Friday, May 14, 2010

France Day 10--Paris--last day!

Today was our last day in France. We didn't have much planned so we left our hotel, grabbed a croissant, and walked toward Ile Saint Louis and Notre Dame. We passed some people running a marathon

From France Day 10--Paris--last day



We walked around the Ile Sainte Louis (an island in the middle of the River Seine) because I read it was largely residential and non-touristy. There were a lot of Parisians walking around with their baguettes (really) and window shopping. Of course when we made it over to Notre Dame we saw lots of tourists.



From France Day 10--Paris--last day




From France Day 10--Paris--last day




It was Palm Sunday so the queue to go in the cathedral was very long. We had both been in before, anyway

From France Day 10--Paris--last day




We walked back over to the Centre Pompidou near our hotel

From France Day 10--Paris--last day




I loved that the metro was like an underground city. We don't have anything like this in LA. There were full on bands entertaining people while they waited for the trains

From France Day 10--Paris--last day




We went to Pierre Herme, one of the best chocolate stores in Paris. A pastry chef friend back home wanted us to bring him some chocolates so we gladly made this stop. Just outside of Pierre Herme was the Church of Saint Sulpice. I didn't get a good picture of the outside because of all the construction, but the inside was interesting. The church contains a gnomon, or meridian line--a brass strip--in the floor leading to an obelisk. The meridian line is a fascinating astronomical instrument of the 18th century, used to study the planets and determine the date of Easter each year. The sun's rays enter the church through a small opening in the south transept and rest on the line at various points throughout the year. On the winter solstice, the rays hit the obelisk; on the spring and autumn equinoxes, the bronze table. Those of you who have read or see The Da Vinci Code will recognize this

From France Day 10--Paris--last day




From France Day 10--Paris--last day


Next, we took a stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg. I was amazed to see the amount of people just reading the newspaper and eating baguettes while laying on the green grass. We need to do more of that here!



From France Day 10--Paris--last day




From France Day 10--Paris--last day




That night we rode the metro out of the city a bit to La Defense, a business neighborhood outside of the city center. I wanted to go here because La Grande Arche de la Défense is located here (a kind of 20th century Arc de Triomphe) and it marks the western end of the "Axe Historique". The Axe historique ("historical axis") is a line of monuments, buildings and thoroughfares that extends from the centre of Paris, France, to the west. It is also known as the "Voie Triomphale" (triumphal way).

La Defense:



From France Day 10--Paris--last day




This is a very very bad picture, but this picture is taken along the Axe Historique looking from La Defense to L'Arc de Triomphe in the distance (and the Louvre is beyond that)

From France Day 10--Paris--last day




We rode the metro back to the Arc de Triomphe

From France Day 10--Paris--last day




From France Day 10--Paris--last day




From France Day 10--Paris--last day



We said goodbye to the Eiffel Tower one last time

From France Day 10--Paris--last day


Finally, over a year later, I'm done blogging about France! Now I've got to get to Spain.

1 comment:

Jessica Cardoza said...

I love that last photo so so much.

Loved reading through the entire France trip. So beautiful!