Friday, June 1, 2012

The Honeymoon: Au Revoir, Paris!

For our last full day in Paris, we decided to visit Notre Dame!

The view as we stepped out of the Metro station

Can you even imagine what it must have been like to be build this cathedral? Construction began in 1163 and was completed in the 1240's.

I loved the gargoyles! They were everywhere!

Everything about the cathedral is SO intricate! The stonework, the windows, the doors - everything! It's really amazing!

The gorgeous interior

Capturing the scale of the interior was impossible!

We rented audioguides at Notre Dame, as our Rick Steves book was decent, but we wanted more information.  (Correction: Gene wanted more information.  I probably wanted a nice glass of white wine!) Sidenote: I either think audioguides are perfect in the amount of information - I'm still listening, I'm not bored and wanting the guide to be over; or AWFUL - too much information, I'm not even listening anymore, and I start skipping ahead in the audio to the next sight.  This audio guide? Way too much information!! Maybe because I'm a brat and this was my 3rd visit to Notre Dame, or I was not in the mood for big touristy crowds - but I was easily done touring Notre Dame way before Gene!

After exiting the church, we checked out the line to climb up to the tower of Notre Dame - which unfortunately stretched down the entire length of the cathedral.  We decided to get some lunch nearby, and keep tabs on the line.  After a tasty croque monsieur (how I miss you, ham and cheese awesomeness...I must get to Marliave here in Boston!), we went back to check the tower line, which was STILL really long.  Instead of killing hours in line, we decided to follow the advice of Mr. Rick Steves - head off to see another sight, and come back shortly before 5 pm, when the line is typically shorter.  Knowing that the tower closed at 6:30 p.m., we figured being back by 4:30 or 5 p.m. should be fine! (Cue ominous foreshadowing...)

Gene was REALLY excited to see Napoleon's Tomb and the adjoining military museums, so off we went:

See that gold dome? That's our destination!

The canons were definitely a giveaway that we were about to visit a military museum!


As can be imagined, Napoleon's Tomb is pretty fancy.

I believe this was Marshal Ferdinand Foch's tomb - he was a general during WWI.  The blue stained glass in the windows gave this room an eerie glow.

The church around the tomb is gorgeous!

And then we went into the military museums adjacent to Napoleon's Tomb: 

This helmet made me laugh as it appeared to leave a lot of space for a mustache!

If I had a cannon, you know it would definitely have animal faces on it!

I'm pretty sure my dad has this as an ice bucket!

After watching a wedding exit the Church des Invalides (right next to Napoleon's Tomb, and part of the same complex) (and laughing to ourselves about how that couple totally got married on the WRONG weekend - the right weekend to get married was May 5, DUH!), we Metro'd back to Notre Dame to get in the tower line.  How SAD was I, though, to find that they'd already closed the line? The line was still so long, that no one else was allowed to join because the tower would be closing and folks wouldn't get a chance to go up.  What a BUMMER! So instead, we toured around the rest of Notre Dame.

BUT...we did stumble upon the bridge where lovers put locks, and throw the key in the Seine! The origins on this aren't clear from the Googling I've done, but it was fun to stumble on the bridge and check out the locks!

Who doesn't love cakes and pie?!


It was a really beautiful day!

While we had a wonderful time in Paris, I was very excited to head to Rome the very next day!! 

Miss a honeymoon recap?
The Honeymoon: Paris - Getting There!
The Honeymoon: Paris - Our First Day
The Honeymoon: Paris - Day Two
The Honeymoon: Paris - The Louvre!

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