Paris Day 2: May 15
I woke up the next morning, much refreshed. After experiencing a continental breakfast at my hotel, I left the hotel on the way to Montmartre. I got side-tracked, however. As I was changing Metro stations in the Opera quarter, I decided to exit the station just for fun. This is the first time I experienced this: anyplace you go in Paris will have cool things.
I exited at the Madeleine Metro stop. Which didn't mean any thing to me, until I looked around. I noticed people taking pictures of the windows of several stores. So I tried it as well, with the above results. After a quick check of my tour book, I realized I was in the Place de la Madeleine. It is well known to be the place to go for luxuries such as handmade chocolates, champagne, truffles, caviar, etc. The treats shown above were all more than 40 Euros!
In the center of the exhorbitantly-priced stores is La Madeleine church, building started in 1764.
The architecture is quite impressive, with many huge Corinthian columns and the statues of many Saints.
The huge bronze doors in the front show images from the 10 "Strong-Suggestions". I entered the church, and was impressed with a huge sculpture called Mary Magdalene Ascending to Heaven, located behind the high altar.
This is the view from the front steps of La Madeleine. Look familiar? Me too, but I didn't know what I was looking at until I wandered down this street, the Rue Royale.
This is the Place de la Concorde, a very historic square. Among other things, this is where the guillotine was used on 1,119 people during the revolution. The large building is the Palais-Bourbon, home of the Assembleée Nationale, the French parliament .
This was my first view of the Eiffel Tower. In the center of the Place de la Concorde is this 3,200 year old Egyptian obelisk from Luxor. Two fountains and 8 statues personifying French cities surround the obelisk.
I bought a crépe with sugar and headed all the way across the idillic Tuileries Garden, where I ran into this carosel.
At the other end of the garden is the Louvre. And this is as close to it as I got. Notice the glass pyramid, also known as the Eyesore of Paris. I'm waiting to enter this magnificient museum with Robin later 2006. Anyway, I wandered around Tuileries Quarters, and even found a MacDonalds!
This is the Royal Palace Garden, set in the middle of the bustling city. It was closed for some reason, so I stuck my camera through the bars and took this picture.
I finally took the Metro all the way up to Montmartre, the artists quarter set on a butte overlooking the rest of Paris. This is the main attraction of Montmartre, Sacré Coeur (Chapel of the Sacred Heart). I bought a painting of Sacré Coeur for Doug and Kay from about this prospective.
This is the view of Paris from the steps of Sacré Coeur. I think the sky scraper on the right is the Montparnasse Tower.
The Ovoid Dome of Sacré Couer is the second highest point in Paris, after the Eiffel Tower.
I went in the church, but did not get to go on the tour--maybe next time. The building was built after the Prussia invaded France and set up a seige of Paris. Two business men agreed that if Paris survived, they would build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ. The seige lasted 4 monthes, and the church was finished in 1875.
Sacré Coeur can be seen from most of Montmartre, including on the way to the Place du Tertre.
This "statue" is actually a real person, much to the amusement of the tourists.
A picturesque view to the North, from Rue Ravignan.
Renoir lived in this building.
The butte on which Montmartre rests used to be filled with windmills. Only two original windmills still exits; the Moulin du Radet (left) and the Moulin de la Galette. This is the origin of the famous Moulon Rouge night club's iconic windmill.
Another beautiful (and steep) street in Montmartre.
The famous Moulon Rouge. It is actually in a rather seedy part of town.
After my first big outing, I returned to my hotel. Well, after I bought a bagette from a bakery. And after I bought a pare, Brie cheese, chocolate, and an orangina (carbonated orange juice and water).