Friday, 4 May – Paris
Rose arrived in Paris, Mum and Dad went to Versailles for the day, we went to the Louvre. Unfortunately the Egyptian rooms were closed, so after seeing a Sphinx we wandered into the Mesopotamia rooms instead. This was a series of amazing exhibits with artefacts from Ninevah, Babylon and Persia – many of them in better condition than Roman and Greek artefacts despite being 10 times older. Two rooms in particular were phenomenal – the Babylon palace and Darius’s palace. The statues in the Babylon palace were incredibly preserved for their age and the glazed coloured tiles from Darius’s palace were also incredibly preserved and vibrant in colour for being thousands of years old. It was good to be able to tie it in to what I’ve read in the Bible because it makes more sense when I can place all the pieces of the timeline jigsaw together.
We also saw Napoleon III’s apartments, which houses the original furniture and boy, were they lavish! It defies belief that they had the amount of money to build the Louvre as well as Versailles and every other palace in the area that belonged to the royal
family. No wonder the people got fed up with their shenanigans. Sabbath, 5 May – Paris
Went to church at the Paris International SDA Church (PISDAC) and had a great time with the community there. The service was in English, which I wasn’t expecting, but because they have a lot of visitors and even some members who don’t speak French, they hold the service in English. Countries represented that day included Ukraine, USA, Latvia, Netherlands, Korea and of course, Australia. They had lunch afterwards so we stayed and chatted to people for a while.
We made our way to the Jardins de Luxembourg where Mum discovered she’d lost her reading glasses. We trotted back to the church quickly as that’s where she’d left them, but they were gone. We continued sauntering along the Seine in the balmy 22C weather enjoying the architecture. We walked home for a quick dinner before going out at sunset to Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. Of course since it was a lovely weekend evening with the first real warmth of spring it was packed but we enjoyed the vibe, ate crepes, took in the view and fell into bed around midnight.
has a lot more homeless people now than when we were first here in 2007. It also smells a lot more of urine than I remember, due to the homeless people who don’t use public toilets but go where they want. Interestingly, the number of Africans who are selling junk has declined and the junk is now being sold by Indians instead. Sunday, 6 May – Paris
Slept in and decided to start our day at 1pm and stay in the city for dinner and night shots at the Eiffel tower. Walked in and around Notre Dame and the Latin quarter before heading to the Catacombs. Mum, Dad, Dale and Rose went in, whilst we went our own way. Dwayne and I were intending on eating in the Latin quarter but were waylaid at a little boulangerie that had Adriano Zumbo style desserts, so we had quiche, salad and two of his creations. One was green apple and white chocolate, the other was chocolate raspberry. Both were heavenly to taste and even more divine to look at. Cost us a princely sum of $50 for quiche and dessert, but it was worth it as a once off. Monday, 7 May – Paris
Dwayne and I went to the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera) for a tour in the morning. It was super busy because most museums are closed on Mondays so the Louvre, Arc d’Triomphe and Opera take the hit. It’s an amazing piece of architecture, built between 1861 and 1875. It’s opulent with gold-leaf decorations everywhere including tapestries, chandeliers and mirrors to enhance the decorations. The auditorium seats 2100 people but the stage area is even more impressive, being 40m high with an additional 40m space above it to hold all the props and things that get lowered down on to the stage for performances. Amazingly, above the 80m of auditorium space is a full dance rehearsal studio.
After lunch we all went to the Eiffel tower for sunset shots, and as always, it didn’t fail to impress. The locals were out on the grass having their picnics and waiting to watch the tower light up with sparkles at dark.
We opted not to stay for nightfall, because our goal was the Arc d’Triomphe. We arrived 10 minutes before sunset and walked the 280 steps up to the roof. The Arc is possibly my
favourite landmark in Paris. There’s something majestic about its design and its place on the Champs Elysees. There was no line at the bottom but up the top it was impossible to get to the fence because people were hogging the spots to see the tower sparkle for 5 minutes at the top of each hour. Still, it was a magnificent view with a clear evening and we stayed up there for an hour before coming down and walking down the Champs Elysees. A beautiful summer evening stroll ended our time in Paris.
We emptied our wallets in Paris but oh, what a time!!
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