Paris, Paris! Finally I'm here!
Although the directions in the CDG airport is messy, although the subway stations are even more messy, this is Paris! Capital of Arts!
When you talk about France, most likely you first talk about Paris; When you talk about Paris, 50% of the chance you first talk about Arc de Triomphe. But few people know that there are actually several of them in Paris. The most famous one, of course, is the one named just "Arc de Triomphe", the other one is opposite to Louvre, named "Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel". These two guys are actually on the same "historic axial line" of Paris, together with many other famous and ancient buildings. In Chinese Fengshui, this might be referred as a symbol of the royal power upon the country.
The other half of icon of Paris is no other than Eiffel. It's not that exciting when you have seen too much of it from TV, movies, photos, paintings, etc.
The Obelisk at Concorde Square is actually from Egypt, again few people know this fact. This 3000-year-old piece now stands on a foreign land, even performs as a symbol of this foreign city, ironic.
Concord Square is actually a huge piece of art by itself. You could never see such a big square with so many delicate decorations anywhere else. Fountains, statues, and the beautiful buildings surrounding it, just don't ask French what's the usage of them. "Just for arts' sake," they will answer.
The Alexandre III Bridge is not famous for itself, but for the view of Les Invalides from this bridge. Another ironic thing in Paris.
I arrived at Les Invalides at twilnight, just the best time to appreciate its beauty, but the wrong time for a Napoleon fan, for it is closed earlier in winter time, hence I could not get in to see the coffin of this great man. This is also a reason for me to visit Paris again. But nevertheless the building itself is reflecting the golden shines in the sunset, extraordinary.
On the way to Sacre-Coeur at Montmatre, I found a weird church. It's not as big as other famous ones in Paris, but the weird thing is, the church just looks like that somebody cuts a Gothic church into half, and leaves the inner dome as the front door.
Sacre-Coeur just looks like the Taj Mahah in Paris. Thiw white beauty is definitely worthy for climbing the Montmarte all the way up. Its beauty is beathtaking!
After "Da Vinci Code", Louvre suddenly became the No. 1 place of interests in Paris. People are looking for the places appeared in that novel, like the Glass Pyramid, Mona Lisa, etc.
I really don't have enough time, so only visited some "recommended" items in this ocean of master pieces, like the statue of Diana, the Venus, Mona Lisa, etc. I even gave up the whole painting collection at level 3! I decided that I should definitely visit Louvre again, for at least two days!
The Palace of Justice that just besides the Sante-Chapelle actually locates the Department of Justice of France. But most tourists treated it as the backyard of Sante-Chapelle or another place of interest, and took a lot of picture here.
Notre-Dame is a very mysterious place in Paris, thanks to the Hunchback. There is actually a 422-step stairs to the top of one tower, but again I don't have enough time to try that. Another reason for another visit...
The sculptures at the entrance of Notre-Dame are very complicated, but some are very interesting, like this one shows a man holding his own head in hands. Is that John the Baptist?
The most significant point of the inner side of Notre-Dame is the color glasses. The biggest one of them was once taken away during the war, but French finally got it back.
Finally is the Gothic side of Notre-Dame. It's very hard to imagine that the other side to this typical Gothic view is a twin-tower gate.
(Full collection of photos taken in Paris in Jan 2008: