Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Paris............

Even the rain is beautiful! We woke to rain this morning, but it didn't dampen our spirits, in fact it was a refreshing change from the last two warm and muggy days. We just grabbed our umbrella, and off we went!

We had quite a day planned. First stop: Arc de Triomphe.
According to a guide book, Napolean commisioned the Arc to commemorate his victory at the battle of Austerlitz. Some ego, right? It is a beautiful and moving tribute to France's many fallen soldiers, complete with an eternal flame: After walking around the Arc and admiring it from all angles, we decided it was time to go to the top and enjoy the view. Now, we could have taken the elevator that is reserved for the handicapped (I have a stupid knee, you know). But nooooo, absolutely no elevator for us. So up we climbed, and climbed, and climbed.....all 284 steps! Only a very slight huffing and puffing sound from the Traveling Lundburys! This is what it looked like at the top of the spiral stairs, looking down: The REAL view was from the outside, overlooking all of Paris. Here are just a couple of views: Sacre Coure

The Eiffel Tower

Looking down the Champs-Elysees

We walked all around the top, took MANY pictures of the beautiful views. Then of course, it was back down every one of those 284 steps!

Back to the Metro, of course, and on to our next amazing, magnificent and historical building in Paris. The Opera Garnier: The interior of this opera house was the most ornate we have seen so far--and that's saying alot! We took over 100 pictures, and I won't bore you with them all, but here are just a few highlights: The Grand Staircase

Fireplace in the Grand Ballroom (Boy, I'd hate to have to keep THAT fireplace in firewood!)

Just one picture of the ceiling detail
Here we are, right above the Grand Staircase. One more picture--even the floors are gorgeous; they are ALL inlaid marble and tile mosaic. Very intricate designs with tiny pieces: We spent almost two hours enjoying the Opera Garnier. Many times I thought about what it must have looked like a hundred years ago, with beautiful women in their ball gowns gracefully decending the Grand Staircase, or dancing with their handsome escorts in the Grand Ball Room. I think David and I were woefully underdressed!

By now we were suffering from sensory overload, and we were ready for lunch. we strolled around the lovely streets around the Opera House, and found a nice little (surprise, surprise!) sidewalk cafe for lunch. David had quiche lorraine and I had my first Croque Monsieur. Delicious!

On to the next stop on our itinerary: Galleries Lafayette. This is a big, grand (read: $$$$) department store in a lovely area of Paris. It is, of course, an architectual marvel. It is most well known for it's magnificent stained glass dome. We just couldn't get a picture of the whole dome at once, but hopefully this will give you an idea:

We did a little browsing, especially in the shoe department. That was the Lady's shoe department, of course! I did buy a pair of shoes, can you guess which one I picked??
These (above) were David's favorites!

If you guess correctly, you'll get a prize from Paris! And I might even let you borrow them for a special occasion!

Well, on that silly note, this day of seeing the wonderous sights of Paris was over. We Metro'd back to our apartment (don't you just love the sound of that???), changed our clothes, and off we went for a quick dinner. Yes--another sidewalk cafe, and an OK meal. But the company was perfect, and it was a fine ending to a perfect day in Paris!


  1. Di - the ceiling in this center is absolutely incredible - and your pictures are wonderful! I almost feel like I am there with you. And the shoes...... hum....... I think you should bring home the red, white and blue ones and then I should borrow them for my next "date." :)

  2. Oh Di none of the shoes have metallic gold straps so it is too hard for me to pick...can't wait to see where you go and what you wear with the ones you picked! Your picture shows how much taller the E.T. is than the other buildings- I am liking that one today... and then the ceiling coming in as a very close 2nd... and then OMG you and Dave doing all those steps---that called for a cold beer, didn't it?

  3. I loved the opera house the best so far...and the view from the top of the arc..Wow...it kinda reminded me of Greece. You didn't buy any of those shoes Di and the pair you bought are conservative! Come on, I know my Di...Pictures are all wonderful and breathtaking. Your narratives are perfect and enjoyable...you should be a travel writer for a magazine. Enjoy and love from Pa...