Being only two blocks away,We started the day with the Pantheon. I am struck by the fact that man has accomplished such great feats of art and construction inspired by God. Temples. Convents, churches, cathedrals . All breathtaking. This is where many philosophers, writers and artist have been laid to rest underneath the church. The only ones I knew were victor Hugo, Rousseau, and . Their final homes are simple and unadorned to marvelous pieces of marble that had had beautiful paying homage to the artist inside.
They had a print on exhibit that caught my attention. It reads "la philosophies decouvrant la verite." Over a person's head there was a banner that states- social contract. This allegory originates from the Age of Enlightenment. We see Philosophy (with the light of reason in hand) unveiling knowledge in accordance in our responsibility to society. My thought provoking allegory for the day.
Luxembourg gardens- when we enter in the park, there are people gathered in circles with their friends enjoying their park...kinda like an ALF shindig. Once you get past the vendors and a cafe, the park opens up unto open space that had been elegantly manicured and well cared for. Right in the middle is a pool with a water sculpture. At the far end stands the palace of. This place is jus one massive estate that has been opened up as public space to the citizens of France. Just awesome! One day San Jose, one day...I'll keep my fingers crossed.
We hopped on the train to the outer suburbs of Paris to Montmartre. This place is Pier 39 level of tourist. And yes, I did buy some pendejadas. We followed the crowds toward the hill upwards to Sacre coeur. When we were halfway up, TIhe rolling clouds had opened up for a little sprinkle. As the crowds ran for cover, we opened up our umbrellas and found ourselves some prime seating. we sat and just took it in and again when we reached the top. Again this reminds me of various faiths and how their most revered places are built on the highest point.
We quickly got lost in the back alleys of Montmartre. As Rick Steves has stated, it has gone to the dogs. We hopped in the nearest metro and headed headed towards La Tour Eiffel...the symbol of Paris and the longest, most ridiculous lines I've ever seen. We made ourselves a little picnic in the surrounding park and watched locals and tourists go by. We walked along the artisanal shops of Rue Cler before finally heading back to our hotel to get ready for dinner.
One thing I've forgotten to note is that we have started each evening with a pint at a place called Mad Pub, located two doors down from the hotel. It's a local spot where the students of the Sorbonne hang out. It's decorated as if pirates have ransacked the place. Their house beer is a blonde appropriately named "Mad Beer." We ate al fresco at
the Cafe du Pantheon where we gazed at the massive Pantheon with the full moon in the background. A perfect end to a lovely day.