Sunday, June 10, 2012

Notre Dame & The Eiffel Tower - Paris

We are fresh back from our trip to Paris and had a great time seeing all the sights.  Such a great time, that we took over 500 pictures in 4 days!  I'll have to break things down into several posts, so for now I'll start with the first day and the main sights we saw: Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.

We arrived in Paris via train around 10:45AM on Wednesday.  Our hotel was right across the street from the train station, so we checked in really quickly and headed out on our way.  The first sight we decided to see was Notre Dame.  It's the cathedral of the Catholic Archdioceses of Paris and was built in 1163.

The windows inside were simply breathtaking.

 Mass was actually going on while we were inside (that always seems to happen when we visit churches).

One of the old chandeliers.

Also located at the foot of Notre Dame cathedral is a crypt that houses archeological remains from the first civilizations in Paris.  These remains were uncovered in 1965 when excavations were taking place.  The first civilization in Paris was over 2000 years ago in the year 27BC.  It's really amazing to see that these remains have been preserved underneath the streets of Paris all these years.

After visiting the crypt, Brady was getting crabby (we'd gotten up at 4:30AM to catch the train), so we headed back to the hotel for nap time.  We all took a nap and before we knew it, it was almost 6PM!  Andy said you either get in later or lose time for a nap on the day you arrive, so it evens out in the end.  Since almost every museum in Europe closes around 6PM, we decided to head over to the Eiffel Tower to scope it out and get some pictures.  Since our zigzag method of tourism (not intended) put us at the Eiffel Tower every single day, I have placed all the pictures taken of it from several locations below.

We took the train that would get us right to the Eiffel Tower, but when we reached street level, we figured it would be staring us in the face since it's so large.  The tree cover hid it so well that when it came into sight, we felt silly for not seeing it sooner.

Andy felt like he thought it would be bigger, and I thought it would've been black instead of brown.

 From underneath

A family shot, but unfortunately, the top of the Eiffel Tower didn't make it into the shot.

From across the river.  You can see the clouds and unfortunately, it rained at some point in each of the four days we were there.  Our perfect streak of gorgeous vacation weather came to an end.

A better family shot.

From afar amidst the flowers.

A zoomed in shot from atop the Arc de Triomphe.

Lit up at night from the top of Montparnasse Tower.  Since Europe is so much closer to the Arctic Circle than the States, during the summer, it gets more daylight hours.  It was 10:30PM when I took this picture and you can see that it's not even close to being completely dark outside yet.

I love that you can see the spotlight in this shot.

Brady checking out the view.

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