Pictures here: Paris
So today was another tourist day... go figure! We visited, Gare du Nord (the train station), Sacre Couer, the Arc de Triumph and the Pantheon. Not a bad listing for one day, I think!
Gare du Nord turned into a three hour extravaganza as Tim and I waited in line for reservations for a trip to Vimy Ridge (happening tomorrow due to the length of the line) and for our voyage to Munich (via Manheim and Stuttgart thanks to Tim's quick thinking when we were informed that the direct train was full). After that we had lunch and planned our day before leaving the station.
Next was Sacre-Couer on Mont Martre - this is a giant church that was built basically to apologise for all the nasty things that happened to the Catholic during the revolution - that's a gross oversimplification, but still. This is one beautiful church - a lot of attention to detail is contained within it. No pictures, because of signs... sorry. The mural in the dome was beautiful... albeit a little silly in some aspects - such as the First Nations (North American "Indians"), African tribal people, Japanese geisha, etc. offering gifts to the gigantic Christ. Not that I find their art silly, just the stereotypical costumes they were portrayed in... yeah yeah, it was the 1870s... Tim and I had an interesting chat about the style of Catholicism when it comes to building places of worship.
Oh yes, and of the other benefits of this basilica was the view of the city! Of this I have pictures. Panoramic ones that I'll post when I'm home!
From this giant domed building we proceeded to another gigantic domed building - the Pantheon - the place where all of France's greatest Men [sic] are buried. My favourite among these was Marie Curie. Also, seeing Foucalt's Pendulum in action was COOL! I'm getting the impression that the French, and Parisiens in particular love to do things that are huge. Everywhere we've gone thus far has been just plain massive by Canadian standards... maybe it's our Protestant practicality... but my goodness, the space in these places is just unreal. The Pantheon was 90% open space... nothing but clear (marble) floor! Even the crypt was massive!
Anywho... from here we headed off to see the Arc de Triumph... after having seen two ginormous buildings in the day (three if you include the train station) I must admit I was a bit underwhelmed... but it's still huge. Especially by the standards of the 18th century. There seemed to be something that was going to be happening - possibly a parade of some sort, police were lining up near the arch and we saw some veterans getting out of a van in French army uniforms... is today an anniversary of something I should know about? We would've stuck around and even gone up to the top of the arch, but it was beginning to rain quite heavily while we were there, so we decided it was a good time to call it a day - 6:30 and we'd been out since 1030 AM. We headed back to the hotel and I crashed for a bit until 8, then
we had pizza at a place near our hotel for supper.
Last, once we returned I sat down and took a test for my eastern religions course online... stupid school getting in the way of my life ;) I passed, so that's good. Now I can relax and enjoy my vacation!
With that, I sleep. Stay well everyone!