So I may have said tomorrow for when this post would get published, and that’s what it ended up being until now. Let’s get to it then.
We arrived in Paris on an early morning TGV from Luxembourg on New Year’s Day. We made our way to the hotel, and then left again, taking a Metro to the other side of the city, to what we assumed would be close to Versailles, since we were rather unsure of our Paris geography. It turns out the Metro does not go out nearly that far, so we instead found ourselves in the far south of Paris, and decided to walk back since we were still early. We walked over to the Seine and the wandered down that to the Eiffel Tower. We decided not to go up since the crowds were a bit overwhelming and the lines seemed really long. It was nevertheless a very impressive sight, and we figured we had to see it since we were in Paris after all. From the Eiffel Tower we walked up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe, and we were all suitably impressed by it after managing to not die while crossing the massive no-rules roundabout that surrounds it.
After this we walked back down the Avenue and were suddenly surrounded by a parade, which we stayed to watch. We also had a late lunch at a market in one of the parks it ran through. We finished the day in Central Paris by trying to find dinner in the form of some bread and cheese, but most of the stores had closed already, so it took quite a while. We eventually made our way back to the hotel for the night.
Almost the entirety of Friday was consumed by visiting the Louvre, since we arrived early before it opened to have a shorter line, and stayed almost until it closed in an effort to see as much of it as we could. I should note now that both my flickr and my Facebook have many more pictures from our visit than this blog format allows me to present, so I encourage you to visit them. When we entered, we made a beeline for the Mona Lisa, since we expected the crowds there to only increase with time. We saw it and it looked basically like it does in pictures… anyways we were glad to be able to see the real thing, even if the crowd was already large.
The museum was way larger than any of us thought. Apparently the museum only exhibits a small part of its collection, which seemed impossible considering the amount of art exhibited. There were also some rooms that had been kept as they originally were, when the building was still a palace.
We also managed to see some ship related art, because we wouldn’t want to forget that. The indoor sculpture garden was also very impressive, as where the age of some of the Egyptian and Middle Eastern artifacts. Some amphora were also on the schedule, since after the marine archeology class, we know more about them then we ever wanted to.
The entire museum can not really be summed up in one blog post, but needless to say we were incredible impressed, and it was definitely worth the trip. We finished the night by heading to a restaurant for dinner and then returning to the hotel.
Our last full day in Paris found us visiting the major churches in the city. We started by visiting Notre Dame, which was a must-see. It was very beautiful inside, and the extensive history exhibits were also interesting. We also visited a museum that housed some of the ruins from the early history of Paris. The museum was cool because it was underground in the courtyard of the church. After grabbing lunch we slowly wandered to Sacré-Cœur, a major basilica at the top of a hill the gave a great overview of the city. This was also relatively close to the hotel so we headed back afterwards.
On Sunday we took the train back to London through the Channel Tunnel, and then a bus back to Southampton, thus ending our brief European journey.