Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Viva la France!
We saw over 11 miles of Paris on foot today. Literally 11 miles! We just mapped it out. We started out at the Arc de Triumph and shopping on the Champs Elysees. Then headed over to the Paris Opera House (Opera Garnier) and toured it. After that we walked through the Louvre (which was HUGE, but closed today), and kept on until we got to the Notre Dame Cathedral. All of this walking worked up quite an appetite so we had a long (3 hour) dinner at a bistro by Notre Dame. Great food - it was from the Alsace region so there was a lot of German influence (I had sauerkraut with mine). Then we walked all the way back... phfew.
The Opera house was so much more gorgeous in real life than in the movies. It not only an amazing auditorium and staircase (you know, the one the phantom comes down wearing that red costume) but it also had giant ballrooms, receiving areas, a library and a Chagall ceiling (with that famous chandelier hanging from it that the phantom likes to drop on people). I even took a picture of his box (no. 5). It was captivating place, it's no wonder Gaston Leroux imagined that story.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the grandest examples of gothic architecture still standing. Outside the detail draws you in and then once you get inside, it's so grand, yet so dark and formidable. The stained glass makes it all worth it though, it's hard to stop staring. It's probably the most unique church I've ever seen.
That's a good chunk of what we got in today. Tomorrow we're off to the Louvre to visit Mona.
For a few more pics, click here.