Thursday, July 23, 2009

Paris Day 2!

The following morning we got up early to get a head start on our sightseeing tour. We walked over to the Eiffel tower.

Since the lines were rather long, we didn't want to waste hours waiting. Instead we just took some pictures and continued onwards. Perhaps if I make a second trip to Paris I'll go up the tower.

Walking around Paris, you get multiple views of the Eiffel Tower. So here's another one.

In order to get around the city, my dad and I got tickets for a hop-on hop-off bus. The bus stops at all major tourist attractions. During the ride we passed by a museum.

Admission to the museum was free, so we did actually check it out a little bit. There were small antiquity exhibits along with some Greek sculptures. It was nothing compared to the Louvre, of which I'll discuss later. Anyway, our first stop off the bus was Notre Dame Cathedral.

Construction started in the 12th century and it was completed in 1345. It was one of the first gothic cathedrals and also one of the first to use flying buttresses. The lines to enter the cathedral dissipated rather quickly. Since the line continuously moves, you can get inside in a matter of minutes. Admission was surprisingly free.

Afterwards, we took the tour bus to the Opera House.

Right next to the Opera House we stopped by at a restaurant for lunch.

I got a braised lamb shoulder. Doesn't it look just so succulent? I only wish I had another one. The portion was surprisingly large.

My dad and I walked around the city for most of the afternoon. We couldn't stay out too long because we needed to get back to the hotel so that we could change for the night's festivities.

After changing into more formal clothes at the hotel, we ventured off to find the meeting point for our night cruise along the Seine River. The cruise was just a normal excursion you would find in any other city. You hop and and then drive around the river to see the sights.

During the 1 hour ride, we saw

The outside of the Orsay Museum, the 2nd most visited museum in Paris, the Louvre being the first.

The back of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

The Alexander III bridge. It's the most decorated bridge in Paris. Four gilt-bronze statues watch over the bridge and 12 lights span the perimeter.

At the end of the ride it started to get dark outside. The conclusion of our excursion led us to this gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. At 10:00 pm, lights on the tower continuously flash. Unfortunately the video is out of focus, but you get the idea of what was going on.

After the boat tour we went to see a cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge. Going to Paris, we felt somewhat obligated to make a stop here. The show currently on right now is called Feerie. The closest translation we could get was "A wonderful life."

About the show. It was very tasteful and classy. Although it was a cabaret, there was not an ounce of sleaziness/shadiness/seediness about it. For the first 20 or so minutes, you could barely tell that the dancers were topless. In the beginning, the woman wore several necklaces that strategically covered up the upper portion of their bodies. After that though, it was blatantly obvious (as in their costumes didn't even try to mask their chests). In total, there were probably 100 males and female dancers, the majority of which being female.

The show was about an hour and forty-five minutes long with 60 songs the women danced to. Although the show was entirely in French, I don't think it was necessary to understand since there wasn't a significant story line. Some scenes didn't even have any dialogue. Only a fraction of the songs consisted of the women actually singing, and even then I got the feeling that they were lip syncing. I tried following the women's lips with the music and at times it didn't seem to fit.

One of the most memorable scenes during the show was when a water tank half the size of the stage rose up from the ground. In addition to water, the tank was filled with pythons 6-8 feet in length. During this scene/song, a scantily clad woman pranced around the stage and jumped into the pool of water. At this point she proceeded to perform underwater acrobatics with these snakes in hand.

For a more in depth review, please check out this guy's review. He seems to be an avid theater goer.

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