Thursday, 13 December 2012

Louvre, Les Champs Elysee and L'Arc de Triomphe

It was chilly in Paris today. As rain is predicted for much of our stay, we decided to visit the Louvre first then stroll through the Christmas Markets on the Champs Elysee until we reached the L'arc de Triomphe. We felt happy that yesterday we had taken the time to orient ourselves to the Metro system, which is really very easy to use.

The Louvre is enormous and divided into seven main sections, including painting, sculpture, Egyptian and decorative arts. With map in hand, Brett Jnr thankfully was our navigator. We saw so much and the children were especially enthralled with de Vinci's Mona Lisa. The Winged Victory of Samothrace and Napoleon's apartments were also highlights. Perhaps most memorable for me and Brett Snr, though, was the temporary exhibition of Raphael's final years' works. The richness of colour and craftsmanship was breathtaking.

As we strolled along the Champs Elysee after our visit to the Louvre, we browsed the hundreds of  wooden stalls of the Christmas markets - hot mulled wine, sugary treats and crafts were everywhere. However, many of the crafts seemed imported. Only the children's toffee apples saved the day!

The Champs Elysee is lined with many brand stores such as Zara, Adidas, Cartier and Louis Vuitton. Traffic around the L'Arc de Triomphe is truly a nightmare. However, even in the chaos and cold, Paris doesn't cease to enthral.              Tricia

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