"Everyone knows the more you wear pearls, little by little they become real....And isn't it the same with memories?" - The Madwoman of Chaillot

Monday, September 19, 2011

Notre Dame and a bike tour of Paris

We hopped a bus for a short ride into the heart of Paris and were early for our bike tour so took some time look inside Notre Dame Cathedral. Quite different than most Italian churches..... I will just let it's beauty speak for itself in pictures...click to see them larger

The bike tour met outside Notre Dame and then we walked a short distance to their location to get our bikes with David, our tour guide

Bikes were all named - here is Bill's

And Bill wished he had gotten mine when he saw the name

Here we go...

Stopping to see the house that had belonged to the bishop of Paris before the revolution

The home of Victor Hugo. David, our guide, is from the UK but now lives with his wife in Paris. He told us he expected Victor Hugo, who wrote Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more about the poor and social justice would live modestly. But this was his house - each home went from drainspout to drainspout, 4 sets of windows and all floors, including tiny windows in the grey roof at the very top for servants rooms.

One of these homes recently sold for 20 million Euro but normally they do not sell, just pass down to family members...

The houses each have a garden in back - one is open to view.

Evidently they have a problem with moles and/or just a sense of humor

Now to a favorite tourist spot that got too popular... The house where Jim Morrison died (you all remember him, right? From the band, The Doors) He supposedly died here too but there are rumors he died elsewhere and the body was brought here, evidently to make it appear he died at home.

There was a plaque noting this as his house but the neighbors got so annoyed at being inundated by tourists that they removed it - one of the empty spaces - looking closely it has Jim Morrison written on it. (bottom space)

And off we go again

A stop to point out an old historic house

And across the street they had been given permission to tear one down and David bemoans the fact that a beautiful house was replaced with something not as worthy

And....hey, I took all these pictures, you have to look at them... (actually I am leaving our a bunch!)

Home of the Republican Guard - did not get a picture but as we rode by, we could see them practicing on horses through an opening.

Beautiful boats along the canal built by Napoleon, which allowed water traffic to Amsterdam, a boon to trade, and to Napoleon's revenue.

And now down along the Seine...

The couple above, who were from England, were celebrating their 1st anniversary in Paris, probably wondering how two old people celebrating 38 years this week could even ride the 10 miles of this tour...

On one of the Seine bridges, a statue to St Genevieve who is credited saving Pars from a plague, along with many other miracles - the child's name in the statue is Paris

And Notre Dame

The young couple had their picture taken here so we had to also...

Restaurant with a view of Paris and Notre Dame - where you can drop a thousand or two on dinner for two... Do not know this from experience however. Quoting PlacesinFrance.com,
The Tour d'Argent restaurant is probably the most well known place to dine in France, if not throughout the world and is also the oldest restaurant in Paris that started out as an upper class inn for the aristocrats way, way back in the 16th century.
And add to that, it was used to base the restaurant on in Disney's Rattatouille...

It's a tradition for a couple to come and place a lock on a Paris bridge inscribed with your names and throw the key in the Seine - just like is done in Korea on the Seoul tower.

About this time I asked how much was left and you are probably asking too...but I was just hungry, not bored...

The Latin Quarter named that because of the Sorbonne - in this area students and teachers would gather, all speaking Latin.

And the Cour du Commerce, a very old street in Paris

Benjamin Franklin (and other famous people) ate here...

Old book store

Today we ate lunch at a street vendor - very tasty toasted sandwich on wonderful French bread

Then back on the road - to the Louvre, which I knew was big, but I've see big galleries....only this was is HUGE!

In the Louvre gardens

The entrance - it is said that if you visit every piece of art in the Louvre for 30 seconds (not sure if that includes transit time to the next one), it will take six whole days to see it all (also not sure if that means 24 hour days but either way it's a lot!)
David (our guide) says if you go to the Louvre, go with someone who loves and appreciates art. He was taken as a young boy with his younger brother - needless to say, it did not go all that well...

Almost done, really!
But first a little more Rattatouille. This area used to hold the very large food market but the mess left behind - rotting produce, stale bread, etc was a huge attraction to the rats of Paris so the market was abolished. But around the corner is the rat killer's shop from Rattatouille but it really existed, the shop of the Arouze family for five generations since 1875

Gotta love the ring-around-the-rats dance

And the final leg of the bike ride....

The rest of the day coming soon - it wasn't even close to over - it was now about 1:30 PM!


1 comment:

Kathy Vanderwall said...

OK - I'm ready for a nap just reading and looking at the photos! You must be in GREAT shape after this day!