Monday 12 January 2009

First Trip to Paris - Day 2

On Sunday, we slept in a bit and then headed out to search for breakfast crepes before heading off for more sightseeing. We happened across a small place with a Greek seaside theme that was empty (seeing as it was almost lunch time) and had perfectly serviceable crepes and coffees. I'm not usually a coffee drinker, but find the French Cafe au lait (which is really a glass of frothed milk with a shot of espresso) to be tasty if mixed with several cubes of sugar.

From there it was off to see perhaps the most iconic of all Parisian sights - the Eiffel Tower. Again, you could pay to go up to the top, but we declined given the cold, but enjoyed walking about in awe of what really is a phenomenal feat of engineering.

There it is! Ladies and gents, it doesn't get more iconic than that!

What surprised me was how beautiful the metal work was on the tower itself - it's really a beautiful piece of art as well as an impressive structure.

An example of some of the detail that I loved

One of the lifts in the tower

In an effort to keep warm, we decided to take a walk through the Fields of Mars (Champs de Mars) over to the Rodin Museum

A look back at the Eiffel Tower from the Fields of Mars

One of the fountains in the Fields of Mars, turned off for obvious reasons

At the other end of the Fields of Mars, is the War School (ecole du guerre) and the Church of St. Louis at Les Invalides. It was closed to visitors, so we didn't get a chance to go in, but the outside is certainly impressive. Apparently Napoleon Bonaparte is buried inside. Another trip sometime.

The Church

From there, we took in the Rodin Museum. The (impressive looking) gardens were closed due to snow, but we really enjoyed the inside and exploring some of the lesser known works of this fantastic artist.

From, there we decided to head straight to perhaps the most famous church in Paris, Notre Dame de Paris. And goodness it is impressive. We arrived just in time for the weekly organ concert and had just enough time to wander around after.

The organ - incredible both to the eyes and to the ears

Chandeliers between the columns inside

From behind the main altar

a look up through the altar railing

At which point it was time to recover our luggage and take the train back to London. A great first taste of Paris - no doubt we'll be coming back (and soon)

Note from the future:
Indeed we have been back several times, discovering that indeed there is little better than Spring in Paris, which is now our favourite time to visit. You can find pictures of subsequent trips on flickr:
April 2010
May 2011