Sunday, October 28, 2012

European Vacation Part Trios: Paris, France!!

The last part of our trip was in Paris, France for 3 days. I was probably the most excited about this portion of the trip since Paris is a place (to me) that just seemed magical, elegant but yet busy and chaotic. It was definitely all of those things! Three days did not even scratch the surface of all I wanted to experience during my time there. We were able to get a lot in those days, though. We booked several tours through Day Tours Paris and they did a wonderful job! I would highly recommend the company. Our first tour was a Paris highlight walking tour - we hit all of the touristy places that one should see while in Paris. Our guide was so knowledable and funny - he really made the tour. Below are some of the places we stopped to see:
Notre Dame Cathedral - we went during Sunday service - Beautiful!
Inside the Cathedral
Pont Neuf
Breathtaking - we must have taken a hundred pics of the Eiffel Tower!


City at night
I loved the street lights in Paris!

Parisian art project
Samaritiane building (from Bourne Identity movie)

Shakespere and Company - such a cool (and small!) bookstore
rainy streets of Paris
cafe (I was not a fan - give me American coffee any day)
Another tour we did was the cemetary tour of the famous Pere Lachaise cemetary. This cemetary is the resting place of many famous people such as Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Chopan and countless others. My main goal was to see Jim Morrison's grave. I have to admit, I am not sure what I was expecting but it was a bit anti-climatic. The cemetary is pretty cool, yet eerie - lots of crows perched on the top of tombstones. The rules of the cemetary are also quite interesting - to be buried amongst the rich and famous you must have lived in France, or be French. You are buried at the cemetary for 30 years, and at the end of your 'lease' your family members or whomever you choose decide whether or not to exhume your body to an actual "final" resting place or to renew the lease. Weird.   

Jim Morrison's grave. The area was gated off because they would catch people doing drugs, having sex and performing senances around it
Oscar Wilde's grave. They had to put plexiglass around it because women would kiss it and the lipstick was eating away at the stone.

Chopin's grave - so many roses and flowers, it was beautiful
An eerie gravestone of a guy holding his own face. Gotta give it to the French, they are pretty creative.

The last tour we did was the Montmarte art tour. Montmarte is a hilltop town that overlooks the city of Paris. On the bottom of the hill sits Moulin Rouge, so I'm glad we got to see that while we were there. Montmarte is the town that many famous artists lived back in the day. It was pretty awesome to walk along the same streets as Picasso and Van Gogh.

Where VanGogh stayed
View from Montmarte

Picasso's hangout
Streets of Montmarte
A sculpture based on a story by Marcel Ayme about a man who could pass through walls until one day he got stuck. Touching the hand is supposed to be good luck
The H wanted good luck too!

I know this post is picture-heavy but there is so much to see in Paris that it's hard to not take a zillion photos. I feel like we just scratched the surface, too - I would love to go back and do some more exploring. There's so much history, art, fashion and beauty everywhere you look!

Au Revior!