Monday, April 6, 2009

Paris- Day 3

The following pics are viewed from the very TOP of the Eiffel Tower.

Having seen the Eiffel Tower up close at night, I had to see it up close during the day.  To beat the crowd, Pierre and I got up early Saturday morning (9am) and immediately drove to Paris.  We arrived at the Tower at 9:30 and bought tickets to walk to the second floor (there are 3 floors).  700(!) stairs later, we were standing on the second floor.  The crowd was thickening, so we didn’t waste any time going to the very top.  In order to get to the top, you must take an elevator.  We bought tickets for that at about 7 Euro apiece, with a student discount.  Pretty cheap.  It was really cool and Pierre had never been to the top before, so it was new to both of us.  The line for the elevator to the top took about 25 minutes. 

Once at the top, the view was incredible.  I thought the view from the Arc de Triumphe was great, but, we where about 4x higher now.  I took a lot of pictures and we spent about 10 minutes at the top.  It was nice.  We then reversed the whole process to get down.

After the Eiffel Tower, we went across town to the Museum Rodin.  It is a museum dedicated to the sculptor Rodin.  It is also the museum that Pierre’s father was a director at for 10 yrs.  It is a small but beautiful museum.  Rodin is known for his sculpture of the Thinker and The Kiss.  After seeing some of the famous sculptures inside, we went to the museum’s garden outside.  This is where some of the largest statues were.  This is where the largest “Thinker” is located (1 of 12 in the world) and some of the other famous ones.  The museum is in the center of Paris Center, but, you would not know, even when outside in the gardens.  It is surprisingly quiet and peaceful.

The museum from the outside.

The Burghers of Calais. The story of the statues is that six prominent town leaders of the French city of Calais stepped forward to sacrifice themselves in return for Edward III sparing the city. Luckily for the six persons, their lives were spared. 
1 of 12.  Thinking Man.
The Kiss.
Me in the garden of the Roding Museum.
Again in the garden of the Rodin Museum.

It was now about 1pm and we went home for a while.  We took an hour nap and ate a little. Pierre’s mother had been nice enough to make a pork roast for us to eat when we returned.  It was a delicious, classic French meal.  We have been also eating a lot of bread.  Every meal, we have bread; including for snack.  If you know me, I do not regularly eat bread, but, I have been making an exception for this week.  It tastes very good.  We eat a lot of cheese as well.  I have a new favorite cheese; Camembert. 

On another note, Pierre’s mother does speak pretty good English.  She just told me that she was out of practice after not using it for a while.  We had a nice conversation today.

Also, when we got back to Pierre’s room, there were two bottles of wine near my computer with a note “you will drink this wine with your mother or friends.”  (I had told them my mom was coming to visit).  Can you believe that?  Pierre’s parents gave me two bottles of wine.  When I saw them later, I thanked them.  I don’t know what else to do to say thanks.  They have been much too kind.

After our brief relaxation, it was off to Paris again; this time by train.  We wanted to see a Pillow Fight that we had been told about.  It took place outside of the French Stock Exchange, or Bourse.  We thought it was in response to the crazy economy lately but we’re not sure.  It wasn’t as big as I thought it would be, maybe 50 people max.  It was interesting though.  We didn’t stay long.  We met up with Pierre’s friend Charlotte and went to some more gardens, as well as Chautlese Church.  Again, another beautiful church.  It reminded me of Notre Dame, but, not as well preserved. 

Pillow Fight!

In front of Bourse, the French Stock Exchange.

That pretty much concluded our day.  We went home and relaxed.  Although it was a Saturday night, we postponed the drinking cause we are getting up early tomorrow for NORMANDY!

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