10 PICTURE ALBUM
Thursday, July 10
got another late start today, and all slept in before catching breakfast and
taking the Metro to the Notre Dame cathedral. On the way to Notre Dame, we
stopped to see the Hotel de Ville which is Paris' City Hall. We then walked
the rest of the way to Notre Dame, stopping on a bridge over the Seine to
take pictures and take in the view.
Notre Dame was even more spectacular than I had expected. The combination
of Gothic architecture, statues and gargoyles was truly amazing. I especially
liked the gargoyles, which darted out of the cathedral and seemed to be protecting
it. Inside was even more marvelous. Three beautiful stained glass rose windows,
along with many other stained glass windows created a great effect.
Inside you could also find a huge 7,800 pipe organ and carved wooden stalls.
This cathedral was built
on the site of many other churches including a Gallo-Roman temple (some two
millennia ago). It began in 1163, and can accommodate over 6,000 people! This
was really cool and was a great learning experience. ~David
After Notre Dame, we went to a small but famous impressionist art museum
called the Musee d'Orsay. The building itself was artistic with columns enclosing
famous paintings. It also had many statues, archways and enormous clocks which
made it a special place to be. We primarily viewed the paintings by impressionist
artists that we knew a fair amount about such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne,
Pissaro, Renoir, Degas and several others. The museum had a very large collection
of Monets and Van Goghs, most of them considered their best works. It was
really exciting to walk into a gallery and see an original painting you had
seen so many photographs and reproductions of.
I was especially interested in Monet's paintings of the Ruen Cathedral at
different times of the day. When you got really close to them they just seemed
like random blotches of color with no form. As you slowly backed away it began
to form into the famous cathedral. It was interesting to see how this wonderful
artist exhibited the cathedral's beauty. I had a clear vision of Notre Dame
(a similar cathedral) in my head from having seen it earlier today, which
made the paintings especially meaningful. I really enjoyed this museum which
has now become my favorite on the trip so far. I can't wait to go to the Louvre!
We planned on dinner, and then a river cruise on the Seine. However, after
enjoying a great dinner at a small French restaurant (L'Epi d'Or) several
blocks from our hotel, we were all much too exhausted for anything else, and
decided to call it a night. This was our first experience with a restaurant
where none of the help spoke English, so it was a very interesting experience
for us all (and we're sure a sign of similar things to come as our travels
Distance Walked: 4.27 miles