Mayang's Travels - France, June 2005

This is my second visit to Paris and i am still captivated by its beauty. My cousins from Kuala Lumpur came over to Paris for a short holiday and we were all cramped together at my sister's small apartment located in the middle of the city. Here are some pictures of the major tourists attractions in Paris which i was able to visit in short space of time. 

aaah... you will never find yourself getting far from any kind of artistic work in Paris. On most buildings, balconies and doors in particular are heavily decorated. Wandering around "Rue this.." or "Rue that.." is good enough even when you are not visiting any museums. (which is hard to do since Paris offers hundred kinds of museums and galleries!)

Butte de Montmarte - My cousins were feeding some greedy pigeons, which probably had more than enough food already by being fed from the previous tourists who sat there before us.

Butte de Montmarte - View from Monmartre Hill, the highest point in Paris where Basilique du Sacré Coeur is located.

Butte de Montmarte - Great view, great bargain! Everyone has their own favourite type of clothing. I've found mine!!

Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris) - An excellent French Gothic architecture which has also been Catholic Paris' ceremonial focus for 700 years.

Notre Dame - Above the three pointed arched doors, which are finely decorated in bas-relief are figures of angels and saints surmounted by a colonnade. This genius medieval architecture attracts many visitors from all range of age including some noisy group of a school children in red.

Notre Dame - view from the south side, overlooking the River Seine, reveals one of the famous rose windows and the dramatic flying buttresses covered behind the trees.

...an ideal place to have a break after cycling along the Seine.

Paris is definately a shopping heaven, catered for those who can afford top designer's brand right down to brocante (second-hand goods) or bric-a-brac at Paris' marches aux puces (flea markets). These four women are shopping monsters!!! They can walk for hours and hours.. doing what they do best, shopping!!

La Defénse - While those shopping monsters were busy "attacking" some fashionable clothes inside La Defénse mall, i took this oppurtinity to see the Grande Arche, a hollow cube white marble and glass, (Notre Dame can easily fit in the middle of it) measuring 112m on each side.

not particularly a pretty sight, isn't it?

Eiffel Tower - On the contrary, once you are standing on top of the eiffel tower, the view of the city is just awesome! Here we are looking at Parc Du Champ de Mars.

Eiffel Tower - A perfect place to celebrate my cousin's 24th birthday. We were both excited as we enjoyed the panoramic view from the tower's highest platform measuring 276m in height. (7000 tonne in weight being held together by 2.5 millions rivets)

Eiffel Tower - it's hard to miss the outstanding Église du Dôme (Church Dome) in the middle of Hôtel Des Invalides's compound. The church, built between 1677 and 1735 under Louis XIV became a mausoleum for military leaders instead of the King's own use when it was first planned.

Église du Dôme - The gilded dome itself took 27 years to build. Right under the dome lies Napoleon Bonaparte in no less than five coffins and a sarcophagus of red porphyry. An impressive final resting place for a ruthless ruler, a soldier and a man of action and arguably an intellectual in his own right.. He was a shorty,  like me ;)... uh and he once conquered most of Europe.

Musée de l'Armée - There are plenty of canons being displayed outside and inside of this museum. This one is my favourite simply because it has a very interesting design at the back of the canon...

Musée de l'Armée - yes, a "charming face" smiling back at you innocently despite once being used as a killing machine hundred years ago..

Musée de l'Armée - Islamic calligraphy carved on the body of a canon used by Algerians armies in 1581.

Musée de l'Armée - awww.. so lovely. The canon body carved with two figures kissing passionately

Musée Rodin - what can i say, from human to manmade sculptures, it's the theme of love for everyone :)

Musée Rodin - Not many people care about the back side of Rodin's most famous work, Le Penseur (The Thinker), so i decided to take a picture of his bum.

... but for those who has never seen 'the thinker'.. here's what he looks like, a man sitting on a piece of rock, thinking...

.
Musée Rodin - "The Cathedral" is another genius work of Rodin and according to him "Really, there is no beautiful style, no beautiful design, and no beautiful colour: there is just one beauty, that of the truth that is revealed"

Musée Rodin - "The Kiss" . No wonder some of his works aroused lots of controversy. The extreme realism of his artworks provoked accusations that Rodin had made plaster casts from living models.

