Cathédrale Notre Dame
|Cathédrale Notre Dame|
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the three arches at the entrance are all different, with the right arch being the original Gothic-style entrance. The original gargoyles are the long-necked ones parallel to the ground, and not the little creatures sitting upright at the corners. The word “gargoyle” comes from the French word gargouille, “throat” in English, and was named as such because of the gargling noises their throats make as water whooshes through it. Yes, besides guarding the church from evil spirits, these gargoyles also serve as waterspouts!
|At the pond outside Centre Pompidou|
Musée du Louvre
|Musée du Louvre|
The Place de la Concorde, where Louise XVI and Marie Antoinette were guillotined before the erection of Cleopatra's Needle, is one of two places in Paris where your insurance will have to pay 50% if you are in a car accident - whether you are the guilty party or not. The other, is the Champs Elysees (no surprise there!).
La Tour Eiffel
The Eiffel Tower is the most well-known structure in Paris, as well as the tallest (320 m) and most visited. It received the title as the tallest man-made structure in the world in 1889, snatching the title from the Washington Monument, and held it for 41 years (the longest period this title was ever held) until it was given back to the USA for the construction of the Chrysler Building in 1930. The Eiffel Tower also serves a useful purpose and is the host of broadcasting antennas. Interestingly, because of this addition, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building.
At night the whole tower lights up and every half hour the lights dance over the structure in an impressive display.
|La Tour Eiffel|
L'Hotel des Invalides
|L'Hotel des Invalides|
After stopping at a market for lunch, our bicycle tour came to and end - 4 wonderful hours and 18 km later. I will definitely recommend exploring Paris by bike. And, since I was the very first South African to go on a Blue Bike tour, you'll just have to take my word for it :)
|Breaking New Grounds|