Saturday, April 17, 2010

My marathon runners!!!

Getting their  numbers at the expo
Posing by a picture of last year's crowd
Posing outside the expo

I have never watched a marathon before.  My friends decided to run in the Paris Marathon and asked if I wanted to go, and I thought why not?  One of my friends is a vetran runner and for the other, this was her first one.  I thought to myself, "Why not go and support them?".  Little did I know how moved I would be by watching them run 26.2 miles. And with a smile on their faces I might add.  I along with my other fellow "pit crewers", watched the start, metroed to the halfway point to give them supplies, and then metroed to the finish in time to meet them.  It was an unbelievable experience and am so thankful I was able to be a part of their victory!!! p.s.  there was approximately 40,000 runners!!!

Random Paris Pictures

My "girls". 
This bathroom was CRAZY!  We couldn't figure out how to get into it, and it resembled a space ship.  It required us to swipe a ticket and push buttons and it just didn't open up.  It was in the metro and was very scary!  Only one of our group managed to get it with help of a random person. 
A beautiful view of the Sienne River

The Louvre

The Infamous Pyramid
An elaborate ceiling in the Italian wing
Another Ceiling
Enormous and beautiful paintings in the Italian wing
I just really liked this painting
The Mona Lisa from a distance.  It is actually very small.
                                          Statue of Venus

Horses atop a pillar
My first mummy sighting!  I loved it!  He was very short.
This is how I feel sometimes...

I was so excited to be able to briefly visit The Louvre Museum!  I felt a little bit like I was in the Da Vinci Code movie!  ha ha  We did not have time to wander through the whole museum (I think you could spend days there), but we did get to see The Mona Lisa, part of the Italian paintings, The Greek Wing, and my favorite, the Egyptian Wing.  It was breathtaking for sure. 

Palace of Versailles

The Gardens and The Fountains of Versailles

During the expansion and embellishment of the castle, Louis XIV entrusted the creation of the gardens to Le NĂ´tre. It took 20 years for him to achieve this absolute masterpiece where all is once again perfection, symmetry and harmony. The gardens were designed for walking, while the flower beds were designed to highlight the castle. More than 300 statues, vases and busts decorate the paths. Water was also omnipresent with 1,400 fountains and waterfalls (only 607 of them remain today) as an integral part of the production. The sun theme is honored in the gardens as it is inside the castle. Every path offered the stroller its own allegorical figure; every clump of trees hid its own mythological legend. All was elegant, majestic and a symbol of the almighty king. This all took 6.2 million liters of water per hour to run. The king did not want to waste this valuable liquid, as water was so rare at the time, so he ordered that only the fountains he passed on his daily strolls be activated.
Pictures from Marie Antionette's private cottage

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Notre Dame Cathedral

Pigalle--Paris' Red Light District

According to

"Get naughty during your next visit to Paris by visiting the notorious Pigalle Place, an epicenter of sex shops, peep shows, strip clubs, cabarets and general adults-only, X-rated adventures.

This neighborhood in Montmartre has long been notorious as a popular hotspot for the more risque crowd. It is home to some of Paris' most famous cabarets ("Moulin Rouge," for instance, was immortalized by artist Toulouse Lautrec as well as Hollywood), or other topless and nude shows."

We went and briefly (our feet hurt ok and it was way past our bedtime) visited Pigalle long enough to snap a few pictures, particularly of Moulin Rouge.  It was an interesting street, lined with shops and clubs not for the faint of heart! 

Le Sacre-Coer de Montmartre-- aka Montmartre Basilica of Sacred Heart

This basilica (church) was so beautiful!   We were able to walk around the inside and I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming feeling of peace.  I cannot even describe how it felt to be able to see this monument from both inside and out.  There are many stairs in front of it, and people were sitting in the twilight drinking wine, eating bread and cheese, singing and playing instruments, et cetera.  It was a truly unique experience that I will never forget.

Eiffel Tower

Seeing the Eiffel Tower in person was breathtaking!  Its size is unbelievable.  We made a quick metro stop to see it before we left Paris.  We were able to see it from other places in the city, but nothing compared to seeing it at its site.