The Louvre and the Paris (Garnier) Opera

Next we went to see the Louvre.

This is sculpture of Eros and Psyche by Antonio Canova.

The Venus de Milo from the 2nd century BC.

A closer shot of her face and upper torso.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace.

This is the gallery that holds the portrait of Lisa Gheradini, otherwise known as Mona Lisa. Thats her at the other end with the 10 deep crowd around her. Note all of the people holding their cameras and cell phones up trying to get a picture. Thats one very nice thing about the Louvre, they allow photographs to be taken, but for some reason many people do not understand the symbol for no flash photography. Given that many people don’t follow this rule, it may only be a matter of time before they restrict photography all together. The best photos are available in the guide books that are sold in the gift shop!

Liberty Guiding the People by Eugene Delacroix

The Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David

The Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault

La Grande Odalisque by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

There are four paintings like this one. Various vegetables and fruits are painted to combine to form a persons head. These seem to be favorites with everyone!

They also had an exhibit in a section of the Louvre of the furnishings of Napoleon III

Here is the dining room of Napoleon III.

Here is a shot looking out one of the windows into the courtyard containing the pyramid.

This is looking up from inside of the pyramid to the Louvre outside.

Next we went to the Paris (Garnier) Opera house and took a quick tour. There are 2 opera houses in PAris, the Garnier Opera House and the Bastille Opera House.

Here is the Opera House as you see it coming up out of the Metro.

Here is another closer view of the facade.

One of the sculptures on the facade. Inside we go!

This is the Grand Foyer with the stairs leading up to the boxes. What an entrance!

Thats Marcia posing on the stairs.

Here’s the view from the balcony above.

This inside the theater.

Looking up, this is the ceiling of the theater. The paining is by Marc Chagall.

The stage. They were rehearsing and getting ready for a performance that night.

This is the hall where patrons can go during intermission. Not quite like our local San Jose Rep!

And finally, here is the view looking out the balcony on the front of the opera house.

After this we were off to Honfleur in Normandy!

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Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle

Its been awhile since our last post. We are actually home at this point and have gotten back into our routine lives….as much as we didn’t want to. Anyway we will try and catch you up on all of our adventures in France over the next few days.

After the Arc de Triomphe we visited the Notre Dame Cathedral and Saint Chapelle.

First Notre Dame….

This is the “Hotel de Ville”, or the Paris City Hall. This is what we saw as we came up out of the Metro on our way over to the Ile de la Cite . The Ile de la Cite is the island in the middle of the Seine river on which Notre Dame is located. The Ile de la Cite was where the ancient Parisii, a celtic tribe, founded Paris nearly 2,300 years ago.

This is the view looking up at Notre Dame from out front. All of those guys on the facade looking down at you are the 28 Kings of Judah. Just above the Kings is the Rose window, which is shown below as seen from inside of Notre Dame.

This is a shot of the front of Notre Dame from across the river.

This is called “Point Zero” and is located in the plaza just in front of Notre Dame. It is considered the center of France, the point from which all distances are measured.

The guy in the middle holding his head is St. Denis. St. Denis is considered the patron saint of Paris. When the Christians began recruiting converts in ancient Paris, Denis, was beheaded by the Romans as a warning to those giving up their Roman gods. He proceeded to pick up his head, wash it off and continue to walk around paris for the next 3 days. The Parisians were convinced that this was a miracle and the church gained many more converts. This is one of the many statues on the front of Notre Dame.

A few more of the sculptures on the front of the church.

And a few more…

Marcia in front of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame from the backside.

Marcia and Notre Dame.

A view of Notre Dame from across the Seine River.

As we crossed several of the pedestrian bridges in Paris we noticed all of these locks. It appears that lovers, newlyweds, boyfriend and girlfriends come to the bridges and proclaim their love for each other and then lock the lock to the bridge and throw the key into the Seine!

After Notre Dame we were off to Lunch and then Saint Chapelle.

Saint Chapelle is located on the Ile de la Cite also, a short walk from Notre Dame. Saint Chapelle was built between 1242 and 1248 for King Louis IX. On the other hand Notre Dame took nearly 200 years to be built. Saint Chapelle was built originally to house the Crown of Thorns, the crown that Christ wore when he was crucified. The crown is now actually housed in Notre Dame. Saitn Chapelle is much smaller than Notre Dame and very unspectacular from the outside, but from the inside……

Unassuming Saint Chapelle from the outside.

Saint Chapelle from the inside!

The altar in Saint Chapelle.

Looking up at the ceiling in Saint Chapelle. Note the Rose Window in the back of the church.

Here is an example of the leaded glass work in Saint Chapelle. Again, everything, including the glasswork was all completed in 6 years. Each round circle tells a story. There are 15 different panels depicting 1,100 different scenes and stories from the bible. The 15 panels comprise more than 6,500 square feet of leaded glass .

Here is a closeup of one of the panes.

This is from the back of the church. As the sun moves during the day, different panels of leaded glass will be illuminated.

Saint Chapelle is housed in a complex that also houses the French Supreme Court, shown above.

