Edit Blog Post
Published: December 7th 2019
The next overnight train is to Paris, FRANCE and we are able to have a cabin together. Once again it is a rocky 14 hour trip in our bunk beds. It is difficult even to brush ones teeth. There is an hour wait in Hendaye, FRANCE. This is where Franco and Hitler met at the train station in 1940 to discuss Spain’s part in WWII. Continuing on, the countryside is dotted with villages of white washed homes, coloured shutters, and red tiled rooftops. They are all beautiful. Makes you want to stop and stay awhile. Through the famous Bordeaux wine area bordered by of course, grape vines. Several acres have been flooded right up to the roadside. Suddenly, there is a huge colourful rainbow which only lasts seconds. Many dark brown deer are roaming the fields.
Another 4 1/2 hour train ride into Paris, arriving right at rush hour on a Friday afternoon. So special to see Paris decorated in lights for Christmas. If the Netherlands is known for their bicycles, then Paris should be known for their motorbikes.
In the morning it is 3 degrees C with a cutting cold wind. We do not have winter coats with
us and before long, I need to purchase gloves from a hawker with his wares right on the ground. Am ready to pay whatever. It is so sad to see the damage done to Notre Dame after the April 15, 2019 fire. The restorations are under way to restore the cathedral back to the original design. There is still no determination as to what started the fire. When the work commenced, it was then shut down for three weeks with concerns over the fact that the roof and spire were made with 400 tons of lead. Tests indicated that residents had been affected, especially children in two near by schools. Construction workers must wear protective suits, and undergo showers to decontaminate. Another concern was the colony of 20,000 honeybees atop the cathedral. An aerial photograph indicated that the bees have survived and are doing fine (My Modern Met) The reconstruction is to be completed in five years time.
The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum at almost 783,000 sq. ft. I wonder what the Louvre was built for originally. This structure started as a fortress, and then was added onto. Next it became a palace for reigning kings,
and was enlarged, and finally it became a museum in 1793. I once read that it would require a full year to fully see and experience the contents within. There is some consideration for moving the Mona Lisa painting because of the multitude of visitors the picture generates.
There are many white tents set up for a Christmas Market outside. The smells of hot wine, raclette (melted cheese), pastries, and fish permeate the atmosphere. A cheesemaker offers us a sample of cheese that is blue in colour, and then challenges us to figure out what creates this shade. It is parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and lavender. Chris tells him to name it Simon and Garfunkel. Taking the subway, pops you out into the Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph) where vehicles can still drive through. Napoleon directed the structure to be built as an emblem of his victories with his Great Army during the Napoleonic Wars from 1805 - 1809.
Lastly, is a visit to the Eiffel Tower which sees 7,000,000 visitors per year. This tower was constructed for an exposition by Gustave Eiffel and was to only last 20 years.
-total weight 10,100 tons
-number of rivets 2,500,000
-amount of lifts 5
-number of steps to top 1,710
However, you can only walk to the first level, and then you must use an elevator. In June of 2018, bullet proof glass walls and metal fences have been erected around the tower for protection from terrorist attacks. The night lights on the ‘Iron Lady’ are turned off in memory for the victims whenever an attack happens. These measures were prompted because of the attacks at a Paris nightclub on November 2015 which killed 130 people, and also in preparation for the 2024 Olympic Games.
I visited the tower 20 years ago when you could still freely walk all around the structure. Being in Europe makes you so aware of the many ways in which the world is changing.
Tot: 0.106s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 15; qc: 28; dbt: 0.009s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb