Paris - day 3

Wednesday, October 7 (day 3) **warning - lots of pics in this one because we saw LOTS of places**

After feeling so sick yesterday, the French medications took hold and I felt MUCH better. Miracle drugs I tell you!

Today is Power Museum day in anticipation of the possible strike tomorrow.  The plan is that we'll see the "must see" places for each of us today, using our passes, and then if there's a strike, at least we'll have seen our preferred places.  We found that we all wanted to visit Ste Chapelle and Notre Dame so we agreed to start the day there and then go our separate ways.

We took the metro to Ste Chapelle, our first stop and probably my favorite place of the whole trip.


cool gargoyles like on Notre Dame - water downspouts
You enter through the lower level, a chapel created for the servants and commoners.

not too shabby of a chapel, right? it is beautiful.
Up a narrow flight of stairs is the grand chapel for the royal family........it took my breath away.

it was like being in a jewel box with the sun glancing through the panes

each large window had different shaped panels and each panel told a different story from the bible with the windows behind the altar telling the story of Jesus.
 The chapel retains 75% of its original 13th century glass!

I have no words. 

a stunning rose window

This church was much more intimately sized and really touched me in some way. I could have stayed longer, but we were on a schedule to try to fit in as much as possible......so we moved on.

A couple blocks away.....Notre Dame - that row of carvings above the 3 doors is all life-sized people!

I think the side and back views of the cathedral were more interesting and dramatic to me.  It was very cool to see the flying buttresses in the rear view of the cathedral - so big and dramatic and amazing.

Read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett to learn all about the development of this building technique - fascinating read and an excellent book.

Inside, the massive size was overwhelming and I don't have the words to really convey the size.

At this point we split up and went on to see places independently.  We headed to the nearby Louvre.

And, of course, the reason everyone goes to the Lourve, the Mona Lisa.  OMG, can I just  say, the crowds were crazy around the painting!

Again, to me the more interesting and beautiful parts of the museum were the ceilings - more so even than the art!  (don't tell anyone, I'll always take architecture over art)

We spent about 2 hours here and it was enough for us.  Next on my agenda was L'Orangerie to see Monet water lily paintings.  Back through the Tuilleries garden to this small tucked away museum.

Dan loved these tilted chairs, thought they were comfortable. I didn't - it was hard to get out of them.

I appreciated the Monet paintings so much more now than I would have a couple years ago. My experiences and exposure to art making of my own - the creation of layers and working with colors vastly improved my appreciation of all impressionist art in general, Monet in particular.

There are several 20-30 foot log water lily paintings in this circular room of the gallery.  I have to admit, when we first walked in I was underwhelmed.  I expected something ...... different.

Dan actually actively dislike the paintings and wasn't interested in staying.  I had him go up closer with me and that's where the magic happens.

Now that's what I call layering! Look at all those colors.
Look beyond the very general 'lily' shapes to the background and the marks and blending of the colors.

More fabulous gestural mark making over layers and layers of color. Okay, I get it.  Genius!
By this time we've power-viewed 4 major museums and are beat. So we head back to the apartment for dinner and one last outing.

The Champs Elysees feeding into the circle street around the Arc de Triomphe, our evening destination.  We went with Mike and Anna and climbed the couple hundred steps to the top of the Arc, enjoying a mild evening and fabulous city views.

Then home and to bed!  End of an extremely packed day 3.

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