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Posted By Robin & Jim

Our last stop in the Loire Valley was the David d'Angers gallery.  David is a famous sculptor with pieces in many prominent places around the world.  He was an amazing talent, and the gallery was small, but very interesting - located in a former abbey. 

david d'angers gallery

One of the places on Jim's wish list for this France trip was Mont St. Michel on the northern coast.  The Mont is a rocky tidal island that was a monastery starting in the 8th century.  The abbey sits at the top of the tall rock, with a small town spiraling around the mountain leading up to the summit.  It was quite a climb up to the top of the abbey, but well worth it for the view and to hear about all the history of this amazing place.

mont st. michel

From there we drove to the opulent palace at Versailles, and then into Paris.  We used a big pile of Metro (subway) cards running all around the city to see as many highlights as we could in a few days.  We took a lovely dinner cruise on the Seine to see the city lit up at night, we enjoyed nice little lunches at sidewalk cafes, we toured Sacre Coeur, Place de la Concorde, the Arc du Triomphe, strolled along the Left Bank, and toured and climbed Notre Dame cathedral.  I think that was my favorite - the views of the city are wonderful, but the gargoyles were really exceptional!

notre dame view

We found Paris to be very crowded with tourists, but it was easy to understand why people find it to be such a compelling city.  It has so many sights and an endless variety of museums.  We spent just one afternoon at the famous Louvre, and I never realized that the buildings were once a palace - they are a work of art by themselves! 

louvre

The collections in the Louvre were unbelievable - you just have to try and absorb it in small bits at a time.

Of course no trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, and we got to see it by day and by night.

eiffel tower

We all took the train through the Chunnel from Paris to London.  Jim's Dad flew back to Florida and we took two days to enjoy London.  Of course we headed right to the Royal Naval Observatory to see the Harrison clocks that were used to accurately calculate longitude on ships at sea.  We walked all around the town trying to see as much as we could, wrapping up with a ride on the London Eye to see the city by night - wonderful!


 
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