Paris Continued

On Saturday morning we took our breakfast in front of the Eiffel Tower.  On our walk to the Tower, we stopped at another patisserie to grab a croissant and baguette.  Tearing off delicious pieces of the hard bread in front of the Eiffel Tower really made us feel like Parisians.  🙂

Breakfast by the Eiffel Tower

After breakfast we headed through the Eiffel Tower and uphill to Trocadéro for a spectacular long-distance view. The sun was just trying to break through the clouds, so Russ captured a pretty cool effect.

The Tower from Trocadero

The best part of this whole experience was that we were virtually alone while doing it!  The weather (it was c-c-c-cold!) and the time of year kept visitors away, so we walked near, under, and around the Eiffel Tower without bumping into a single body, and we were only slightly harassed by those guys peddling mini-Eiffel Towers.

Population Russ and Lauren + those 2 people

Our next goal was to see the Arc de Triomphe, a massive piece of memorial architecture that was commissioned by Napoleon after a victorious battle.  The arc sits in the middle of a ridiculous traffic circle (12 roads meet at this point!), and the ensuing mayhem of the circle is entertaining…and a little frightening.  I was glad we didn’t have to drive through it, as it appears that the merging traffic has the right away.  Therefore the traffic already in the circle must STOP to allow them in—crazy! While Russ mainly watched traffic, I made my way around and through the beautiful arc and gazed upon the fantastic murals carved into its sides (Lady Liberty especially caught my eye).

Arc de Triomphe

Looking Up Inside of the Arc

The Exterior

Arc de Triomphe

Traffic Mayhem

From the Arc de Triomphe, we made our way toward Champs-Elysées, Paris’s famous boulevard and shopping street. We enjoyed our stroll, some coffee and hot chocolate, and loved looking at all the little stands that were set up for a Christmas Market.

Looking up the street toward the Arc

Christmas Market Stalls

Our next stop: Sacré-Cœur.  The beautiful Sacré-Cœur, or Sacred Heart Church, sits on a hilltop overlooking Paris.  The church is beautiful, though only 100 years old,  and the spectacular view doesn’t hurt.  The outside of the church is home to many performers playing to the crowds.

Sacré-Cœur

The View

Our Favorite Perfomer--Soccer Trick Guy

 

Soccer Guy!

Paris!

The Church

The Church

Super tired feet need a rest, so we eventually settled down for some lunch and a little rest before heading out again into the city.  An hour was all we needed to feel refreshed and ready to go.  Plus, we were headed to a place about which I was really excited, The Pompidou Center for Modern Art.

The Pompidou Center

Pompidou Center Inside

The Pompidou Center holds lots of modern art (20th Century) that is way-out-there!  We got to see lots of pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Dalí, and more.  It was really exciting to be face to face with pieces that were so controversial (aka a naked woman holding a squawking chicken).  However, we have no pictures as they weren’t permitted! The featured exhibit was by a post-War artist named Arman.  Arman’s aesthetic was certainly destruction. Arman destroyed things by force and fire, “froze” them in resin, and labeled it art.  A piano smashed to pieces and glued to a board, biodegradable trash in a container, a box filled with gas masks; this is Arman.  And whether you agree that it is art or not, it is certainly intriguing.  Look him up; it’ll be worth your time.

I loved the Pompidou Center and all it had to offer including this incredible view:

The Sacré-Cœur from the Pompidou

 

View from the Escalators of the Pompidou

We finished our day with a late-night omelet and quiche at a brasserie around the corner from our hotel.  We love Paris and all the culture it brings.  We loved people watching, viewing art, munching on baguettes and sipping coffee, but…if I never have to ride on an over-crowded subway again, I’m totally okay with that. 🙂

Thanks, Paris.  We had an awesome time!

 

For more pictures of our adventures in Paris:

http://rlabarca.smugmug.com/Travel/Paris-Nov-2010

 

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One response to this post.

  1. Oh, I love Paris! I spent a long weekend there while I was studying in England, but it wasn’t nearly enough time. Love your photos!

    Reply

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