Monday, August 1, 2011

Paris from the top of a bus…

Friday was a whirlwind of a day.  Luckily, we spent a lot of it sitting on a bus and then sitting on a boat.  This was very necessary due to a few reasons; a wake-up time of 4:00am or earlier to catch a 5:30am train and needing a way to see a lot of sites in a short amount of time.  Aubrey, Angela, and I had finished a quick run through the Louvre, making sure to see “the biggies”, the Mona Lisa, Venus, and Winged Victory of Samothrace.  Now the big monuments swung into view as we lurched along on the double-decker open-top bus.  It was easy to get great pictures of everything.  There aren’t any skyscrapers in the way and the many bridges spanning the Seine make it easy for the bus to travel back and forth from site to site.  We all had a bus pass that would enable us to get on and off the bus at any of the sites.  We stayed on for most of them but made sure to get off for the Eiffel Tower.  We knew we wouldn’t be able to go up it since we didn’t have time and the line snaked on and on and on…It was still very interesting to get a close-up look at the structure.

I took a picture of it while I waited to go to the euphemism.

Whether you look at Notre Dame from the street, the bus, or a boat it is incredible.  I think I preferred the look from the boat since it was such a gradual approach and seems to reach up so much higher when you are down on the Seine.  The Arc de Triomphe can’t be seen from the river so the bus makes the view very accessible.  The sheer magnitude of this structure is amazing.  I could see lots of little tiny people up on top of it.  More buildings sped by – The Louvre, The Musee D’Orsay, The National Assembly, The Grand Palace, and I tried to make mental notes about where to go back to.  
The boat ride allowed us to see each unique bridge from underneath.  Our tour guide gave us the spiel on what we were seeing in French, English, and then Spanish.  Here's a little slideshow of what we saw from the road and then from the water:

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