Friday, August 23, 2013

Paris Day 7: Au revoir Paris

We devoted our last day in Paris for strolling in a park, wandering through the less popular streets and a Batobus ride. We started the day from Le Jardin des Plantes - a huge place of greenery, with the National Museum of Natural History placed in the area. We decided to see just one part of the museum - hall of the skeletons. We felt too tired to visit the rest of the exhibitions - a week in Paris was an intense experience for us and we simply had had enough of pacing through the alleys with showpieces. Instead, we sat down on a bench in the park and enjoyed the summer.

Since the day was exceptionally hot (so hot it actually was too much for me), we decided to head to the closest cofee shop to cool ourselves with a big iced latte. On our way we passed by some yet undiscovered places - like Place de Bastille or Gare de Lyon. We finished the day with a Batobus ride and dinner in a restaurant. Au revoir Paris!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Paris day 6: Montmartre, Moulin Rouge, Père-Lachaise

Today we visited two places I like most in Paris - Montmartre and Père-Lachaise cemetary. Montmartre is just marvelous. Although it is very touristic nowadays, you can still feel the spirit of the past Boheme. Dali, Mondrian, Picasso, van Gogh - all of them lived and painted at Montmartre. The Sacré Cœur Basilica majestically reigns over Paris - being the prettiest in whole city, with its white stone and beautiful mosaics inside. Narrow streets, cafes, art galleries, various museums... And you don't need to wander off far to leave the noisy tourists behind your back and find yourself at the heart of Paris. Truly remarkable place.

 After having a cup of coffee and grabbing a crêpe, we headed down from Montmartre - to Moulin Rouge and the red district.

The last plan for today was Père-Lachaise cementary. We visited this place 5 years ago and were enchanted by its grave and deep atmosphere so Radek insisted to see it again. I was too tired, so I stayed in a cafe while the other three went for a walk past the forgotten tombs and family vaults.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Paris day 5: Musée des Arts et Métiers, Napoleon's tomb

It was the last the of our museum pass, so we first went to Musée des Arts et Métiers - museum of Arts and Industry. It was pretty interesting, not crowded and educational. At its doorstep we encountered one of many Statues of Liberty situated all over Paris.

After visiting the museum we went to see the tomb of Napoleon. Wow, that's a big coffin for one person. Before that, guys went to see the museum of arms, and girls just rested in shade.In general, we decided this day would be less action-packed, because we needed a pause from the hectic Paris.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paris day 4: Sainte-Chapelle, Notre Dame, Branly

Another exciting day in Paris... We started the day from visiting Sainte-Chapelle (yet another thing we didn't see 5 years ago). It's a beautiful, medieval, Gothic-style chapel with breathtaking stained glass windows.

Then we went to visit the Notre Dame cathedral. Quick tour inside and then climb up the stairs up to the tower (I didn't dare and waited for the rest of the guys outside, at a doorstep of the church in a nice shade).

We still had some free time and a museum pass to be used up, so we headed to  musée du quai Branly, which  features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.

Fewer and fewer must-see spots left in Paris for us :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Paris day 3: Pompidou, Panthéon, Cluny, Notre Dame, Batobus

Day three of Paris trip passed under the sign of museums. First on - Pompidou - museum of contemporary art. It was a very interesting experience for us - people rather down to earth. I cannot deny - we had some laugh, but all in all it made us think about art as such and I consider the time spent there as valuable and enjoyable.

After Pompidou we went to a cafe for some crêpes and milkshakes and then headed to Panthéon - earlier a church, now a mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens - Skłodowska - Curie being the most prominent one in my opinion.

Next we decided to go for dinner, but on our way to a restaurant quarter we saw a nice museum of Middle Ages - Cluny, so we decided to pass by. Since we were not planning to visit Louvre, it was a nice alternative - small and private in a sense, with only a few tourists.

After dining out we still had some powers left to do something downtown, so we decided to take a Batobus ride. Batobus is like a bus, except it's on water. Round trip around Paris takes 8 stops and lasts more than an hour. We thought it would be nice and not tiring way of seeing Paris from a different perspective. The stop was situated close to the Notre Dame cathedral, so first we had a look at its facades and took some photos.