So Much to See, Where do we Start?

I guess we start with breakfast!  Here is the spread at the hotel.
I had to grab some cheese to go with my eggs and fruit.
I also could not resist some bread and a pastry.
Gotta love single serve nutella.
Then we headed out.  Our first stop was going to be the Lourve, but we knew the lines would be outrageous, and we wanted a Musuem Pass.  The pass gives you the ability to bypass ticket lines, and the cost of the pass includes the cost of admission to many places.  So, after a few stops, the pass more than pays for itself.  But, at the Lourve, we knew there would be a wait to get the pass.  The next best option was at a FNAC store, which is a local store there, but the nearest was by the Arc du Triomph, and the Tour de France was scheduled to end there that day, so it would be insane.  So we game planned a little.  Actually, we just started out and a great plan developed.

We headed by the Ecole Militare, which is the military school, and while we were there, we bought some art off the street.
This is a huge school.
In the distance was the Eiffel Tower.
I zoomed in a little.
I was given a task by a friend of mine to take a self portrait with the Eiffel Tower in the back.
While we were buying the paintings, we asked the man what the gold shiny thing off in the distance was, and he told us it was the Musee De L'Armee, or the Army Museum in English.  We knew this was on the museum pass, and it was near the hotel.  Our new game plan was to go here, see the museum and Napoleon’s Tomb (which is in the building with the gold dome), buy the pass here, and then take the art back to the hotel on our way to the Lourve.
Success!  There was no wait to get the museum pass here.
I love this poster.  I think I love it because I have a black cat.
Here are some American items, from when we entered World War II.  I loved how the room where Germany started it’s mess was darker inside.
Now we are inside the building where Napoleon’s tomb is located.  This is the gold dome from the inside.
Here lies Napoleon!
Other people are resting peacefully here too.
This is the tomb from the ground level.
When we went back to the room to drop off the paintings, we had a quick snack of cherries.
By now we discovered that the thing to do in Paris was get a baguette and walk with this or place it in your backpack and just have it with you to munch on.  It seemed everyone was doing it, so we wanted to do it too.  We stopped at a bakery by the hotel, on the Rue Cler.
Look how good everything looks.
We got a full baguette each, and then headed for the metro, which was our game plan for transportation. 
The metro proved to be very easy to navigate, very helpful for travel, and cheap when you know to buy a packet of 10 tickets in advance.  While waiting for the metro, I enjoyed some of my baguette.
Getting out of the metro, we got a little disoriented while searching out the Lourve, but that was no problem because I found many things to take pictures of along the way.  If you notice, there is not much sun.  We did not have the best of weather, but at least it was not raining.  Although it was cooler than I expected, I was OK in short sleeves.
I love this sign, so I had to take a picture.
We also found the manmade beach along the Seine River.
Ah ha!  We found the Lourve.  The place is huge so it should be easy to find, but there are a lot of big, old buildings here, so it could be easy to get confused.

The Lourve is the major art museum here, although they have tons.  The really old works are located here.  This was the royal palace until Loius VIII (or maybe 14th), when it was moved to Versailles.
The pyramid was built more recently, and acts as the entrance downstairs into the museum.
We only went to one side because there was just not enough time to walk through the whole thing.  When we entered, there were very old sculptures.
I took many pictures of paintings, some more famous than others, but I will not bore you, so I have only a few here.
Here is the Mona Lisa.  It is smaller than you might expect, and it is very crowded by this display.
I zoomed in, so here is a better shot.
This one is called the Grande Odalisque.
This is the Coronation of Napoleon.
These statues are by Michelangelo.
By the time we were finished with the museum, we had seen works by all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo..I hope I got those right!