Musée Rodin i'd say his his critics had a point...

Musée Rodin - well, somebody's imagination has gone a bit extreme here..

Goodbye! Picture of my cousins a.k.a shopping monsters on the last day in Paris, before they left for Kuala Lumpur.

Musée des Égouts de Paris (Sewage Museum) - Meanwhile i continue with my museums expedition. Here, a very interesting, one of a kind museum which is hard to forget. The smell wasn't so bad really. I remember it smells something like a rotten vomit and yes you can see all sorts of ambiguous objects floating on the water. 

Musée des Égouts de Paris - It's a common fear that rats bite people, even though statistics show you are 10 times more likely to be bitten by a fellow human being. These rats live in the sewage tunnel minding their own business.. eating, playing, sleeping and having lots of sex - a bit like humans really.

Place de la Concorde - It's a great idea to put a fountain here in the middle of chaotic roundabout.

Place de la Concorde - ..but is it artistic or plain tacky? Hmm.. I'm not so sure about the black and gold combination though. If it helps you to decide, they have two sets of them on this roundabout!

Jardin des Tuileries - "aaahhh... this feels so good"

Cité Metro Station - fast and efficient (though strike-prone) are two words to describe Paris' underground network

Sainte Chapelle - the queue to get into Sainte Chapelle was quite long, wasn't exactly a good day and i haven't got a brolly. Almost giving up at this time..

Sainte Chappelle - but glad i didn't! the Gothic architecture of Sainte Chappelle is designed to enthuse religious awe, consecrated in 1248 and it still has an enthralling effect once you step inside it.

Sainte Chappelle - Owes its fame to the stained-glass windows, which cover no less than three quarters of the height of the walls, they create a luminous filigree effect bathing the chapel in an extraordinary light.

 Sainte Chappelle - sadly.. it's everything but silence in this hall!

Musée du Louvre - a trip to Paris is definately incomplete without visiting the Louvre. I came out from the underground and was greeted by Mona Lisa on the outside wall of the world's largest and finest art museum.

Musée du Louvre - However, i didn't have a chance to meet Mona Lisa close up and personal because all i can see was this shiny bald head instead! ( i tried tiptoeing, jumping.. hence the blurry effect, but to no avail)

Musée du Louvre- You can expect a long queue like this at the grand glass pyramid entrance designed by I.M Pei on the first Sunday of every month when the entry charge is free! Half an hour earlier, i was there queing too.. I bet most of them want to see Mona Lisa. Well, i wish them good luck!

Musée du Louvre - once a royal palace, the Louvre turned into a public museum in 1793 and now exhibits 30 000 paintings. Not interested with the paintings? Well, i can tell you that the interior decor is impressive enough!

Musée du Louvre - "hmm, i wonder what's these two are up to.." , "yeah,whatever they do, i'm sure it's something naughty". Ary Scheffer, a French painter of Dutch extraction depicted the life of Francesca da Rimini, an Italian noblewoman with her secret lover Paulo, her husband's younger brother of whom she fancied. Tragically, the couple were murdered when her allegedly extremely unattractive husband discovered their relationship. hmm..and you wonder why she had an affair..?

Musée du Louvre  - I don't think you are doing a very good job mr security guard. Somebody might steal a painting worth millions of euro while you are busy sending sms-es!

Musée du Louvre - "honestly darling, it's a hard life lying on this table all day, to be admired and gazed at.. but what can i say, it's the prize of being gorgeous really"

Musée du Louvre - a creepy looking mummified body still in perfect shape is also on display in Egyptian Antiquities section.

Musée du Louvre - i don't blame her. imagine walking around 645,840 sq ft of the exhibition area of this museum,   it would weary you out. i am sitting next to this exhausted looking girl, eating my peanut butter sandwich for lunch :)

Place du Trocadéro - my final snapshot with French policemen complete with their body armour on the way back home from an evening concert at Parc du Champ de Mars. It was an event which Paris held in an attempt to compete with the rest of the four cities (Madrid, New York, London, Moscow) to fight for the right to host the 2012 Olympics. Good luck Paris!!

All pictures and other media are Copyright ©2005 Mayang Adnin.