Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Invalides and a walk down Rue de Rivoli

We'd been before but having our son Andrew with us, we thought he may enjoy it and you do miss things on any first visit. The museum is connected to the Dome Chapel where Napoleon's Tomb stands. It's an impressive site with the 12 victory statues around the Tomb.

We entered the gates to Invalides with the Gendarmes casting an attentive  eye  over all those who entered.
Or did they????? 
The manicured trees and gardens of Invalides. What's that structure in the background?
The dome under which Napoleon rests.
As you enter the Museum, you pass by the impressive gates and walk the cobbled entrance. At the front overlooking the waterless moat is an impressive formation of French classic cannons. Further along is the manicured trees and lawns leading to the entrance of the building, L'HOTEL DES INVALIDES.
The French Cannons amazed me with their artistic work. Some are beautifully sculpture with amazing designs of serpents and heads of birds and animals. In the courtyard there are these two "Howitzers" that on reading the pamphlet, I've discovered that they could fire a distance of almost 6 kms. That's impressive but the long cannons with their artistry impressed be more.

A cannon with Cardinal Richeleiu's name - I'll need to research the reason for this unless someone out there already has the answer.
The armour from the various ages impressed me but also the graphics behind the display gave a  visual of how things may have been.

The museum houses the most impressive collection of armour and weapons from ancient times to WWII.
We remember walking through the Louve's Egyptian exhibition and asking ourselves which country stole the most treasures, France, England or the Vatican. From the collection of armour of the bronze, and middle ages, I found myself pondering the same question. Without doubt, the collection is most impressive and the descriptions of the associated history deserved more time that we could afford.
When we reached the exhibitions from the first and second world wars, we started to have a better understanding of the history. The Charles de Gaulle exhibition takes up 20 hours of audio and visual history. How can one take this in on such a short visit but now at least I can further research this great Frenchman on the internet when we get home.

Charles de Gaulle

Dinner was at a nearby restaurant, Pasco on 74 Bld de la Tour-Moubourg and was so good that we have rebooked for our last night in Paris.
The host was very friendly and helpful and the food was excellent.

Today has been a shopping day with us buying gifts for back home and some items for ourselves. We took the Metro to Rue de Rivoli. Sue wanted to buy some make-up at Sephora and I needed to buy my usual quota of two pairs of jeans at Celio. It's my favourite men's shop. Waist and leg length works for me.
Rue de Rivoli runs for 3 kilometres from the 1st to the 4th Arronndisements and has an amazing amount of shops, cafes and  restaurants. Its creation stems back to Napoleon's time and was named after one of his victories against Austria (Wikipedia told me).
We found some gift shops and bought what we needed before giving the Metro a miss for the bus.
The bus trip although visually more interesting, was hot and stuffy compared to the Metro.

A walk down Rue de Rivoli is always a must do when in Paris.
Although we are starting to see it in more in Melbourne  these days, the building site facades in Paris have always intrigues me. It beautifies an otherwise shabby construction site.
When we were strolling down Rue de Rivoli, the historic site of Samaritaine had posters and photograph's of whit was in time gone by.

One block back from Rue de Rivoli is not as interesting but you don't have to fight for a seat. It also costs less.
Mother and son walk Rue de Rivoli through the foliage of the streets florists.
On previous visits to Paris we'd been driven past or around this gothic style tower rising above Rue de Rivoli and wondered the significance of it. So after getting home, I hopped onto Wikipedia to discover that it the remains of a 16th century church. The church was demolished for building materials but on the condition that the tower remained.
The Saint Jacques Tower is now listed by UNESCO as World Heritage.

Bikes are parts of the local traffic - Melbourne is starting to catch up but not so much of a lifestyle as Paris.
We sat at a cafe near the Saint Paul Metro station on Rue  de Rivoli in the Marais watching workers and tourists go about their day.

And finally for a friends of ours, Diane and Nigel - a photo of a Porsche 356 found in the car park when we arrived in Paris a few days ago. She liked the E-type I posted yesterday but this will bring back more fond memories of the past.
Our four weeks in France has come to an end with only one more sleep before we get loaded on to the plane with the rest of the cattle for another epic marathon flight back home.
This trip has been different to the past four. We've had family with us at various times. Both old and new friends have given us special moments along the way.
3000 kms have been travelled in the car and that doesn't include the TGV trip from Paris to Marseilles.
We've seen Provence, Languedoc, the Verdon Gorge and revisited Saint Remy for a one week stay.
A three day drive up to the Loire saw us meet up with old friends, meet new friends and enjoy too much food and wine before returning to Paris. Today is our last full day.

I expect that we will be back in Melbourne for our next post and "Melbourne our Home on the Bay" will focus on our great city the we do call home.
Thanks for travelling with us.

Leon and Sue


  1. Thanks for remembering us in your closing shot. Looks like a 356C, built between 1963 and 1965; flat hubcaps my diagnostic! Earlier models had half-dome hubcaps originally used on the VW Beetle. The colour looks odd, but maybe it's the garage lighting! Safe trip back.Nigel and Diane

  2. Nigel and Diane - thanks for your good wishes and friendship on this trip.

  3. Hard to believe it has been 4 weeks ago. Time really flies by too quickly.
    Thank you for taking the time so we could travel with you through France.
    Have a safe trip back home! Hopefully it won't seem too long.

    1. Nadege - Pleased that you could join us.

  4. Thanks for sharing your trip through France, really enjoyable to see it through your eyes.

    Perhaps the next time you come to the Loire we could meet? In the meantime safe flight home and we look forward to tales from Melbourne :-)

    1. N and A,
      Next time we are in the Loire we certainly will make a point of extending a network of friends with you both.

  5. Bon voyage! I have so enjoyed your photos and commentary, thank you for sharing. Louise

    1. Thank you Louiseand maybe you'll pop in for a look when we return to Melbourne in the next few days.

  6. Hey Dad, where you sat at a cafe near St Paul Metro was right near our local Paul's we visited every morning for our petit dejeuner on the run!! You where literally 5 minutes walk from our (the) apartment we stayed in! Missing you all already, hope the trip back is in greater luxury than the trip there. Love you! xx

    1. CWA - It was a wonderful experience to share with you Sharn, Andrew and Ashley.
      Things to carry in our memories for the rest of our life.

  7. Hopped over from Diane's blog. It will be fun to travel with you virtually to see so many beautiful places.

    1. QPC - thanks for joining us and hope you keep us company in Melbourne for the next two years before we hopefully can return to France for a longer period. Meanwhile we'll post on our daily life in Melbourne our Home by the Bat.


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