Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Paris!

Oh my goodness, what an adventure we had! A HUGE thanks goes out to Gram and Pops Luminati for watching the three dears while Jon and I spent a long weekend in Paris. It was wonderful!! We highly recommend it. :) It's amazing how quickly you can revert back to doing things w/o needing to accommodate the kids. I only had to feed myself. I only had to bring extra clothes for me. I didn't need to cart around a bevy of snacks/drinks for hungry children. Heaven!
 
 
The last time I was in Paris was exactly 20 years ago with my Teen Missions Team. I was so bummed that I couldn't locate my TMI photo album before we left, but it was so fun to see the city as it is compared to the city I remember in my mind's eye.
 
We took the fast train out of Stuttgart and despite a few delays, got to Paris in just over 4 hours. See how fast we went!! (That's about 180 mph, for those who need to convert.) We spent time poring over Rick Steves as we rode.
 
 

 We took a Bateaux Mouches dinner cruise, and it was wonderful! The boat went up and down the Seine, and we got to see all the main monuments/places as we ate. And we sat at a table for two. Ahhhhh.

Only in Paris can you find Bordeaux for 1.69E.




View from the top of the Arc d'Triomphe
 
 
My tasty favorite--Croque Madame. (ham sandwich with a fried egg on top.)
 We spent two blocks of time in the Louvre--of course, it wasn't enough time, but we were happy with what we saw. Of course, the European art section is CRAZY crowded and the ancient middle-eastern section is almost deserted. Funny.

Taking the elevator down through the pyramid entrance
 Mona Lisa holds court in her own room. (She's on the far wall in the middle.) Yes, we did get closer...along with all our new best friends.

Venus de Milo (from Jon's perspective)

Venus de Milo from my perspective. See Jon amid the tourists?
 
 
The Babylonian and ancient Mesopotamian section was just incredible. 
The Code of Hammurabi (which is actually about 6 feet tall).
 
 
This completely floored me--this pillar top dates back from biblical times. It was one of the many pillars in Darius's throne room. It's hard to tell, but the thing is massive. The two beams on top show what the ox carving supported--the large roof beams.  These ox carvings were at the top of each pillar that was used to hold up the throne room. It astounded us to thing that Daniel himself might have seen this pillar. Or even Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego.  !!
 
 
These archers also decorated Darius's throne room. They are about 20 feet tall from bottom archer to top. Considering these are thousands of years old, the color is amazing. I know Daniel saw these!
The fa├žade of Notre Dame. It's celebrating its 850th year...incredible!
 
 
Recently, Jon's mom discovered via her sister that their family is directly descended from Charlamagne. Yes, seriously! Long live the king. :) Here's Jon with his great great great great great great (lots more greats) grandfather's statue. 

 
 
The booksellers near Ile de la Cite.


 One of the new additions to Ile de la Cite (the island that Notre Dame is on) is the Deportation Memorial. This memorializes the 200,000 Parisians who were deported under the Vichy government to German camps during WWII. Each dot is a lighted crystal.

Another museum we visited was the Cluny, which houses a lot of medieval treasures. One room was particularly interesting to me--the stained glass. Each window is from around 1300 (AD) and tells a story. What luxury--I could stay and look and listen to each story all I wanted. Ahhhhhh.

The artists in the middle ages didn't sugar coat anything--here's Samson getting his eyes poked out after he was caught by the Philistines.

Did I mention how much I like stained glass? Well, heaven on earth is located in Paris, at Sainte Chapelle. Located not far away from Notre Dame and the Conciergerie, this little gem is where the kings worshiped (That is until they chopped off his head). Stained glass encircles the entire chapel--the pictures above are original windows from Sainte Chapelle--and it tells the story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Just breathtaking!
 
 
We saw lots of other things like Napoleon's Tomb, the Military Academy, the Latin Quarter, the neighborhood where we stayed, Rue Cler. Also, we walked up and down the Champs Elysees, which was so much fun. But I've already put in enough pictures on this post! If there's something you want to see but I didn't post about it, email me. :) Here are a few of Jon's marvelous shots to leave you with. Ahhh, Paris!!

 
 
 

2 comments:

Blythe Owen Hunt said...

Beautiful!! What a trip you must have had. I can't imagine the effect of the stained glass in person, and I especially loved the pictures of the pieces from King D's palace. Thanks for sharing with us!

b.niel said...

Wow, amazing! What an awesome time. You look great, Jen! Did you use any of your French?