Sunday, September 20, 2009

On y va tous!

Continued from yesterday's start to the annual Journees du Patrimoine, day two proved to be just as wonderful AND I remembered to put the SD card back in my camera!!!

So today we hit the trail by taking the bus to Gare du Nord which basically goes from our street, past Le Moulin Rouge and to the train station. We decided to do this because we could then check out the line at Le Moulin without getting off the bus and then if we didn't get off we'd grab the metro at GdN. As we passed through Pigalle, we saw that the line was even longer than yesterday so we kept on riding. We changed to another bus at GdN which took us straight down into the 5th. However, on this ride we got to go through one of the old city Ports. These are, what Sweet Pea likes to call, Mini-Arc de Triomphs. They are where the old city gates were located when there were fortresses protecting the city. In the 11th there are two - Port St. Denis and Port St. Martin (there was one at the Bastille but it is no longer there- it was what was turned into the prision). A taxi driver explained to me that the road that leads one into the city through a port is called Faubourg and once you cross into the city through the Port it loses the Faubourg and becomes a Rue. For instance, on the bus this morning we traveled from the Gare into the main part of the city on Faubourg St. Martin but once we passed through Port St. Martin, the road became Rue St. Martin. Especially in our old hood of the 11th you will see lots of Faubourgs and if you come to Paris , keep an eye out for roads to change from Faubourg to Rue and you will know where there were once city gates!

Okay I digress....

So we were off to score a visit to the Pantheon and the Sorbonne. And we did. And it was again, all free. If you ever come to Paris during this celebration, all you have to do is wander the streets and you will see so many buildings open welcoming visitors. You don't even need a plan. Just wander and duck into as many buildings as you can. So much fun!

Here is the Pantheon. A tomb for some of France's most important people.

Joan of Arc lies here amongst some other very famous people in French history.

Aside from the cool dead people, the architecture is amazing!

Down to the crypt for more dead people....

like Voltaire.....


who was Marat you may ask? Are you familiar with this painting by David? An important painting depicting the murder of Jean-Paul Marat, a popular writer/spokesperson during the French Revolution.

Kids in the crypt.

Upon leaving the Pantheon, this is what you see. Hello! Beautiful!

And now off to show the kids where they will be attending University.

Scepters representing the different academic departments of the school.

The quad so to speak.

After the Sorbonne, we went to St. Chapelle and Le Palais de Justice.

And then finally a late afternoon coffee break with of course the requisite French sweet treat!

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