Notre Dame Cathedral
There is so much to do in Paris alone, but we only had 3 days in Paris. Our first half day, we walked around the Eiffel Tower and visited the Tomb of Napoleon. we spent the morning of the next day touring Paris on a bus that ended at the Notre Dame Cathedral. Our British tour bus guide, Julian, was very interesting and was quite entertaining. At the Notre Dame Cathedral, he gave a very interesting explanation of the frieze on the front of the Cathedral. I couldn't begin to explain everything that he told us about the meaning of those sculptures that are so beautifully created for the West Facade of the building, but you can find some information here if you are interested.
After we finished admiring Notre Dame, we had lunch then moved on to the Louvre. Now that could have been an all day outing for me, but we only had a few hours to take in what we could.
We only went through a small part of the museum. Some of the works that we saw were the "Coronation of Napoleon" by Jacques Louis David. It is quite a large painting and my photo does not show it very well. You can look here to see a better picture of it and read the interesting story behind the painting and the artist. I did learn from the tour that there is an identical painting at Versaille, that we saw later in our trip, that appears the same except one of the ladies on the left wears a pink dress!
"The Coronation of Napoleon" by Jacques-Louis David
And of course, The Mona Lisa is a big attraction at the Louvre. The room was so crowded with people around the rope barrier that holds the crowd back from getting too close the the class encased painting. Apparently this painting was stolen back in 1911, and was found 2 years later and returned to the museum. You can read more about Leonardo da Vinci's favorite painting here and here. And on this site you can read about a documentary where the painting is analyzed to find how the original colors actually may have looked when it was painted.
After a long day of touring these sights, we had a nice meal at an "Italian" restaurant! Not French, but I believe most of the group enjoyed the spaghetti and veal.