I love to stay in smaller, more intimate hotels...
so we stayed in a very small hotel in the Latin Quarter (on the Left Bankf)
just two blocks back from the Seine River.
After checking into the hotel, we walked through the Latin Quarter,
with its quaint narrow streets, bistros, and shops.
From there, we headed out towards the river.
Along the river there are vendors selling books, artwork, and paper ephemera.
Les Gendarmes on horseback...
Because we were only several blocks away, we turned in the direction of
Notre Dame Cathedral.
After suffering the damage of this year's fire, it is now under re-construction
and will be for the next ten years.
Still, it is amazing to see this elaborate architecture and think about the fact
that it was begun in A.D 1163 and completed in A.D. 1345 when the only
heavy equipment available was horses.
It's one of the many testaments to the beauty and creativity of which man is capable.
A short walk away were the Luxembourg Gardens and what had served as
a palace for Louis XIII's mother in 1645.
It now houses the French Senate.
The building, though spectacular, is overshadowed by the acres of
beautiful gardens that lie behind it.
With Autumn looming, I was drawn to the last fresh spectacular color
The garden's didn't disappoint.
So many pink dahlias....
Tree lined lanes...
all within the gardens.
We ended our day with a subway ride beneath the Champs-Élysées to a restaurant that had been recommended to us...
for its famous steak and pommes frites (French fries).
Best fries ever!
Luckily, Jack had had the foresight to get "skip the line" tickets with a tour guide
to the Louvre.
We were able to see all of the highlights of this magnificent museum
without having to wait in lines or search each masterpiece out on our own.
Well, worth it.
The Louvre is the world's largest (782,910 square feet) and most visited art museum.
It is housed in several connected buildings
that were originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century before becoming a royal palace
in the 1500's.
The large glass pyramid was added in 1989,
and then later an underground mall added beneath the courtyard...
and just beneath the large outdoor pyramid... two
more beneath it.
The very original building, a fortress with a moat is shown in this model...
and in the basement of the museum, the original walls of the fortress still stand...
with us walking through what would have in those days been the moat.
The Louvre itself is a spectacularly beautiful building...
with grand halls and beautiful, glass-ceilinged inner courtyards...
In the following photo, the king on horseback is a reproduction of the original
statue which was destroyed.
All that remains is the original foot.... massive in size!
Of course, the star of the Louvre is Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
You have but a few moments to stand and gaze at her, from several feet away.
Another superstar is the Winged Victory of Samothrace from the 2nd century BC.
Not to be over-shadowed is the Venus De Milo.
The museum houses antiquities from all over the world.
We were dwarfed by the size of these sculptures that once stood
guard outside a palace in 8th century BC Assyria.
An Egyptian Sphynx...
And the oldest sculpture in the museum,
dates 9000 years old from Jordan.
A day was not nearly enough to see all of the treasures that are housed in this
If you were to spend just 30 seconds looking at each piece in the Louvre,
it would take you 100 years to see it all...
that's 100 years of 24 hour/day viewing with no days off!
How amazing is that!!
Later, in the evening, we finished the day with a cabaret show
at the Moulin Rouge.
The show was great fun... spectacular costumes and some pretty amazing acts.
Sadly, no photos are allowed during the show.
By the time the show was finished, we were more than ready to get to sleep.
We had packed a whole lot into one day!