miles as well.) so in a little over 28 hours we did 18 miles of walking.

Second day in Paris - complete!


Karrissa Winward said...

Looks like a great day! Lots of walking, wow!

Jenny Cox. said...

How fun! I'm glad you are blogging while your there so us back home can see and learn about what you guys are doin. Have a great trip!

laura said...

i love the detailed posts. beautiful pictures. so glad you guys are having a fun trip together.

Karrissa Winward said...

Oh yeah, and thanks for the reference to my small head.