Paris Honeymoon Diary: Day 4

Posted: 21st June 2008 by Luc "Sandman" G. in Life

On the fourth day of our Paris honeymoon, we first visited the Picasso museum. This was the only museum that we visited on our trip where no cameras were allowed. So the only memories that I have of it is in my head. Regardless, it was quite something to see the various works of art from the famous artist of Cubism. There are over 3000 pieces at the museum, ranging from paintings, sculptures, vases and even some cardboard 3d art. There are also a few paintings from Degas, Cezanne and Matisse found within the walls of this former hotel.

Before heading to our next destination, we stopped at a small Italian restaurant for some lunch. This was real authentic Italian, where the chef/owner didn’t seem to speak a word of french or english, only Italian. I had a Penne with tomato sauce, mushrooms and eggplant. As with everything else in Paris that I had up to that point, it was absolutely delicious.

After lunch we made our way to Notre Dame cathedral. We first toured the inside of the church, looking at some crypts, amazing stained glass windows and very old religious artifacts. We stayed inside for about 30 minutes, after which we picked up a few rosaries from the gift shop. My mom had lost her rosary a few years ago and she asked if we could get her one from Notre Dame. We also picked one up four ourselves, seeing how we didn’t have one either. Now we just need to get them blessed.

We then lined up to walk the 387 steps up to the towers of this 900 year old church. Let me tell you, climbing almost 400 steps of a spiral staircase is exhausting! Once we got up to the towers though, the view of the cities and the many gargoyles that are perched on the towers was worth the long climb. We took many pictures from this great vantage point before making our way back down (which was a lot easier than going up).

Walking across the front of the church we then visited the archaeological Crypt under the Parvis de Notre-Dame de Paris. These are ruins of Parvis (Paris) that date back to the 1st to 3rd century. The ruins were discoverd in 1965 and the museum opened in the 1980s. Once in, we sat to catch our breath and watched a video on the ruins and Paris through the ages. We then walked around the crypt, looking at the ancient ruins of old houses, some very old wall art and vases. Its amazing to think how old these things are. This is something that we don’t have here in Ottawa.

Once we were done visiting the crypt, we made our way back to the hotel. We had booked a boat tour on the Seine along with a minibus tour of the city for that night. After grabbing a shower, we had an early supper at a local restaurant. We didn’t want to venture far as we were getting picked up at 7 from the hotel. Promptly at 7 our driver showed up at the hotel, picked us up along with another couple, and brought us to one of the many piers that are found on the Seine. Along the way he pointed out some monuments and buildings, all while giving us a brief history of those objects and Paris itself.

As we boarded the boat for our Seine tour, the skies opened up. This gave us a great view of a sunset on the river. The boat tour itself was very interesting. The tour guide pointed to various buildings and monuments along the way of the 1 hour tour. Seeing Paris from this unique viewpoint was breathtaking. We were able to see many famous buildings and monuments, like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame cathedral, the new Opera House, the Assemble Generale, the old fortress and a great number of other
landmarks. As we passed people walking next to the river or on bridges, they all waved and cheered as the boat sailed by. Whoever said Parisians aren’t friendly was very much mistaken. Once the boat ride over, we pulled up to the pier practically at the foot of the Eiffel tower. Seeing the tower gleam from the sunset behind it was an absolutely beautiful sight.

Our driver picked us up from the pier and first drove us to the Trocadero to catch the Eiffel Tower Illumination. This is a daily show at dusk where the Eiffel tower sparkles in a stunning light show. We managed to get there just in time as the show started. I videotaped the light show as Erin snapped some pictures. We admired this gorgeous display for about 10 minutes before once again emarking on our minibus (which was really just a minivan) for our tour of the city.

Our driver Olivier whisked us around town where we were able to see landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, the musee des Invalides, the President’s mansion, the old Opera House, Bastille, Concorde, the Hotel de Ville and many more. He gave us a history of each monument, along with continuing with the history of the city along with some interesting tidbits of information (like Ile St-Louis is an artificial island created to allow the expansion of the city). He also took us to the haute couture shopping district. Erin was practically drooling as we saw shops like Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Yves St-Laurent and Cavalli. The minibus tour over, we were dropped off at our hotel around 11pm, where we prepared for the next day’s outing to Versailles.

> Photo Gallery Link: Notre Dame cathedral

> Photo Gallery Link: Crypt of Notre Dame

> Photo Gallery Link: Seine boat ride

> Photo Gallery Link: Eiffel Tower Illuminations

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