Saturday, April 03, 2010

Invalides, Napoleon and dinner.

It's come and gone - the original reason to come to Paris was to celebrate my 60th birthday. We were to have a party at home but I jokingly tell people that when it came to inviting my friends, both of them couldn't make it, so here we are in Paris.

We hit the Metro once again with only one change over and on alighting from the underground, the sun was shining with a few heavy puffs of clouds occasionly filtering the sun at times. From the "Sortie" or exit point we came out at a road that ran beside the Seine. As usual we emerged from furthest point of where we wanted to be, that's just us. Sue claims that its a skill really.

The view from when coming out of the underground station.

Pont Alexandre III was there in all it's glory. The statues that adorn the bridge are covered in section by gilt and the sun highlights those section giving the bridge a spectacular appearance. The foundation stone was laid in 1896 and dedicated to the alliance between France and Russia and therefore take's its name from Russian Tsar Alexandre III.

Pont Alexandre III with its ornate lamps and gilded statues.

What is Paris without a photo of the Eiffel Tower - strangely after four vists to Paris, I have never been up the tower. I don't even like climbing ladders.

Today we went to Hotel des Invalides, which holds the museum of the Army. Quite spectacular it is. Under the huge gold dome of the building is the resting place of Napoleon Bonepart. His huge polished timber coffin rests in an open crypt.

Cannons lined up outside the empty moat of Invalides

One of the entrances to Invalides - we came in on the side of the Seine. The other side takes you direct to Napoleon's tomb.

In the background is the gilded dome above the tomb of Napoleon.
And the inside of the dome above Napoleon's tomb

Of most interest to us was the Museum of the Army which displays centuries of solder's armour and weapons. The displays also depict the great battles and and the changing of Europe's borders due these battles.

Note the small bracket on the rib section of the armour. Possibly used to hold the lance for jousting.

The museum depicting the Liberation of France held my interest and I could have spent more time absorbing the exhibition. It delt with the French resistance, deportation of the Jews,  Gypsies, the handicapped and anyone else that didn't fit the accepted Germanic criteria during Hitler's reign. Displays telling the story of the Normandy beach landings had particular significance as we had been there in 2007.

Three posters that attracted my attention at the Musee de L'Ordre de la Liberation.

Sorry folks but the obligitory bike photos are for my cycling mates back home. I saw this young woman  wheeling her fixed wheel bike down our street as we were having a quiet wine. It looked very new and so "not her" considering her attire.

And this cool Frenchman at least stopped riding his fixie when his phone rang.

The day finished with dinner at an Italian Restaurant around the corner from home.
It really is a great area to live in for a couple of Foodies. Really its Sue who is the Foodie, she loves to cook and I love to eat.

Today's Arty-Farty is of twigs against a wall.


  1. I didn't get to invalides and after your post, it is on my must go to list! Another great post Leon, giving us folks at home a great little view on the trip. Loving the 'sketch of the day'. Had no idea what an artist you are!

  2. I have never been to the Invalides; now I know I have to go. You guys have to go up the Eiffel Tower. The view is unbelievable or even better, got to the top of Tour Montparnasse.

  3. Crankster - were you Al and the girls on the way sailing Nats when you rang.
    Nadege - Yes, Invalides was very good but I still missed seeing the WW1 & WW11 exhibitions.
    Todays post is about Champs Elysees and tomorrow is about Saint Germain which is one of our favorites.


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