france, part 4

if you’re going to spend any time in paris at all, be prepared to walk. a lot. everywhere. and, quite honestly, that’s part of the charm. even with the diesel fumes and cigarette smoke.

notre dame de paris and musee du louvre were two must see locations.  to get there we decided to head down the seine by batobus (aka water taxi).  best idea – ever!

the batobus, on the seine, with notre dame approaching

stop number one was notre dame.  thankfully we got there early in the day.  by the time we left, the line wound its way through the giant courtyard in front of the church, and i’m not sure we ever would have found the end of it.

part of a trip to notre dame is winding your way through the inside on a self-guided tour, or you can head up to the top for a view of the city and the famous gargoyles.  unfortunately, we couldn’t go up to the top because it was closed for a while.  even without a trek up some narrow staircases, the experience was breathtaking.

from all sides this place is beauty-full…even at 850yo!

make your way to the St Anne doorway and you get the feeling that you’ve probably never seen anything like this before.

the 'door way' (l) was just as spectacular as the door (r).

once inside and through the reception area, all is quiet as people make their way through.

great bronze crucifix - with the light of flames that never stop burning - was a gift from emperor napoleon iii
the vault of the transept aka the ceiling as seen from the pews

'our lady of paris' is a 14th century statue placed in the cathedral in 1818, replacing the 13th century statute that was knocked down during the french revolution.

north rose window (l) and west rose window (r)

a short walk down the seine, and we headed into the musee du louvre, which is so enormous, i’m not sure we could have seen it all in a day.  our plan: see the “big” stuff (eg the mona lisa).

the east entrance - outside of the cour carree
the cour carree - on our way to the main entrance
the pyramid main entrance

the denon wing of the louvre runs the length of the south side of the museum.

it mostly houses italian paintings from the 13th through 18th century, and then a few spanish and english paintings.

it is also where one can find the statue ‘the winged vistory of samothrace’ and the ‘mona lisa’.

the louvre, if nothing else, is enormous. and beautiful. and mind blowingly awesome. it’s full of the works of some of the most creative people to inhabit the planet.  and, we only saw one-third of it.

one of my favorite pics of the entire trip - and no, she's not really that short.
a look across the courtyard from denon to richelieu and the 99, rue de rivoli entrance

even back then they were checking their iphones - ha!
the galerie du carrousel entrances as we head out to catch the batobus back to our hotel

next up – gare de lyon, the french countryside and lyon…

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