Day 6 – Monday 13 June 1994 – Paris

Woke up early. Went to a Boulangerie along the road and got a yummy almond croissant.  Walked to bus stop and got bus to Chessy RER (train station).  Cost $20 for an all day ticket. Managed to get a train to Paris.  Very slow. Got off at Chatelet Des Halles and had to choose an exit.  Ended up in a sleazy area and had to walk a while to get to the Louvre.  Found a reasonable cafe to have brekky in.  Yummy cappuccino and croissant (no butter and jam) sitting at the bar.  Went into Louvre.

Louvre – constructed around 1200 as a fortress and rebuilt in the mid-16th century for use as a royal palace.  Began its career as a public museum in 1793.  The paintings, sculptures and artefacts on display have been assembled by French Governments over the past five centuries.
Louvre
Louvre ticket

Louvre post card

Hard to find our way around.  Mark got bored.  Looked at lots of medieval era paintings then stopped for a coffee and pastry.

Finally saw the Mona Lisa by jumping up and down behind lots of tourists and took a wobbly photo.  No impressionists there.  Exhausting.  Only looked at paintings.  Disappointing.

Mona Lisa

Walked to Eiffel Tower and went to the top.  Scary but good view.

Tour de Eiffel – Built for the Exposition Universelle (Word’s Fair of 1889), held to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution.  It was almost torn down in 1909 but was saved to house antennas.  it is named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel and is 320 metres tall.  This figure can vary by as much as 15cm as the tower’s 7000 tonnes of steel, held together by 2.5 million rivets, expands and contracts with the weather.

Eiffel Tower ticket
View of Paris from the top level of the Eiffel Tower, including the Seine River and the Sacre Coeur at Montmartre
View of the Seine River from the top level of the Eiffel Tower
View of the Seine River from the second  level of the Eiffel Tower
View of Paris from the top level of the Eiffel Tower
View of Seine River from the second level of the Eiffel Tower
View of a soccer ground from the middle level of the Eiffel Tower
View from the top level of the Eiffel Tower over Palais de Chaillot
View of Palais de Chaillot from the top level of the Eiffel Tower
Train/bus ticket

  

Walked to Arc D Triomphe.

Arc de Triomphe – located in the middle of Place Charles de Gaulle (the world’s largest traffic roundabout and the meeting point of 12 avenues), at the end of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.  It was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to commemorate his imperial victories but remained unfinished when he started losing.  It was finally completed between 1832 and 1836.  it is 49.5m high and 45m wide.  Among the armies to march triumphally through the Arc de Triomphe were the victorious Germans in 1871, the victorious Allies in 1919, the victorious Germans in 1940 and the victorious Allies in 1944.
Arc de Triomphe

Walked down the Champs De Elysee.  Large.

Champs Elysee looking from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe
Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris, France. Measuring 8.64 hectares (21.3 acres) in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city’s eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.

Stopped at McDonalds for a rest, drink and chips.  Only place we could afford to eat on the Champs De Elysee.

Mark with a small electric car
Notre Dame, Paris’ cathedral, was begun in 1163 and completed around 1345. It is an example of Gothic architecture.
Grand Palais (The Grand Palace) was built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900 and is used to stage special exhibitions. It has an iron frame and an Art Nouveau-style glass roof.
Place des Vosges, originally Place Royale, is the oldest planned square in Paris and one of the finest in the city. It is located in the Marais district, and it straddles the dividing-line between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris. It was a fashionable and expensive square to live in during the 17th and 18th centuries, and one of the central reasons Le Marais became so fashionable for the Parisian nobility. Place des Voges is a square ensemble of 36 symmetrical houses with ground-floor arcades, steep slate roofs ad large dormer windows.  Only the earliest houses were built of brick, to save time, the rest were given timber frames and faced with plaster, later painted to resemble brick.  Duels were once fought in the elegant park in the middle.  Today the arcades around Place des Vosges are occupied by up-market art galleries, pricey antique shops and elegant places to sip tea.
Janine relaxing in Jardin des Tuileries with a can of Perrier and a peak of the Eiffel Tower in the left hand corner. The Tuileries Gardens get their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici built the Palais des Tuileries in 1564. The famous gardener of King Louis XIV, André Le Nôtre, re-landscaped the gardens in 1664 to give them their current French formal garden style. The gardens, which separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, are a cultural walking place for Parisians and tourists.

Caught a train to Printemps (Trinité Station) which is a large store.  Too tired too look around much.

Walked around looking for somewhere for dinner.  Finally decided on a Le Musset Bar Brasserie Salon de The.  Sat inside.  I had sec blanc vin (dry white wine), onion soup with cheese in it and bread, then cappuccino and brie.

Brie was served with lettuce and yummy dressing.  Very nice.  Cappuccino was different but good.  Mark had chicken and potato salad with some yummy dressing.  Very nice.

Rested our feet.  had our first French meal and it wasn’t bad.  Hard to tell by appearances.

Caught train to Anvers via Pigalle to get to Sacre Couer and Montmartre.  Montmatre was dirty (same as rest of Paris).  Sacre Couer was lovely but surrounded by scum.  Great view of city from hill.

Another nightmare night in the house.  Couldn’t get to bed until about 1.30.  Smoke everywhere.  Glad to be going…

Day 7 – Tuesday 14 June 1994 – The Twingo and Troyes!