Well, that was our day at Notre Dame And Saint Chapelle. Like I said, we’re running a little bit behind getting caught. We’ll get the remainder of our pics posted in the next few days.

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Our vacation in France 8th to 15th, September 2011!

September 15, 2011

Tomorrow we’re off to Normandy for 7 days. We’ll continue to post some of our adventures and sightseeing from Paris for the next few days in an effort to catch up. There’s a lot of catching up to do, Bill has taken over 500 photos and Marcia has taken over 400 photos so far!

Ok, here are some more photos of our adventures with a little bit of commentary.


Looking up the street towards the Arc de Triomphe.




Some of the sculptures on the Arc de Triomphe.


This is the tomb of the Unknown Solidier located under the Arc de Triomphe.


This is the view looking down the spiral staircase inside of the Arc de Triomphe. 284 steps to go!

Next up, Sacre Coeur!


Finally (for this posting) here are a few photos from at night around Paris.

The Eiffel Tower at night.

Another view of the Eiffel Tower at night.

The Petite Palais at night.

Finally, the National Assembly building at night.

Merci and Thank You for viewing and coming along with us!

Bill & Marcia

September 14, 2011

OK, its going to be alot of work to catch up day-by-day, so we’ll start posting whatever has happened since the last Blog. We’re still new at this blogging thing (actually ME, Bill, since Marcia has a blog of her own that she regualrly updates) and getting the hang of it.

So here we go with lots of pics and a little bit of commentary along the way.


This is the “Petite Palais” built around 1900 for the Universal Exposition.


This is the “Grand Palais”, across the street from the Petite Palais. Also finished in 1900 for the Universal Exposition. The roof of this “Palais” is all glass. Neither “Palais” is exhibiting anything permanent nowadays. Mostly used for special events and temporary exhibitions.


This is a shot of the Musse d’Orsay. A great museum with a great collection of the Impressionists paintings. Renois, Monet, Manet, etc. Some of these pieces recently visited San Francisco while parts of the d’Orasy was remodeled. They also have the painting “Whistlers Mother” on display.

It was a former train station that was going to be destroyed and they decided to convert it to house the many pieces of art scattered around Paris. Good Choice. We easily spent most of the day there.


This is one of the fountains in the “Place de la Concorde” in central Paris. Note the bride to the left of the fountain. Great place to get married or take wedding photos. It had just finished raining when we pasted by.


And of course……the “Arc de Triomphe” We have more photos later on from the top!


This is a shot looking up the river Seine. It had just rained and the sky looked very dramatic, we couldn’t resist the photo.


This is a shot of “Sacre Coeur” from atop the “Arc de Triomphe”. Sacre Coeur sits atop the highest hill in Paris right above the Montmartre area. Montmartre used to be the area where the artists hung out, today its full of tourists(yes, including us)!


This is a shot of the backside of “Les Invalides”. It was built as a hospital by Napolean for his solidiers. Today it serves as a military museum and the final resting place for Napoleans remains…his tomb is here. It is right in the middle of Paris, about a 10 minute walk from our hotel.


This is one of the figures that adorns the top of one of the four posts on each corner of the “Pont Alexander” bridge crossing the River Seine with the French Tri-Color flying in the background. The Pont Alexander bridge leads into the “Les Invalides” above.

So much for now……more later. Thanks for reading! Merci and au revoir for for now!

Day 2 (Saturday), September 9, 2011

On our first day we decided to take the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus, “Le Tour”, around Paris to orient ourselves with the city and to take a rest from jet-lag.


This is Marcia at the Eiffel Tower.


and Bill….

Our hotel is about a block from the Palais Elysee, the American equivalent of the White House. This is the entrance to the palace.


Les Invalides is a hospital that Napolean started building for his soldiers in 1670 and finally completed in 1676, however today it only houses his tomb and military museums. Les Invalides is down the street from our hotel and on the other side of the Seine river. A very impressive building!


Les Invalides

This is all for now, more later…..maybe later tonight.

Day 1, September 8, 2011

We were scheduled to leave SFO at 6:10PM on September 8, 2011, however when we got to the airport we found out that the flight had been delayed until 7:00PM. The flight was delayed due to a late arrival at SFO. Not a problem as we had a direct flight with no connections that we might miss, so we spent our time relaxing in the Air France lounge. We eventually left at 7:00Pm with no issues and arrived at Paris, CDG airport around 3:00PM the next day, September 9th.


This is our airplane at CDG.

Our apologies if you have gotten several notices that we have updated the blog, as we were figuring out how to use the WordPress app. I think we’ve finally gotten the hang of it!

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Welcome to our vacation Blog!

Welcome to our Blog!

We’ll be posting updates from our upcoming vacation to France to this blog. We haven’t quite left yet though. We’ll be visiting Paris and Normandy.

If you would like to receive updates as they are posted you can sign up on the left side of the blog. WordPress will not use this information to send you spam or offers from Nigerian bankers offering to split a $10M fortune from one of your long lost relatives with you.

Here are some photos from our previous adventures.


This was the cathedral in Toledo, Spain during our last visit.


This was one of the beautiful Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, Spain.

We’ll be posting updates whenever possible. Come and travel with us!

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