We had a busy day today! We did a lot, saw a lot and we definitely learned a lot!
We started off with a guided tour of the city in the day light where we made stops at the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. We then toured the beautiful Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter. Our guide director, Bernie was extremely knowledgable and took us on a historical journey from the start of our tour right to the end today at the Louvre. Our driver, Chris, basically was a magician as the driving here in Europe - especially France is crazy!!! There are very few lines on the roads in the city of Paris and it pretty much is every person to themselves in the roundabouts. Pedestrians have to go underground to get to the monuments that are situated in the middle of the roundabouts. Everyone knows about "touch" parking here and there are many cars with dents in their bumpers. Touch parking is basically doing a parallel and then backing forward and backward while hitting both cars in front and back until you get in the spot. Alternatively, some people just park anywhere - Bernie described it as "abandoning" their cars. We witnessed that more than once!
The city is a spectacular and calculated design. Everything is about aesthetics and perspective is extremely important to the French. Most famous monuments or buildings are situated at the end of what you might call the arms of a star - everything radiates out from the Place de Concorde - the main square. The city is a circle with 12 arms (of a star). (The actual centre of the city is in front of Notre Dame Cathedral). So when you look down any arm of the star you see a beautiful monument or building. Some of the pics might show this.
We headed to the Louvre and spent about two hours there looking at Greek and Roman art and sculpture. Then we left our group and headed out on our own. It was about 23 degrees - just a beautiful day so we walked and walked and walked. We ate dinner in an outdoor cafe - escargot, duck and red wine - yum.