Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Sleeping in is GREAT!.....
We had big plans to get up and ride the train downtown Paris to rent bikes for the day. However, we didn't wake up until 2pm.... Oops. We finally woke up, and I asked Mark what time it was and he said he didn't know because his watch was broken. HAHA! Nope, it actually was 2:15pm... So we got on the rode around 3pm and took the train downtown and went to the Louvre for the first time. It was amazing. I don't really know what I was expecting - I'm not even sure I had any expectations really, but it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It's just room after room after room of artifacts and pictures and paintings, etc. It is all in French obviously, so we didn't exactly know what we were looking at, but we had fun either way. We saw Venus de Milo, that headless winged sculpture that I can't remember the name of (The Winged Victory of Samothrace), the Mona Lisa, and many other of Da Vinci's painting, and LOTS of other sculptures. We took quite a few pictures, which was one thing I wasn't expecting us to be able to do. But they didn't have any signs up (that we could read anyway) that said no photos and everyone else was taking them so we did too. I was most impressed by the HUGE paintings. The painting "The wedding feast at Cana" (pictured above) was absolutely HUGE - 22feetx32feet. It took up an entire wall of this huge room in the gallery. We got lost a few times trying to figure out where we were, but we had a really good time wandering through the place. It seemed to be about 4 times the size of the White House, and it just goes on forever. It seemed to be made out of only stone and the ceilings were usually painted and really ornate, with gold on them, and lots of domes and arches. I just wish we could have read about some of the displays because that probably would have made it that much more interesting. It was still fantastic though.
After the Louvre, we took the subway over to the Arc de Triumph. It kind of reminded me of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, except it was a lot bigger. We got some good pictures and video of the Arc too.
We ate at Quick, a french fast food place, and had burgers. Food is surprisingly expensive over here. It's at least 3Euro ($4.50) for a 50cl coke, which is a little bigger than a can I think. Last night at the Pizzeria, it was like 14Euro for an individual size pizza (around $22.00). The cost of food is kinda kicking our butts right now, but the Quick meal was 11.20Euro so that wasn't too bad and we slept through breakfast and had a pop tart for lunch, so that was good. I'm trying hard not to freak out about money, but it's difficult. It costs us 4.10Euro for the train ride to the metro from our hotel and then 1.50E for a one way metro ticket. So by the end of the day we've usually spent around $22.00, just in train tickets. That's one expense we didn't take into consideration before when we were budgeting, but oh well. We're also taking bets on how much it's going to cost us to fill up the car.... We're guessing it'll be around $75.00. Yikes.
We've taken lots of good pictures and video, but my camera batteries aren't charging correctly because it's different watts over here. I charged both my batteries for my camera and one of them died on our train ride downtown, but thank GOD the other one lasted all day. That was pretty much a gift from God. We're charging them all right now, so hopefully they'll work for tomorrow. And we've been getting some great pictures of us by using the tripod that came with our video camera. Both the digital and video camera fit on it, so we've been setting it up all over the place getting pictures of us with fun things in the background. I love it! Mark's been taking lots of video too.
We're excited about our bike ride tomorrow but I better get to sleep or we'll end up sleeping until 2pm again tomorrow and we have a lot to see tomorrow! I'm most excited about Notre Dome and our bike ride. Mark keeps talking about wanting to see the Latin Quarter. I hope we can find some decent souveniers for people. The few that we have seen are CRAZY expensive! They have magnets for like 7E ($11) and the prices go up from there... I refuse to pay $11 for ONE magnet! That's ridiculous! Hopefully we'll find something decent tomorrow.