We started to make our way out to head back, and we thought we would try the Arc de Triomphe, where the Tour de France was ending.
On our way, we were spotted many people standing around.  Oh yes, the race was going to come by here.  I asked someone when they were expected to arrive in Paris, and they said in 10 minutes.  I managed to get up close, just behind the barrier.  Then we waited, and waited, but when we saw the helicopter, we knew they were coming in.  These pictures are on their first pass past the Lourve upon arriving in Paris and completing the Tour de France.  I was so close, that I did not zoom in for these pictures.

The winner was up front, and his whole team rode in with him.
The other racers followed.  I do have a a video too, so when I figure out how to post that, I will.
They actually make multiple passes around the course in Paris.  In the meantime, we checked out a fair going on.  There was candy.
Churros too.  I love the churro machine.
After looking around, we decided to try and escape the area again, but we were still stuck.  This time we had great seats to actually see the last few passes and the conclusion of the Tour de France.  It was purely a chance occurrence that we were there, which was super neat because I do not think I will ever have the chance again to see this, unless I was really into it and planned a trip on purpose, which was not something I had ever considered.
They had this giant TV showing the ceremony at the end.  If you were watching on TV and saw aerial shots, I was down below with all of those people.  The ceremony was close by because we could hear the microphone, and the the TV sound, so it really echoed.
By the time we were no longer trapped in the people and closed off roads, we were starving, so we stopped for dinner.  We stopped at the Cafe Le Flores.  There are tons of cafes and brasseries along the roads of Paris.  One thing to remember is that they have a different culture, so service is different from what we expect in the US.  They will take your order, bring the food, but often you may feel ignored.  They are just not bothering you while you eat and drink and socialize.  But, if you are on a schedule, this can seem like a pain.  Then you are the one who seems rude when you are running around with your credit card in hand, trying to pay your check.  You have to do, what you have to do, and either not be in a rush and just sit, or do not care what they think and track down a waiter.  If you are not in a rush, I do not think this is an issue.
I had a nice salad with cheese, potato and a poached egg.
Ryan ordered a hamburger with a fried egg.
The we walked back home.  On the way we passed St. Germaine’s Cathedral.
After stopping by the hotel and getting washed up, we walked over to the Eiffel Tower.  It is well lit up at night, and every hour on the hour, the whole thing gets sparkling with tons of flashing lights.
I have many pictures of the Tower, all from different angles.  I am posting a few of them here.
The line for the elevator up was about an hour wait, and this was at nearly midnight.  We decided to hit the stairs instead.  Here I am getting ready to climb.
We only went to the first level.  The top was “saturated” as they said, when we went up, and then was closed.  It seems often that this happens because everyone wants to go up, and with bad weather and wind, it will close.  We also heard that from the top it is hard to make out anything below.  The second level can also be reached by stairs, but it was late, and very busy.

Here are some shots from the first level.
Here you can see tons of people out in the park.  Most them them were still enjoying picnics at this hour.  I was amazed too at the many people selling bottles of wine (I assume illegally) around this area.
Well, that does it for our first full day in Paris.  So far, so good, but so much to see that just thinking about it was exhausting.

QUESTIONS:  Do you like art museums?  Do you like history museums?  Do you like poached eggs?  When you travel, do you like to use the metro for transportation?


Astra Libris said...

WOW!!! What an amazing day! Thank you so much for sharing your beautifully busy day with us! SO cool that you got to see the conclusion of the Tour de France!! I love the idea of walking around with a baguette in your backpack... :-) Heaven! :-)

Unknown said...

i <3 single serving nutella! your Eiffel tower @ night pics are so good! U should frame!

I like museums...I don't really go too often. Maybe if I was in Europe :)

I do like a poached egg!

We have been known to use the Metro on vacation - sometimes it beats renting a car :)

chow and chatter said...

adore Paris great snaps

oh thats wierd about the pasta in a box

Anonymous said...

I love visiting Paris again through this posting. Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

I like everything in your list EXCEPT eggs. ick they make me sick.

I realized I was in Paris a year ago, seeing the same sights!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Lovely photos! :) And yes, I LOVE poached eggs!

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