Monday, August 1, 2011


Day 2 of my Paris trip was also jam packed with activity, excitement, and even a little flirtation.

While visiting the Louvre on Friday Angela noticed a sign for Museum Passes, which allows access to 60+ Museums and other sights of Paris. The pass cost 35 euro for two days. I referred to as my Disney Fastpass because twice we were able to bypass long ticket lines and go right in. So the pass not only saves money, but time, which is quite valuable on short trips.

Cassie enjoying the interactive features
of the Architecture Museum. She's creating
 her own stained glass window.
A small group of us stuck together throughout the day and visited a few of the lesser known museums of Paris, including De L'Architecture & Du Patrimoine and the Musee National De La Marine (the Architecture and Maritime museums, respectively). The Architecture museum holds many replicas of various popular architectural marvels including Notre Dame Cathedral. As Angela pointed out, it's just as amazing and important to see replicas and reproductions as it is to see the real thing. In some cases it's actually better because you can get closer to the reproduction. It's also pretty outstanding because some of the pieces, like archways, were used in the architecture of the museum building.

Full bodied masthead
The second Museum we flitted off to (and conveniently located right next to the Architecture Museum) was the Maritime Museum. This was awesome because boats and things having to do with boats are awesome. When you first walk in there's a glittering ship having something to do with Napoleon. It's pretty interesting, but I preferred the carved mastheads, including the full-bodied masthead. This statue is quite rare in that it is one the few to survive in excellent condition.

Another piece that caught my eye was the diorama showing how the Obelisk was moved from Egypt to Paris. It seems like it was a difficult undertaking, because before moving the structure they had to "wrap" it in a wooden shell to prevent damage. I intend to find out more about this subject when I get back. There were a few bonuses at the museum too: our cards got us audio guides so we could get more information about certain objects, and many of the placards provided explanations in both French and English.

Close up of the Obelisk Model: The wooden obelisk is the "case."

View from the top of the Arc.
We also made our way to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. This was one entrance where we fastpassed it. There was a rather long line of people waiting to purchase tickets. We walked up to see what we had to do, and someone flashed a museum pass at the guy guarding the door. The rest of us showed our passes and headed up to the top without any waiting. It was 284 steps the top. One the way to the first level I had to pause because apparently it was a race. Luckily there was a perfect spot to rest and make my heart stop pounding. It's also good that I don't mind losing.

Events following dinner were the best part of the day. Cassie and I made our back to the metro to once again visit the Eiffel Tower. Along the way a very cute Lebanese guy with a wonderful smile asked Cassie for directions to the Tower. He'd been wanting to see it since he was six years old. He actually missed his stop because he was chatting with Cassie. Needless to say, this encounter made her quite giddy. When we reached the top of the steps at the Trocadero and the Tower started glittering there was nothing to keep her from jumping up and down. We stuck around and saw it sparkle again at 11pm.

Whoever told Cassie to be sure to see the Eiffel Tower at night is a wonderful human being. It was absolutely beautiful. Seeing it lit up at night made me realize why they sell gold versions of it. If you are ever in Paris for the night, be sure to head over to the Trocadero and watch it glitter.

Sparkling Eiffel Tower

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