Monday, May 9, 2016
When you happen to see a loop icon (as on the left) on the lower right side of a picture, click to see an enlarged view. Hover your mouse over a picture to pause a slide show.
Bridge over the Seine
Arc de Triomphe
Luxembourg Gardens Map
Luxembourg Gardena Trees
After breakfast our Red group and Isabelle boarded our bus with a local guide who took us by all the tourist highlights. We passed through both middle class and affluent neighborhoods called arrondissements. We strolled through the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens with its grand palace built by Maria de Medici, wife of Henry IV and regent of France. It reminded her of the her palace in her native Florence. The park is enormous and even had a Statue of Liberty in it.
Our bus driver earned his salary winding his way through a million cars trying to circle the Arc de Triomphe. As far as we could tell there were no defined lanes and cars and motorcycles darted into spaces that didn’t exist. No accidents!! Amazing!
Stopped by La Place de La Concorde at the head of the Champs-Elysees. During the Revolution the statue of Louis XV was torn down. A gallows was erected and many were hanged including Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and Madame Dubarry. The plaza was renamed Place de la Revolution.
We then went down the Champs-Elysees to La Place de la Republique. In the center is an enormous statue, Marianne, the personification of the French Republic. She holds an olive branch and has her other hand resting on a tablet engraved with Drois de l’homme, the Rights of Man. She is surrounded by three statues representing liberty, equality, and fraternity, the values of the republic. Ironically the statue is currently defaced by protestors who began by protesting the Paris terrorist attacks but now are protesting new labor laws. It seemed to Ellen to be a hang-out for unhappy people who like to disfigure beautiful, symbolic statues.
This afternoon we opted for an excursion to Montmartre. We took a cute little white choo-choo up the hill. We heard the story of St. Denis, a 3rd century Christian who was executed on Montmartre. Instead of dying he picked up his head and carried it 6 miles while preaching about repentance. We saw the charming, old Saint-Pierre de Montmartre church and the huge Sacre Couer Bassilica which we thought was overdone and imposing. We watched artists paint, enjoyed the lovely panorama, stopped in charming shops, had a beer in a cafe and saw all the sex shops at the bottom of the hill. Our guide says that Montmartre cares for both the soul and the body.
After dinner the captain took us on a mini-cruise to see the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower with its light show.
“That guy in short got in the way of everyone’s pictures!”
Ellen like to take pictures of the fun stuff.
Where is the Sacre Coeur Basilica?
Liberty and Eiffel Tower