Saturday, May 14, 2011

Roman Antiques and the Tower

We were able to visit this awesome Roman Theatre in Lyon. The acoustics were amazing!
So amazing, in fact, that I sang for our group. I sang a song that has this super high note at the end. When I sang it, the whole place rang. So incredibly cool. I'm really glad Porter pressured me to get up and sing. Porter and I also tap danced and sang a little "Suddenly Seymour" for the group.

And then Porter called upon Zeus, in a very theatrical kind of way, psh, actors!

Then we visited an old Roman Arena in Neme. It was in great condition.

I feel like I need to go watch "Gladiator" again. Did you know that the Romans could empty the entire seating area in just a few minutes? There were a lot of passage ways that led right out to the street. We climbed all the way to the very top for this picture. It was very windy up there.

One of the passage ways.

Just down the street was an amazing Roman Temple. It is actually the 2nd best preserved temple there is. It was beautiful.

We also saw a Roman Aqueduct. This one took water to the town of Neme, which was a very important city for trade. This aqueduct is the largest and best preserved in the world.

The Eiffel Tower

We made it to the top!!!

One Epic Museum

The Louvre

We got up super early so we could get there before it opened. When we arrived there was still a huge line. I told Porter we had to bee-line it to the Mona Lisa, other wise I wouldn't have the fire later in the day to fight the crowds to get close to her.
Whew! We made it, and not only did I edge my way to the front, I also got a shot without anyone in it!

This is the real deal Ladies and Gents. There is a glare because she is behind glass. I was actually disappointed, she wasn't as stunning as I was hoping for. There are so many other paintings there that I liked more. But still, it was fun to see it.

The crowd to see the Mona Lisa, and not many people were in there yet. Imagine it at noon, yikes!

An artist recreating a portrait. These artists were everywhere, and boy, were they good. In some cases I liked their work more than the original. It was fresher looking, the paint wasn't cracked like it was on the hundred year old paintings. It's nice to get a glimpse of what the originals may have looked like in their youth.

The Venus de Milo

This is one of my favorite statues ever! Cupid and Psyche, it's just stunning.

Statues of the 4 seasons.

Any Dr. Who fans out there who have seen the episodes with the weeping angels? Well, all I could think of while walking through the statues was the episode "Blink," I will never view statues the same way ever again.

Huge stone carvings!

The Louvre's naughty picture!

Apparently the the nipple pinch means that the King liked the sister who is getting pinched the most and that she was pregnant with his child.

There were so many paintings! Honestly, it was a bit over whelming.

We were so tired! We found some great red velvet couches and stopped to rest and regroup. Porter is trying to figure out where the heck we are because we were completely lost. The old palace is enormous. If you were living there back in the day it would seriously take you half an hour to get from your bedroom down to the other side. But all in all, we had a great day. I'm really glad we made time to spend a day seeing such beautiful art.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Paris Catacombs

It took us 3 times to actually make it to the catacombs. The first time, they were closed, second, we went to the wrong location, but third times the charm. We waited in line for about an hour before entering here.

Next we had to go down 65 steps on a tiny, spiral staircase. It was very tight, and you could feel the temperature dropping as we descended down into the bowels of Paris.

We then had to go through a system of small tunnels. The ceiling was only 6 ft. and was just bare rock. It was even dripping in places. I am not claustrophobic, but I was definitely feeling uneasy. Just the thought of getting trapped down there sends shivers down my spine.

The bare tunnels opened up a little to reveal this great passage way, but it only lasted a little while before we were back to the tiny tunnel.

The door way to the burial chamber : "Stop. Here is the Kingdom of the Dead."

There were bones stacked up 5 1/2 feet on both sides. I'm not sure how thick it was. And this went on and on. Also they used skulls and such to make design. It was creeptacular. There were a lot of crosses, it was very eerie.

I dared Porter to pick up a skull. I wanted him to have "Alas poor Yorick" pose, but this is what I got. Afterward I made him scrub his hands, because seriously, gross!

Creepy heart made out of skulls.

No flash allowed, so this is our dark, Gothic, together with the dead picture.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Aix en Provence Market Day

This morning we hit up the market in Aix en Provence. It was one of those "must do things" they told us. They were right! It was amazing. The food was all from local farms, there was tons of it, and it looked to die for. Every berry was a juicy ruby red. The veggies looked so fresh and crisp. I wanted to whip out my reusable bags and go shopping, only downside to that, my bags and fridge are on the other side of the globe. Seriously, I wanted to taste everything. There were so many people doing all of their shopping. You could buy everything you needed here: produce, meats, cheeses, bread, macaroons (everyone needs these), eggs, olives. Best. Market. Ever. American food is so lame compared to this pastoral feast. I want to move to Europe just so I can shop at market filled streets and eat amazing food.
Of course I'm starting you off with a pictures of my favorite treat: Macaroons.


more produce

We love the market!

The have the most amazing bread

Getting fancy with the spices

Can I just tell you, I was in heaven! Olives and tapenades every where, fresh olives are the best!


A seafood and rice dish, it was in an enormous pot.

Porter wanted to try out a red pear.

Apparently, in France, there are Zombies among us..."Brains!"

After the food market we visited the flower market in another square. There were flowers everywhere.

So pretty.

Next to the flower market was the fish market. They probably put it next to the flowers to hide the fishy smell. I felt bad as we walked by, some of the crabs were still alive and trying to crawl out. I wanted to pull a 'Free Crabby,' but I don't they would have appreciated my animal activism. They eat so much meat here, it's crazy.

We had a great day here in Aix. After the market we head back to our hotel, which is in an old manor house, so cute! Although we are on the third floor where the elevator doesn't reach, so we climb spiral staircases to get to our room, very cool and very tiring all at the same time. Oh, and there is no shower, only a tub. Bathing is interesting. C'est la vie!