At last, the conclusion to my vacation photos. Hope you’ve enjoyed them! As I mentioned previously, the images for part 3 are hosted on my webhosting rather than Flickr, so if there’s any big differences in terms of loading times, let me know. Teaser for this last set:
Sainte-Chapelle is one of the main religious buildings in Paris and is probably second only to Notre Dame in terms of popularity. The line to enter was nearly an hour long. Surprisingly, that was not caused by overcrowding, but by a security checkpoint since there are government buildings inexplicably located within the same complex as the chapel. Once we got through security, there were hardly any crowds at all.
The chapel’s claim to fame is the stained glass windows that comprise nearly the entire perimeter of the building. It’s a magnificent sight.
Fellow photographer busy at work.
The Orsay Museum showcases French art, most particularly Renoir, Monet, van Gogh and Degas. This is van Gogh’s self-portrait (I should crop this image but I think I’ll leave it as is).
“Houses of Parliament” by Claude Monet. There are a couple of Monet’s famous water lily Impressionist paintings at this museum, but what I believe to be his most popular one is found at the British Gallery in London.
“Dance at the Moulin de la Galette”, a classic by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Clock window at the Orsay Museum.
A row of love locks found on a bridge nearby the Orsay Museum. The dates written on them were all fairly recent, however. Security probably cuts them all off every few months.
Another day, another art museum. This is a Jackson Pollock painting at the Pompidou modern art museum.
“Monochrome orange” by Yves Klein. Your eyes aren’t fooling you, the painting is just a solid block of orange. Perhaps I’m revealing my ignorance, but I struggle to imagine what kind of deeper meaning there is behind this painting.
Big cube of toothpicks.
Mansion at the Rodin museum. The building contains some of Rodin’s sculptures, but there are a couple dozen more scattered throughout the garden.
“The Thinker”, deep in thought secluded in his garden.
Change of pace. I’m going to throw in a few random photos before finishing off with the Palace of Versailles. Colette is a trendy fashion store close to our hotel and the only A Bathing Ape retailer in France. Not much to see though, the photo shows the entire Bape section of the store.
We went into a giant French supermarket to buy some drinks and dinner. This corner was the bakery, lined with all sorts of tasty French bread. Each of these big baguettes cost less than $1 each.
Fauchon is sort of the French equivalent to London’s Fortnum & Mason. They sell an immense variety of tea, honey, chocolate, biscuits, and other delectables.
Tins and tins of tea line the walls.
Hermes is a luxury fashion brand that doesn’t seem to be as ubiquitous as Louis Vuitton. For good reason too, as it’s more expensive. This crocodile bag with diamond buckle costs…. take a guess.
126,500 euros or over $175,000!!
Funny name for a subway station restroom. I wonder if it’s a chain restroom?
Prior to visiting Europe, my main contact with Europeans was at the annual Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), believe it or not. Even from those experiences, I knew what heavy smokers Europeans are. Smokers are everywhere in London and Paris, but they aren’t allowed in restaurants thankfully. I don’t have any allergies that I know of, but for most of the trip, I was annoyed by itchy eyes and runny nose. I attributed it to all of the smoke in the air.
Mercedes vehicles must be cheaper in Europe because they seemed to make up a good proportion of the taxis and service vehicles driving around.
Alright, time to finish off the series with the Palace of Versailles. It’s located in a suburb outside of Paris, easily accessible by train. The palace alone is enormous, but the gardens are unfathomably gigantic. Hard to believe this all belonged to one person.
Chandelier room inside the Palace. Notice the art on the ceiling, nearly every room was like that.
A real treat: I ran into the statue of L’Hopital! To anybody who’s taken calculus, you should be quite familiar with his rule.
The gardens immediately outside the Palace. I wouldn’t blame anybody for thinking these were the “Gardens of Versailles” because they’re fairly large. Then you walk a bit beyond this and, well…
The gardens stretch for as far as you can see.
The land is so big that golf carts are rented to tourists so that they can drive around. Some of the closer gardens can be reached on foot, but walking around the entire property isn’t possible in a reasonable time frame as it takes about an hour to drive around the designated driving route. There’s radiofrequency sensors scattered throughout the property so that if you veer too far off the path, the golf cart automatically stops and you can only reverse back onto the route. The vehicle also has a radio that describes some of the attractions as you drive past them.
Most of the property looks like this: rows and rows of trees with small gardens hidden in the interior.
This concludes my photo diary! Overall the trip was a lot of fun and we were lucky that we didn’t encounter any serious rain and avoided any hot weather for the most part. June is a great time of year to go over there as apparently it’s not the peak tourist season quite yet. Out of the two cities, I clearly preferred Paris as I found the tourist destinations to be more interesting and plentiful, not to mention the atmosphere of the city is amazing. I’m glad to have visited London, but I shall be returning to Paris at least once more.