Eiffel Tower Revisited

The prior pictures of the Eiffel Tower were from a night-time excursion. The line for tickets was wrapped around the entire plaza quadrant where the ticket office was. The expected wait for tickets was about two hours. It was raining so we didn’t want to wait.

So we tried coming back to buy tickets during the day, thinking the lines would be shorter. They were shorter, but as we were waiting in the queue, it started raining. Hard. And we had gambled earlier on leaving the house with no umbrella. So we were soaked by the time we reached the ticket counter. And then the unthinkable happened—the elevator we were queuing up for broke down, so they suspended ticket sales.

After waiting for twenty minutes with no progress, we broke from the line, and moved to the back of another ticket line across the plaza (sigh!). After twenty minutes in this line, it really started pouring down on us. We were already pretty drenched, and the thought of standing in line for another half-hour only to be rained on the entire time and all the time we were up on the tower didn’t really appeal to us. So we bailed. And never had a chance to go up on the Eiffel Tower.

Then just the other day I realized too late that you can buy tickets and reserve a time to go up on the elevators FROM THE EIFFEL TOWER WEBSITE! Let this be a lesson to anyone planning a trip to Paris. Always buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower online. At least we have something to look forward to on our next trip to Paris.

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Problem with Laptop Delays Uploading of Pictures

Sorry for the delay in uploading any more pictures. After our trip to Versailles on Tuesday, I was unable to transfer any more pictures to my laptop because I ran out of hard drive space. (I took close to 600 pictures at Versailles). There was really nothing I could uninstall or delete, so I had to wait until our return home to be able to transfer the photos and get them posted here. Sorry for the delay.

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Pere Lachaise Cemetery—Pilgrimage to Jim Morrison’s Grave Site

We arrived just before dusk and had barely enough time to find Jim and get out before the ghouls and goblins got us. Spooky place, especially with overcast skies and naked trees.

Jim Morrison’s grave is a bit of a letdown—compared to some of the other crypts and memorials it’s rather small and plain, not really befitting a god of rock-and-roll. Back  in the day, before the bust was stolen from atop the headstone, it had a bit more granduer. And there were usually a bunch of stoned hippies hanging around which added to the atmosphere.  Now it’s just a bunch of middle-aged tourists from Anaheim (and Columbus!) milling about the place trying to re-capture some of their misspent youth.

Most of these shots are just random graves and crypts that I found interesting, and views of the avenues winding through the cemetery.

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Musee d’Orsay

This former train station houses a fantastic collection of impressionist paintings including works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Whistler, and Van Gogh. Regrettably, they don’t allow any photography. I did, however, get a good shot of the Montmartre hilltop in the distance. You can see the Basilica of Sacre Coeur perched on top.

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Italian Masters, including Da Vinci’s La Jocande (Mona Lisa)

This is probably the top collection in the museum for good reason. It includes arguably the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa. Not that you get to see it so well. They keep it behind glass about 15-20 feet high on the wall.

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Roman Sculpture

A couple of naked dudes. And some Roman gods. And some sarcophagi.

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Louvre

We arrived at the Louvre this morning with the line to buy tickets stretched all the way round the inner courtryard. The wait was over an hour, but thankfully there was no rain. People who buy tickets beforehand can bypass the line and cut ahead. Needless to say, when we made it inside we purchased a four-day Museaum Pass that covers most of the major museums and other attractions in Paris, including Versailles. And we won’t be waiting in any more lines.

Here are some photos of the exterior of the Louvre. Click on anythumbnail to see the full-size picture, then use your browser’s Back button to return to this page.

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Notre Dame

We only made one sightseeing excursion on the first day, to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. It is celebrating its 85oth anniversary this year! They were actaully conducting a mass when we were there, and we got to hear a beautiful singer. As we were leaving the building, we couldn’t understand why the crowds were so backed up and slow to leave until we got outside where it was pouring rain! And, of course, we had no umbralla. After a very wet walk several blocks to the metro, I took us down to the wrong train platform, and stood bewildered by the map until a friendly lady offered to assist, and got us headed in the right direction.

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First Parisian Lunch

We had our first lunch at the Brasserie O Beret Basque about a block from our room. Shannon had a Croque Monsieur (grilled ham and cheese with the cheese melted and browned on top of the sandwich). I had duck foie gras with Brioche toast and a succulent duck leg confit with slices of potato that were browned in duck fat. Yes, I love duck. 

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We Made It!

We found out at the last minute that all flights from Columbus to New York had been cancelled due to the chaos caused by the huricane. Luckily I was able to book a flight to Chicago with a connection to Newark that got us to our Paris flight in time.

Here are a few pictures of the Gare du Nord train station where we arrived in Paris. The train from the airport took around a thirty minutes. There are also a few pictures of the room we have at the Bed and Breakfast where we are staying (www.aroominparis.com ).

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