Saturday, February 2, 2008

PARIS - the first part of the week

This last week has flown by! Paris was absolutely amazing! It was an adventure getting from the train station to the hotel, and little did I know that was just the beginning. Tons of walking, lots of stair climbing, using the metro, spending time in museums, brasseries, pastry shops, creperies, the Eiffel Tower, more museums, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, and so much more! I took an embarrassing amount of pictures, and here are some of them!

Right after we got settled in our rooms, a group of us headed to Montmartre. This cathedral is Sacre Couer. It sits way up on a hill in Paris, and it is said that at the top of the dome of the cathedral is the best view of the city.
We climbed to the top! A tiny spirally staircase, and about 15 minutes of climbing got us a beautiful view of the city, Eiffel Tower, and the smog I must admit. This was a such a fun way to start off the trip.The view from the dome.Another view.

As we were heading out of the dome, the sun was setting. We hurried to what we thought was the nearest metro stop (there is absolutely no way the closest metro stop is an hour walk from the Tower). However, I made it just in time to climb 688 stairs to see the sunset!
This is from the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower, I couldn't go to the top because it is closed during the week.This was taken right when we got up to the 2nd level. The colors of the sky were changing so quickly.
This is Paris baby!By the time we got down, the sun had set and it was completely dark outside, so the Tower looked beautiful!This picture doesn't do justice to the coldness!This night was such a blast. When we were done here, we walked along the Seine River to find a spot for dinner. Two hours later... we sat down in a tiny bar/cafe, and ate a great meal.

SAINT CHAPELLEKnown for it's beautiful and most impressive stained glass located in the Ile De La Cite. It is perhaps the high point of Gothic Architecture.Inside the Saint Chapelle.

NOTRE DAMESarajane and me in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. It's beautiful!The top of the Notre Dame, which one is the gargoyle? I climbed into the room where the bells are on the top of the cathedral. This bell is HUGE!

THE PANTHEONOut in front of the Pantheon. . It was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, but after many years it has become a famous burial place.One of the many famous people buried here is Voltaire. In case you were wondering, he is best known for his novel, Candide. I was most interested by him and his works, more than others buried here.

These gardens are the the gardens of the French Senate. I'm sure they are absolutely beautiful in the spring time, but we were pretty cold.Trying to have fun in the Gardens, and succeeding. It doesn't matter that it was cold!

LES INVALIDESOutside the Les Invalides. The building consists of a museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France. The most notable tomb here is Napoleon Bonaparte's. Napoleon was initially buried at Saint Helena, but the King arranged for his remains to be brought here in 1840. The people in the background give some idea of how large this tomb really is.Les Invalides is also the burial site for some of Napoleon's family and several military officers who served under him.This part of Les Invalides is dedicated to Louis XIV.When we were leaving the courtyard, a few of us decided it would be fun to take some candid shots of each other for fun (and also to kill some time) - this was fun!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunny Sabbath

Today was South Kensington's Branch Conference. To be honest, I can't say that meant too much to me, because the majority of it was in Portuguese. However, it was neat to see a larger congregation at sacrament, and meet the Stake Presidency. The Stake President's wife invited me and Betsy over for dinner tonight, but we have our Religion on Sunday nights. It would have been fun to go eat dinner with them! I am quickly learning that having a calling in Primary is not as easy as it sounds. There are three kids in my sunbeam class; Pedro, MariaEduarda, and Winifred. They are so much fun!Taking pictures was the only thing they wanted to do once I showed them my camera. Taking pictures was their reward for being good!MariaEduarda, Pedro, and Winifred.I look so stylish when I walk to and from church.

The walk on the way back was so pretty. The sun was setting, and the weather was great.
The walk on the way back was absolutely gorgeous. The last few sunsets here have been awesome.
This is a small area of the park that was filled with rollerbladers and people having picnics.