This is the final post of my London/Paris trip and looking back, it was indeed such a wonderful trip. There is so much more yet to be discover and see and I hope, God's willing, I will be able to visit these 2 beautiful cities again. I hope you all have enjoy reading all these posts as I have enjoyed writing about them.
After our dinner we started our walk (again) to the Sacre Coeur- Basilica of Sacred Heart of Paris.
Sacre Coeur sits on top of the Montmartre hill (Mount of Martyrs) was formerly a small farming community. The basilica was built after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War to "cure France misfortunes". You can either walk up the 200-over stairs or like us, take the funicular train right to the top.
The tall statue of Jesus Christ in the center of the entrance and 2 majestic equestrian statues of Joan of Arc on the right side and King Louis IX on the left. The crowds relaxing on the stairs, waiting for the sunset and for Eiffel Tower to light up while being entertained by some musicians performing. See the guy in front - don't fall any of these scams and ignore them.
The Basilica designed in Romana-Byzantyne style architecture was constructed using Chateau Landon stones for its strenght and self-washable property which reacts to water to secrete calcite which acts like a bleach. Thus you can see the noticable gleaming white building from afar. The dome is opened till 7pm (in Summer) for tourist to climb up 234 spiral steps to get a panoramic view of the city of Paris.
Inside the church is dimly lit while you suddenly look up at the golden mosaics of "Christ in Majesty". Alan told us that there are 24 hours prayers ongoing non-stop till today. We did a walkaround the sanctuary and felt so peaceful. No cameras allowed inside the church.
Enjoying the sun set view of the city. However we did not wait for lights up of Eiffel Tower as it only comes on around 10 to 11 pm! (in summer) as all of us were so tired. We descended slowly down. going through the streets and getting some souveniers along the way.
Our last stop for the day was to see the long long queue at Moulin Rouge!
I think we were all tired and slept late. I however did a quick tour around the hotel and discover that there is a supermarket and managed to do some last minute shopping... bottles of chocolate spread, herbs de provence and mustard.
Passed by a few boulgarie and couldn't resist and had to buy these palmiers .. flaky and crispy danish.
having a cool sips of Au Breton Gourmand cider by the sidewalk cafe
St Marcel cafe..
Our brunch - L'omelette Roulee (rolled omelette)..
Croque Madame- so called because the fried or poached egg resembled the woman's hat.
Croque Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese (either Emmental or Gruyere cheese) sandwich.
"croque" mean "to crunch" and this is the sound you make when biting into the sandwich! These sandwiches originated in french cafes as a quick snack
Again posters adorning the wall and stair leading to the washroom.
Korean food is becoming popular here too.
The National Museum of Natural History and
this is Gallery of Palaeontology - where the collection of fossils were housed.
Jardin des Plantes
it is the museum herbarium with over 8 million plant specimens
Not sure which university campus but it is about Islamic studies
Pont de la Concorde- stone arch bridge
Finally we were here.....
The vast expanse of the courtyard .....it covers a total of 652,300 sq feet..
Yes, we were at the world's largest museum- The Louvre with more than 70,000 art pieces.
There are 3 wings of the museum- Denon, Richelieu and Scully.
The palace and museum was originally built as a fortress in 1190 but was reconstructed as a royal palace in the 16th century under King Francois 1 until 1793 when King Louis XIV moved the royal palace to Versailles and Louvre became an art museum.
moving neared towards the pyramid ....
Stepping up the stone pillar to do what most people are doing.... touching the apex of the pyramid
We did not purchase any museum pass and had to wait in queue to enter through the Carrousel du Louvre.
which is the underground shopping and restaurant area.
The Winged Victory - Nike of Samothrace
Nike is a Greek Goddess- meaning victory- was found in 19863 on the island of Samothrace.
you just can't miss her - right in the center and look at those beautiful details - she is like standing at the prow of the ship, her drapes blowing/flowing in the sea breeze, and even without the head, you can feel the majesty and confidence as she stands (this is how I look at it).
Yes saw this sign but it leads me round and round.... sign... wasting precious time...
but in-between saw some of the prominent paintings- eg The Stimatization of St. Francis
Why this caught my eyes because I read a book about stigmata (cant remember which book) which are wounds in hands and feet that the crucified Christ received. St. Francis was praying and fasting for 40 days when he saw the vision of Christ and after that he had these wounds
the ornate ceiling of the Denon Saloon
Face to face at last....
and the smile and the gaze that seems to say...."ha.... so you finally made it, welcome " as I stand before her.
This painting by Leonardo da Vinci is a small painting of 21 x 30 inches and it is sealed behind a bullet-proof glass and there is a guard standing close by.... just in case you get too near.
the Odalisque - a concubine in the Orient probably Turkish harem.
The painter, Ingres's favourite subject was the female nude. The criticism is that she looked "boneless" and it is distorted with 3 extra vertebrae and the right breast as well. You can also check out his other famous painting "The Turkish Bathers".
Also at the Salle Daru, there is this huge painting of The Consecration of Emperor Napoleon and Coronation of Empress Josephine which took place in the Notre Dame Cathedral. This room houses most of the hugh paintings.
Came to the Michelangelo Gallery where most the marble sculptures are....
Mercury abducting Psyche
taking her back to Olympus where she gain immortality and reunite with Cupid
Michelangelo- The Dying Slave.
This sculpture together with another The Rebellious Slave was meant for the tomb of Pope Julius II
Hercules Fighting Hydra -
Femme Voliee - The Veiled Woman
Awesome details - the face of the lady is still visible through the filmsy veil.... and this is in marble!
Psyche and Cupid
La Pyramide Inversee-the inverted pyramid
the underground shopping mall with its famous skylight, La Pyramide Inversee (the inverted pyramid) with the miniature stone pyramid (only 3 feet high) below.. almost touching each other...the Chalice and the Blade as mentioned in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
We finally meet up after the museum and walk to the final destination of the day...
Centre Georges Pompidou aka Centre Pempidou
This hugh cultural complex was completed in 1977 and astounded the world with its unconventional architecture. All its structural elements are exposed on the outside of the building and are colour coded: green for plumbling, blue ducts are climate control and electrical wiring are encased in yellow and red of course is for safety devices.
It houses the Museum for Modern Art, a public library as well centre for music and theatre.
Besides the Centre is the Stravinsky Fountain- display of modern sculptures.
As the place was closed, we decided to go back to the hotel for a siesta as everyone was really tired from the heat and walking all day.
We met again later for dinner as we wanted to give a thank you and farewell dinner to Alan and Alex. However Alex was working night shift and hence was unable to join us. We went for Chinese food and I should said the food was quite delicious, including this of course...
Roasted duck.. those tiny beans are yummy!
We said our goodbyes after dinner as we have to leave for the airport early next morning for our flight.
It has been truly a wonderful time and frankly this is too short a trip. Hopefully I can come back again to visit this beautiful city. Hehehe don't we all say the same thing always!
Hope you all have enjoyed reading as I have enjoyed the trip and writing it down.. Au revoir Paris