Monday, June 12, 2006

Paris, Day 1

Last weekend, Deb and Tom spent 2 1/2 wonderful (and summery hot) days in Paris. Below are pictures from our first day.

This picture, taken from the plane, shows the English coast as we flew across the English Channel.

After just a few minutes we reached the other side and the French coast. We were a little surprised at how narrow the English Channel really was.

After checking in at the hotel, which provided just the bare bones of services, we went to see La Tour Eiffel. It's so tall, it can be seen from almost everywhere in Paris (or so it seems).

Here's another picture, taken from the street running alongside it, Quai Branly.

We were standing at the base of La Tour Eiffel when this picture was taken.

We decided to take the elevator to the top level to see the views of Paris. What a great decision that was! Below are a few of the many pictures we took from the top.

This view shows Les Jardins du Trocadero and Palais de Chaillot, situated directly across the Seine from La Tour Eiffel.

Here's a view of Le Grand Palais and Le Petit Palais, with the gardens surrounding them.

The large garden past the third bridge is Le Jardin des Tuileries. The Louvre is the huge structure at the far end of Le Jardin.

Les Invalides is pictured here. It houses the Musee de L'Armee, Eglise St. Louis, and the famous Eglise du Dome which houses Napoleon's tomb (that's the large gold dome in the picture).

Here's a view of Promenade du Champ de Mars, the garden separating La Tour Eiffel and L'Ecole Militaire (seen at the far end of the garden).

Here again is the Seine.

The one 'touristy' picture we took was this one, from on top of La Tour Eiffel.

It's kind of hard to see, but in the dead center of this view, you'll see L'Arc de Triomphe.

This beautiful pond was a part of the park surrounding La Tour Eiffel.

We crossed the Seine via Pont de L'Alma. The other side was lined with trees, like in this photo. Here is one of the many monuments we passed.

Here's our first view of Le Grand Palais. It is currently undergoing renovation on the exterior.

This begins to show why it's called the 'Grand' Palais.

One of the many entryways is shown here. You can also see the scaffolding set up as part of the cleaning and restoration work.

Next to Le Grand Palais is Le Petit Palais, another beautifully regal structure.

We walked to Place de la Concorde, where Le Jardin des Tuileries begins.

This is appropriately called Obelisque de la Concorde. It sits in the center of the intersection.

There were several of these fountains as well. Greek gods were evident.

After walking through a stately gate, we entered Le Jardin des Tuileries. This fountain stands at one end of the jardin: The Louvre is at the other.

Le Jardin was filled with many classical sculptures, like this, as well as some modern art.

Here was our first view of Le Grand Louvre. This picture only shows a small part of the museum.

Here's another picture of Le Grand Louvre with the famous I.M. Pei Pyramid.

Here's a close-up of the Pyramid. The reception area of the museum is located directly underneath it. So when you enter the museum, you can look up from inside the Pyramid.

This arch, called Place du Carousel, is like the entry-gate to Le Louvre.

Tom liked this statue in the garden: Hercules fighting the Minotaur.

This is a sample of the many beautiful trees in the garden.

Since it was getting dark, we decided to walk the length of the Champs Elysees to see the Arc de Triomphe lit up at night. That was a LONG walk, especially after a tiring day.

Here's what the Champs Elysees looks like near sunset.

The Arc de Triomphe looked beautiful at sunset. The sun sets right behind it.

Well, by 10:15 pm, it was still light (as you can see here), so we took one last picture and headed to La Tour Eiffel, hoping it would be dark enough for us to see Tour lit up.

La Tour Eiffel is stunning at night. We got some (fuzzy) pictures of the tower with the moon in the picture. It was gorgeous. This picture was taken from Jardins du Trocadero, across the Seine.

Well, by then we were exhausted, so we headed back to the hotel.


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