We rode the Channel Tunnel (fondly called the Chunnel) from London to Paris. The Chunnel is 31 miles long with 23 of those miles not only underwater, but about 150 feet under the seabed in rock! The train travels at over 90 miles per hour so the trip only lasts about 20 minutes! Think about how big the Cheops Pyramid in Egypt is. Think about 3 of them side by side. Now try to imagine them as big mounts of dirt and rock - that is how much dirt was removed from the ground to make the Chunnel!

The first thing we did when we arrived was to find our hotel and check-in. We stayed at the Villa Fenelon. It was LOVELY and close to the subway stop.

The Louvre

Ahh... PARIS!! And the Louvre!! K&K and Bob and Amy had to run to see all they could in the one day they had there. The Louvre became a museum open to the public in 1747 - before that the Kings would only let a few people see their treasures.

The glass pyramid and fountains Bob is standing beside are the new entrance that was built in 1985. 

To see more pictures and find out more information, go to http://www.louvre.fr/louvrea.htm


Our strategy was to hustle to the Mona Lisa first before it got crowded. Of course, it is at the other end of the Louvre!  K&K had to ride again.

Leonardo de Vinci painted it between 1503 and 1506. It was painted on a thin piece of poplar wood that is now so old and dry that the paint is very fragile and has to stay in a glass case with a constant temperature and humidity. We don't have any real proof about who the woman is, but lots of theories abound. Also, after de Vinci perfect the smile, he used it in numerous later paintings!

  In 1826 the Egyptian section was opened to the public. It now has over 5,000 items on display!

Some of the statues, coffins, and pottery are huge! It is amazing that these pieces were moved so far and with so much care!



The Bull column Bob is standing by is one of 36 built around 510 BC that supported the roof of an Iranian temple. It is over 69 feet high! 

K&K are standing by the description of the palace these columns use to support.



At one end of the Champs Elysees (a really long and fancy street that has some great shopping) is l'Arc de Triomphe or, in English, The Arch of Triumph. Napoleon Bonaparte had it built to remind the people of his many victories in battle. It is HUGE! It stands 164 feet high and 148 feet wide.

In front of the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that has a flame that burns all the time. Buried in the tomb is a soldier from WWI who has never been identified - he represents all those loved and lost fighting for their country. America has a similar tomb in Washington, DC.

The picture on the left shows us on the top of the Arc with the Eiffel Tower behind us. And yes, we had to climb more spiral stairs - 230 to the top, to be exact!



Notre Dame was started in 1163 AD and completed about 1345 AD -  282 years later! By 1768, Notre Dame was so well known that the people of Paris decided that all distances in the city would be measured from the Chapel.

Under the Chapel is an amazing systems of crypts and excavations that reveal the building back to Roman times.

We also climbed the 387 steps up to the top of the towers. Then back down! Akk!!

In front of Notre Dame was a man that had bread crumbs. As soon as he showed up there were little singing birds everywhere! Amy got to have little bird toenails hang on to her hand while she let the birds eat the bread! 




The subways in Paris are a trill to ride. Bob almost got pick-pocketed while we were there. He felt the youngster reach into his fannypack for the camera and stopped him cold.

K&K were learning how to read the subway maps and they began to be able to help Bob and Amy catch the right train.

The only problem was that they kept crawling out of the bookbags and hanging on to the windows. I don't think many of the people of Paris had ever seen lizards riding the windows of their trains. Bob and Amy had a lot of people ask about K&K! It was fun and funny!




This chapel was VERY different from the others in Paris. The bottom floor is dark, beautiful, and decorated in a fine style. But it is the top level that takes your breath away.

Built in the 1240's, stained glass windows that reach to the sky encircle the entire level.

It is like visiting the inside of a biblical kaleidoscope! Color, stories, and beauty everywhere! The windows cover 6,456 square feet of the chapel walls and reach 67 feet into the sky.



Eiffel Tower

It was built for the 1889 Universal Exhibition in 2 years, 2 months, and 5 days. There are 2 1/2 million rivets and it weighs 7,000 tons.

We took the "lift" (elevator) to the top - 1,050 feet high! Then took the lift down to the top most platform - and walked the 400 steps to the second platform and the 360 steps to the base...we think... It seems like different webpages have different numbers! On the other hand, that is a lot of stairs to keep counting!

Did you know that the Eiffel Tower can be up to as much as 6 inches taller or shorter with heat or cold? It also can sway 7 inches at the top with the winds! 



The Cluny Museum - L'Musee National du Moyen Age

The National Museum of the Middle Ages was wonderful! K&K wanted to see the huge tapestries of ladies with their unicorns. We all were blown away but the beauty, intricacy, and size! And not allowed to film them.

On the far left, Amy and K&K are standing by a narwhal horn, which many believed to be a unicorn horn. To see a site on narwhals, go to http://www.narwhal-whales.com/

The next picture is of Amy standing next to the "cooking tools" that priests in the middle ages made the wafers used in the Holy Sacraments.



The Pantheon

Although the Pantheon was started in 1757, and finished in 34 years, major changes have been made since then. The floor plan is laid out in a cross shape that is 361 feet long and 280 feet wide. The dome reaches to 279 feet high! We never got a good pic of the outside.

In 1851, an astronomer named  Jean Bernard Léon Foucault held an experiment in the dome to prove that the world revolves around an axis. They called it the Foucault pendulum. One is in the  Smithsonian in DC - read about it at http://www.si.edu/resource

Below the Pantheon is a most amazing crypt. The spiral stairs were beautiful but daunting! The people entombed there include Victor Hugo, Jean Monnet, and Marie and Pierre Curie. We couldn't find out how many stairs there were, so we guessed 80 down.
The Musée des Egouts de Paris is also fondly known as the Sewer Tour.

On the left, Bob is showing K&K the big pipe at the top of the tunnel that carries the fresh water to this part of the city. On the right, the red arrow is pointing to a stuffed rat - there use to be lots of rats in the Paris sewers. And, yes, there was a bit of an aroma to the tour! 


We were half way through our trip and running out of shirts and underwear. It was time to do the wash - no small task when it is cold, rainy, and you have to decide what you are willing to put back on so that you can wash what ever else is left.

No public dryer in the entire world has the same heat setting - we know. This time all we had to do is peel the melted plastic from Amy's undies off Bob's shirts. However, that left Amy with very few wearable undergarments & left Bob with funky stuff to peel off some of his shirts. That is part of the fun and the stories to tell....


After getting engaged in London, K&K decided to get married in Paris at the Villa Fenelon. It had a beautiful flower garden and terrace for the wedding. Bob and Amy took Kimi shopping for a beautiful French lace hanky that would be her wedding vale. Kini wore a beautiful black top hat.

We could see how much Kini loved Kimi when she walked down the isle toward him. Then they joined their little paws and climbed up a mirrored wall to exchange their vows.



After they kissed, and were pronounced lizard and lizard, it was time to dance and celebrate. We all danced till we dropped!

It was the most lovely lizard wedding we have ever been to!


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