Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Paris Part 2

Okay, boring I know. More vacation photos... but it's my blog, so I'm going to show them!  Here's our Paris journey continued...

Day 5 - Opera Garnier, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower
On this day we started with taking the Metro to the Opera Garnier, the Phantom's opera house. Paris Travel Tip: buy a NaviGo Decouverte metro card at the beginning of the week. These cost around €23 per person, but you can travel unlimited on all Metro, RER trains, and bus lines around Paris for a week (mon-sun). Well worth the expense! You can buy them at any metro station. In Paris, you're never more than 500 ft (literally) from a metro stop.

The front of the Opera Garnier. Apparently there is actually an underground pond that inspired the Phantom's lair. We didn't get to see it, but were told Fireman practice their underwater diving drills down there.

Regardless of getting to see the spooky underground caverns, the interior of the Opera was sufficiently opulent enough to impress us. Although I think all that old velvet gave the place a little bit of an antique shop smell. This photo is of the grand foyer. Because you know, people have to have somewhere pretty to walk during intermissions and such.
 After the Opera house (tickets to tour on your own were €9 each, which is kind of expensive because the Louvre was only €10 each, and there's much more to see at the Louvre!), we made our way to the Ile de la Cite to see the Notre Dame cathedral. Lots of tourists. It's not even the peak of the season yet, but there were still plenty of people at all the major sites.

Luckily a nice British couple took this photo of us in front of the cathedral. It's the only one of us on the whole trip we didn't take ourselves.

The beautiful rose window from the outside.

I loved all the intricate gothic architechture of the cathedral and the fact that the back looks completely different than the front.
 Finally, that evening we made our way down to see the Eiffel Tower. Can you believe we waited until this far into our trip to do this? The weather was perfect that evening. The clouds had cleared and the temperature was perfect for dining by the banks of the river before watching the lights come on the tower at exactly 10pm. The only drawback? The dozens of solicitors who ask you every minute or so if you would like to buy champagne or an Eiffel Tower miniature.

This photo was taken close to sunset at around 9:30. Can you believe how light it is outside at this time of night? It never really got dark outside until well after 10pm. This photo is of the tower from the left bank.

Tower photo taken from Place de la Concorde (a metro stop and also marked by that obelisk). Place de la Concorde was the place Marie Antoinette lost her head. Yeeks!
Still more to come later....
again, all photos credit to my husband, Scott

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