|Ana and I on the Champ de Mars|
How many ways can one person possibly see a city? By foot? Check. By boat? Also check. By bike? After yesterday, I can scratch that one off my list as well!
I spent this past Sunday afternoon with my "auntie-to-be," Ana, who lives close-by, and we went on a bike tour of Paris with Fat Tire Bike Tours. We spent four hours in the sunshine pedaling our way around Paris' monuments, through crowded parks, and even in crazy Parisian traffic! The tour was in English and comprised of 13 cyclists and our knowledgeable and funny guide from New Zealand, Karl, who happened to really look and sound like Chris Martin from Coldplay...
|Our super fashionable bikes|
[As a side note, I learned this past Friday that Coldplay (who I absolutely love!) is having a concert here in Paris in December. I found out at 10am, the tickets had gone on sale that morning at 9am, and by the time I checked the website to buy my ticket barely an hour later, they were ALL sold out. SO SAD!! I was really hoping to see them here, but since they always tour in the US after their gigs in Europe, there is still hope once I get home...fingers crossed!]
|l'Ecole Militaire and our tour guide Karl|
|Wall For Peace, Champ de Mars|
|Hitler in Paris|
His son, Napoleon II's body is also buried in Les Invalides, and was actually gifted to France by Hitler. Hitler was obsessed with Napoleon and his militaristic way of life, and upon his only visit to Paris - which lasted a whopping 4 hours - he decided that Napoleon's son should rest near his father, so as an act of respect to his idol Hitler ordered the transfer of the tomb from Vienna, Austria to Paris. Never though Hitler was a gift-giving kind of guy, but I guess you learn something every day!
Also, did anyone else know that the Russians occupied Paris much like the Nazis did? This was news to me, and I've taken many classes involving French history... After Napoleon's failed attempt at successfully invading Russia in 1813, the Russian army followed the French troops back to Paris to make sure that Napoleon abdicated his position as emperor. While the Russian troops were in Paris, they would go to cafes and demand that they were served quickly, shouting the Russian word for quick, "Bistro!", at all the waiters. To advertise their quick service, many cafes started posting signs saying "bistro" on their windows, and thus the bistro that we know today was born.
|Place de la Concorde|
|Rodin's "Le Penseur - The Thinker"|
|Hydrangeas from the museum's gardens|
|La Galerie des Glaces - The Hall of Mirrors|
|Nicolas Flamel's epitaph|
|Durandal (on left), the sword of Roland|
|"A Mon Seul Desir"|
And finally, I leave you with this video. As a part of the exhibit on Medieval weaponry, I was surprised to find a TV playing the clip of the Black Knight from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"! I watched it and found myself chuckling in the middle of the otherwise silent room where this was playing (it was in English but subtitled in French) - I guess the French do have a sense of humor after all!