14 Dec 2007 (Friday): Paris

20 people in the group joined this optional tour. Prior leaving Singapore, I was flipping through the guide... Since public transport was not quite accessible from the hotel, it seemed the best way to pass the day was to join the optional tour that cost us nearly 100 euros. Anyway, it's worth going to these places, in particular Lourve Museum :D

Catherine Lye was our guide for the day. What a vast difference, in terms of professionalism in guiding! It was clear, and more importantly simply to understand... we were engaged most of the time! Learn more about the Palace and the Museum :D

Versailles Palace
  • It's the 2nd time to Versailles Palace. Asked me what I remember about this palace since the last trip - The grand stateroom filled with mirrors (ie. the Hall of Mirrors) and the garden of some symmetrical and geometrical design. The impression was - it's huge!
  • Of course, Napolean was the name that kept coming up most of the time... also, Louis XIV. Ah ha! I could recall the elaborated Bedrooms of the King and Queen!
  • Something added after this trip: A important document, ie. the TREATY was signed here. However, don't have much background info on this... what a petty!

Lourve Museum

  • Mona Lisa is the limelight of Lourve, probably the main attraction. Nevertheless, be forewarned! It's one of the smallest pieces of work in the entire museum! Furthermore, it's secured behind a glass case! It looked dim! What impressed me were the many other pieces of work there - the big ones, those that depicts parts of the revolutionary history, the culture and life of the renaissance period, the greek sculptures.
  • The last time I came with Lee Choo, it was a very thorough walk, though without much idea about the background of the masterpieces. However, this time was more prepared and armed with more info... of course, thanks to the guide, learnt the stories behind some of the pieces.

  • With the popularity of the "Da Vinci Code", of course, it has also raised the profile of Lourve - oh yes, the famous glass pyramid (by IM Pei) is the landmark.

  • Learnt the significance of several paintings - the "Cornonation of Josephine" (above). A few things gathered from the gigantic painting - The event took place at Notre Dame (Tell-tale sign in the painting? The carvings shown on the right side of the painting). Napolean was supposed to be crowned by the priest, however, he crowned himself instead. So, the painter cleverly presented another scene. Also, within the painting, we could find Josephine's daughter, too! Oops! Napolean was once a stepfather?
  • Another interesting fact is, geometrical shapes such as triangles and circles were widely used by artists like Leonardo da Vinci. It was pointed out to us how to look out for the use of triangles here... so much so that we would notice most of the main figure of the painting landed up in the centre. As of the painting (below), we also learnt to interpret that the child on the left was Jesus' cousin while the one on the right was Jesus. How to differentiate? Well, from the hands' gestures - for praying and blessing (respectively).

  • Painters like to represent themselves somewhere within their work - hey, it was something that they could not do with today's photography technology (of course, when the photos are not doctored in anyway).
  • Among those that depict the revolutionary period, there was one that inspired Victor Hugo to write the well-loved Les Miserable!

River Cruise

  • The day ended with the River Cruise. The previous time I took the afternoon cruise... so, everything seemed usual. This round, because of the early sunset, the entire river was lited up with the nostalgia shade of yellow... the river bank, the buildings... oh yes, and the chilly icy cold wind! Well, survived at the outdoor deck most of the time. It was a good one.


  • We had our dinner at the foodcourt at Lourve.
  • Couldn't resist the paela (Spainish seafood rice). Got one plate... hm... a bit too oily.
  • Also had a pot of ice cream :D Oops! It's the 2nd pot for the day!
  • Had been eyeing for the French pancake... Yes, still had some time... bought one with nutella fill... hm... not very tasty... but I've tried one :D

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