le Louvre closed due to strike! Very French...


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Europe » France » Île-de-France
April 10th 2015
Published: April 11th 2015
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Thursday our itinerary took us to le Louvre in the morning - only to find that it was closed for the day due to a strike! We revised our plan by switching Thursday's and Friday's morning schedule, and we headed off to Le Bourget (a northern suburb) to visit the Air & Space Museum. After a train ride and a true Parisian experience crammed onto a bus, we arrived. A fabulous museum, the highlight of which, for several of us, was to see Concorde. They also had an excellent space display, with many satellites and rockets. They even have full sized Ariane 3 and Ariane 5 rockets outside. Also halls with many aircraft, from the Wright Flyer onwards. Particularly interesting was the hall of helicopters and the between-the-wars aircraft.

We returned to the city and after a brief stop at Les Halles - some shopped, some strolled, some had giant milkshakes, some had wine - we walked to Sainte Chapelle. I have visited it once before, so was prepared for the impact of entering. I stood near the top of the stairs so that I could see and hear the gasps of our group members as they entered. If you have seen Sainte Chapelle, you will know, otherwise you will not know until you come and see it for yourself. Photos show its magnificence, but cannot convey the impact of entry.

We then walked to Notre Dame for a beautiful Mass, partly sung and totally suited to its setting.

Afterwards we adjourned to a restaurant across la Seine from the cathedral - le Montebello - for a very delicious dinner. A highlight there was the dessert Île Flotante, which consists of a cube of meringue floating in custard. I tried out my camera on a long exposure setting to get a night-time photo of the cathedral. The result is shown on this page for your assessment.

The totally sunny weather continues, and each day is warmer than the last. The leaves are rapidly appearing on the trees, one can see the difference from day to day. Flowers, lawns and gardens are beginning to come into full beauty. We are enjoying all our activities, and return to our hostel each day tired but happy. No significant problems with students.

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14th April 2015

Change of season sounds beautiful - we were spying the autumn colours in the Blue Mountains around Springwood earlier today.

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