We had a hearty breakfast of hot oatmeal, with a side of butter, strawberry jam and baguette! That should "stick to our ribs" and keep us going for a few hours.
We walked down to the Metro stop Ecole Militaire, and scouted out an electrical supply shop on our way. I was sure I'd packed that "3 prong to 2 prong to French plug adaptor thingy", but sure couldn't find it this morning. And yes, that IS a very technical term, and the nice French lady knew just what I needed! Whew--back in business with my laptop, on to some site-seeing!
Our plan for the day was to spend as much time at "inside"places, so our first stop was the Le Palais Garnier, the National Opera House of Paris. Here's Mom and Dad in front of the Palais:
And just past the entrance, under the Grand Staircase:
And upstairs on the Grand Staircase:
We continued up that beautiful staircase to the Grand Foyer, here's Mom and Dad:
And a picture of that gorgeous ceiling:
Mom and Dad by a B-I-G fireplace in the Grand Foyer:
Outside the Grand Foyer, on the Loggia. Look at this view over the beautiful streets of Paris:
We also enjoyed the museum exhibit at the Palais, there were many fancy opera costumes, miniature to-scale models of opera stage sets, and a wonderful library full of beautiful old books and manuscripts. It was impossible to photograph, as everything was behind glass and very brightly lit. You'll just have to take my word for it--it was amazing!
We decided to go straight over to the Invalides Army Museum and Napoleon's Tomb, just in case the weather got even worse later on in the afternoon. It was a straight shot on the Metro, no line changes, and a short 1 block walk from the station.
The official name for this complex is Hotel National Des Invalides, and it was built in 1670 by King Louis XIV, as a facility to house and care for disabled veterans. A portion of this complex still serves this purpose today.
Here's Mom and Dad in front:
Our first stop was the Musee De L'Armee, and if was a fascinating look into the history of arms and armor.
We saw very interesting cannons from the 1400's thru the early 1900's. I especially enjoyed the very ornate ones:
Here's Dad with the largest cannon, from about 1480-1500:
And one of the longest cannons--Dad called it a "long-range" cannon:
There was room after room with cases full of old firearms, from very early 1300's to early 1900's. Many of them were very ornate with beautiful inlaid mother of pearl, gold or brass. Dad was especially interested in this very loooong shotgun on the bottom of this case:
I liked the pistols--all sizes and shapes. The handles on the pistols were beautiful:
After all this "fire-power" we came to rooms and rooms of armor, from chainmail of the 1300's to ornately detailed brass and steel armor from the 1500-1600's. Here are a few of our favorites, please excuse the quality of the photos--they are all behind glass and very hard to photograph.
This is armor made for Louis XIV:
Here are some of the more interesting sets:
Detail of Lion motif on head piece:
We saw these hinged "hooks"? on many suits of armor, and we could not figure out exactly what they were used for. We are guessing to "rest" their weapon on??
This is a close up of the hinges on the side of the torso part--easy on, easy off! Well, probably not so easy...... (and note the beautiful detail on this one)
Armor for horses:
Armored horse and rider:
This breastplate was different! Nice abs......
These are really poor photos, but I want to share them anyway. Most of the "helmets" and face shields were fairly plain--some were ornately decorated, but not with facial features. These were really unique:
Kind of scary--almost sic-fi, robot looking
This one's owner must have had a big nose!
And this one had a sense of humor!
The ornate interior of the dome:
The tomb of Napoleon I:
The altar area of the chapel:
A votre santé! (that's "cheers" in French--"to your health")
And of course, desserts! A lemon tart, an apricot pastry, and a deeeeelicious chocolate mousse. The chocolate was our favorite!