It's the Arc de Triomphe! The Arc is another amazing monument in Paris you must visit. And yes, it looks better in real life just like the Eiffel Tower. I think it's because pictures and videos usually don't pick up all the elaborate details. The real thing always wows you.
Louve is a must see. Of course, it will take days to check out every collection. I arrived just right after 9am, so there's a very short line for security check. It's really exciting to get in the famous glass pyramid. I already had the museum pass so I skipped the ticket line.
Then I saw the tourist mob heading to the same direction, they were heading to see Mona Lisa. On the way to see Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace greeted us on the stairs. It's so beautiful and jaw-droppingly majestic. I am not exaggerating.
Visiting Palace of Versailles is definitely a one day trip. We took RER train to get here. The line was long in front of the Palace and that was just for security check. I guess you have to be there at 9am in the morning to avoid the long line. Tour buses usually start pulling in the parking lot around 10:00am. The ticketing office is on the left side of the building, the line was pretty short, like 15 minutes wait. I bought museum passes quickly at the counter. It seemed most people came with their tickets or museum passes already. If you don't have the tickets or passes, go to the ticketing office first before you line up for security check.
This sculpture in the picture is the glorious Sun King, Louis XIV, who moved from Paris to Versailles.
As you can see from the picture, it was cloudy in the morning. It rained for a short while then stopped before noon. This was early July. A cardigan or thin jacket is useful on a cloudy day or at night during July in Paris.
This is the Queen's bedchamber. Notice the door on the left. That's the 'hidden door' through which Marie Antoinette escaped from the angry mob storming Versailles.
It was the symbol of absolute wealth at the time when mirror was very expensive. Hall of Mirrors was where they had all the fancy parties.
Musée d'Orsay is the only attraction I visited that doesn't allow photography. There are signs prohibiting photography everywhere. You could only take pictures in the lobby to capture the interior of the building. But loads of visitors will pass by in front of your camera, it's really hard to have a clean shot without strangers' oversized faces in the frame.
Well, you can take pictures outside like this one above. It's not the same, I know. By the way, Musée Rodin is just nearby if you wan to see more of Rodin's works.
It's amazing how they can make iron look elegant. Eiffel Tower is so elegant with a lot of intricate patterns and design, it surpasses my expectation. You see Eiffel Tower on TV and in pictures all the time. But the real thing looks 10 times better. Somehow cameras just can't capture its true beauty.
You can view Eiffel Tower at Trocadéro. If you want to go up, you have to arrive early at 9am to avoid the long line. Museum pass doesn't cover Eiffel Tower, unfortunately. Make a reservation for the Eiffel Tower lift if you need to access the third level, so you don't have to line up like a fool.