Hopefully these photo articles aren’t taking forever for you to load. I’ve thought about posting the photos in a slideshow gallery using Flickr or something, but I prefer the current form. If you don’t like them, well, I only have a vacation once a year at the most so you won’t be seeing these kinds of posts all that often.
Part 2 continues with more touristy Paris landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Notre Dame. Teaser photo:
Notre Dame is famous for the novel and the flying buttresses. I was also surprised to see on a map that it’s located on a small island, which isn’t obvious when you’re standing there.
Notre Dame is a gloomy place…
There is a long wait to climb the stairs up to the top of the cathedral. Tour groups seem to get priority so occasionally a big group will cut in at the entrance, making the wait even longer. Once you’re finally up top, the view isn’t too shabby. Gargoyles gaze out over the city.
I have a big problem with heights. Even with this wire netting in place, I wasn’t too eager to look over the edge.
Profile of Notre Dame from one of the bridges leading off the island.
The iconic image of France: Eiffel Tower! The line to ride the elevators up the Tower at sunset was about an hour’s wait. However, there was hardly a line to climb up the stairs, even though the ticket is cheaper. My brother kept insisting that we should walk up instead of riding the elevator, but the rest of us were tired and apprehensive about the height. We went up the Eiffel Tower by elevator but descended by walking when we saw how the staircase was heavily shielded with not only metal gates but also lots of nets. The staircase is cocooned to the point where we could barely see anything outside, and even for someone like me, I wasn’t bothered by the height. So my advice would be to bypass the elevator and the huge line and just climb up.
For 5 minutes every hour, the Eiffel Tower sparkles with light bulbs that flash throughout the structure.
Long exposure photo of the sparkly Eiffel Tower. I took this photo at 1 A.M., which is right when the yellow illumination is turned off. That’s why the Tower looks crystalline without the yellow backing. The subway had also closed, so we had to flag down a taxi to get back to our hotel.
The Louvre Museum is gigantic and if you want to take your time seeing everything, you could easily spend an entire day here. The big glass pyramid is the main entrance into the museum and was designed by architect I.M. Pei.
Mona Lisa is of course the most popular attraction at Louvre. I was surprised to see how small it is. As far as I can remember, this painting is also the only one in the entire museum that is given this kind of special treatment with not only the glass case but the tourist barriers.
“Gallery with Views of Modern Rome” by Giovanni Paolo Pannini. The detail in all of the tiny paintings that make up the big painting is unbelievable.
Scattered throughout the museum are artists who have been given permission to set up and paint. I am uncultured when it comes to art and history, so most of what I saw in the museums we visited was wasted on me. Plenty of visitors brought along sketchpads so that they can practice their talent, but most tourists seemed to be like me and just wandered throughout, glancing briefly at the art.
“Venus de Milo” sculpture from ancient Greece.
I glimpsed this storage area somewhere in the museum. Quite haunting, I thought…
“Cupid and Psyche” by Antonio Canova. Like I mentioned, I’ve never taken any art history classes or anything so I used the museum maps to see what were the “good stuff”. If it were important enough to be pictured on the map, I figured it was worth seeing.
I am fond of taking what I call “postcard worthy” photos. Meaning that they’re not creative in any way but they make fantastic wallpapers. In a nutshell, that is my practical goal and philosophy to photography: make great wallpaper for my desktop.
As much as Americans like to make fun of the French for surrendering in World War II, France was formerly one of the great powers. Before we went to see Napoleon’s tomb, we stopped by the French Army Military Museum with all sorts of interesting weaponry.
The predecessor to the shotgun?
There were many displays of exquisitely decorated pistols, rifles, and blade weapons that belonged to the aristocrat.
Collection of World War II weapons. You might recognize a lot of these if you’ve played the Call of Duty games.
The resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte.