Friday, January 4, 2008

Sacre Coeur!

Another big day running around Paris! Today had by far our most favorite moment yet, a visit to the Basilica Sacre Coeur. You know it was amazing because Mike loved it, despite walking up 2-3 hundred stairs to get to the ground level. The Basilica is set atop the butte Montmarte, Paris' highest point, and has BREATHTAKING views of the entire city, especially at night, when you can see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris and Arch de Triumph lit up in all their glory. The Church itself is gorgeous inside and out, but is also deceiving in so many ways. From afar it looks enormous, like a Parisian Taj Mahal off to the north. Up close it actually looks kinda of small, but when you get in and realize just how high the domes are, the size sets in...then you realize that the massive pubilc area you're in is only a fraction of the full building.

We were also pretty pumped, because we did some Davinci Code style sleuthing and learned a lot from clues we saw in the building, like that it was once a palace and fortress that was set to defend Paris to the north. We thought it was built around the 1500-1600s and had seen numerous attacks and used to be set higher, with a moat, until a new road and hill was built around it. Turns out we were wrong on all accounts. Oh well, guess we're not quite Robert Langdon quality. Check out the wikipedia link above for the real history.

Otherwise, we did a ton today. Cruised up and down the Seine, went inside Notre Dame [which was disappointingly toursity], walked the Champs Elysees and Rue de St. Antoine and saw La Bastille, the Arch de Triumph, the Jardins des Plantes and accompanying museums, Les Vosges, the Moulin Rouge, Crazy Horse, Pigalle, Opera de Paris and Pompidou Centre. I got another delicious crepe and we had our first truly French meal at a nice restaurant since we got here [my tummy is happy]. The chocolate cake almost killed us; but if had, it would've been a great way to go!

We've gotta go rest up for tomorrow; we've got the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay on tap, so it'll be a pretty full and early day. Oh, and Mike's mom says we need to get croissants, so we'll do that, too. Can't wait though!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm loving reading about everything you guys are doing there! I gotta say that mike's a stronger person than me for tackling 2-3 hundred stairs to see anything. I'm all about history and art and art history, but I like to keep a modest limit... Somewhere around 10 steps. That's reasonable right? Lol. I really wish I hadn't missed mike's call earlier... It would have been great to hear about this in his voice. I hope you guys keep having a great time. I'll be checking in on the adventures until you get back.