July 13th, 1998

We woke up at around 6:00AM to get ready. I turned on the TV to see who won the World Cup. It was France. There were about 2 million people that crowded the Champs de Elise that previous night to celebrate. There were some incidents as you would expect with that many excited people. I was kind of nervous about how rambunctious they would be for today. We met the Ytreeides downstairs at a little after 7:00AM.

Jen's last look at England
We ate breakfast and then took the 211 bus to the Waterloo Station. Cate had told us that there was going to be a strike of the Metro workers. It would not shut down the metros all together, but it would make it more crowded and not as frequent. Taking the bus made it really easy. It brought us right up to the front steps! And the other nice thing, was the bus stop where we got on at was a lot closer to our hotel than the metro station was.
We had figured that we wouldn’t get breakfast on the train, so we ate a crescent and drank some orange juice. When we got on, the first thing they did was serve us coffee, orange juice, milk, cereal, crescent, and another kind of roll. Then they asked us a half-hour later what we wanted for breakfast. Some of us ate some more and we were stuffed. We were on the EuroTrain that goes upwards of 200MPH. We crossed the chunnel from 10:05AM to 10:25AM. That was neat. During those 20 minutes, we were under the English Channel.

Here's the train that will take us under the English Channel (Hope it's waterproof)

Our breakfast menu

Some Eurostar salt

Some Eurostar sugar
We arrived in Paris at 12:50 local time. We had lost an hour in transit. After the long trip, Arnie was in need of some refreshment. After we got our metro passes we hopped on the metro to find our hotel. The metro that was there at the train station had a stinch that suggested that there were those that did not want to pay the fee that was necessary in order to use the facilities. We hopped off the metro and made the long hike to our hotel, it was about 3:15PM.
Arnie buying Coke from a soccer ball

Our long walk to our hotel
As we were walking to our hotel, cars passing by were waving their flags and honking their horns in glee. It appeared that just about the whole country was happy that we had arrived. The fact that they won the world cup might have lifted their spirits as well. 'Viva, la France!!' they shouted as they sped by.

Our Paris Metro Pass

Our Quai Voltaire Hotel
After we checked in and settled down, we walked over to the Louvre, which is right across from our hotel.

A view of the Louvre from our Hotel

Ticket to the Louvre

The front of our guide to the Louvre

The pyramid entrance to the Louvre
We got in line at around 4:00PM and the line was supposed to be 2 hours long. The guys went to get something to eat while the girls waited in line. It only took the girls 35 minutes to get to the front and they had to wait about 10 minutes for us to return.
After we waited in another line, we finally were able to enjoy the Museum. Everything was absolutely gorgeous.
Doug and Jen at the Louvre

Elsie views the famous 'Mona Lisa' from afar
The first thing we went to see was the Mona Lisa. Parts of the Louvre we going to close early and we wanted to make sure that we didn’t miss out on seeing one of the most famous paintings in the world. Everyone crowded around it. It was encased in glass so it wouldn’t get harmed. It was neat to see. The detailed frescoes and gold detail on the ceilings was spectacular.
We also saw an interesting Mesopotamian sculpture of a lion with a man’s head. The sculpture was a solid block, you could not see between the legs or anything. The strange thing is that from the side, you could see 4 legs as if he were walking, but the front showed 2 front legs as if he were standing legs together. From an angle it looked as if he had 5 legs.
Winged Bull with Human Head

The splendid halls of the Louvre

Try to fit some of those in your living room
We also saw the Code of Hammarabbi. This was the first known written tablet of laws.

The beautiful architecture of the Louvre
We also saw the Venus de Milo. It was very neat to see things in person that you had only read about or seen in pictures.
Venus de Milo

Too much to see, too little time.
After the busy evening at the Louvre we ate dinner at the Grande Louvre which was located in the Museum. It was very tasty. After that, it was around 10:00PM, so we went back for the night.