I was chatting with Bonnie a day or two after we got to Germany when she told me that everyone who goes to Europe wants to go to Paris, and that if I didn't go I'd regret it. "Sooo... I think you should buy a train ticket and go." Oh. Um. Ok. So I did. Good thing I went to New York semi-recently, so I knew how to use the Metro. That wouldn't have been easy to learn in a foreign language speaking country.
I started at the Arc de Triomphe...
Then I visited the Royal Palace, the Louvre and the Orsay...
I got lost several times, but it's REALLY hard to get lost in Paris and NOT run into something cool. Take this bridge for example! It was covered, both sides, end to end, top to bottom in all sorts of locks. Cool, huh? I also ran into the Basilica, the Justice Building, Latin Quarter (wow... how do you stumble upon the Latin Quarter??), and other cool things.
I saw Notre Dame, too... but the Hunchback had a day off.
My last stop before heading back to the train station was the Eiffel Tower. Pretty freakin' sweet. Paris again sometime? Yes, please.
On our way to Luzern, Switzerland we stopped by the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in France.
The camp is located on the side of a beautiful hill, overlooking a gorgeous scene of mountains and valleys and millions of trees. It was especially sad that such a beautiful place has such a horrible history.
We saw the prison where they kept prisoners who misbehaved. The bigger doors led to small rooms where they would cram up to twenty prisoners at a time. The smaller doors are isolation cells. They're too small to lie down in or stand in. Many of those prisoners died after being cramped up like that with only bread and water for up to three days.
The Natzweiler-Struthof camp was especially known for the medical experiments that went on there. Needless to say, the experiments caused slow, painful deaths for many.
For our multiple-day trip I chose for us to go to Switzerland. It was awesome. :) It was just so pretty! I know I keep saying that about, like, everything in Europe. But, well... it all is really pretty. You've just gotta go there someday to see for yourself if you haven't already.
We climbed a tower on a wall (the big stone kind they build during times of war and stuff) to get this picture. It was a lot of work, but what a view!We almost went on a boat cruise... but then we didn't. But we sat on a boat for a little while. It was a nice boat.
We got to see this cool "Lion Monument." It was built as a memorial to Swiss guards who died in the line of duty during the French Revolution or something. The artist was promised a certain amount of money, and they didn't deliver in the end. To show his distaste for the poor form of his commissioners, the artist carved the hole in the wall that the lion sits in into the shape of a pig. Can you see it?
We were pretty wiped out after Luzern, but we did find time before I left to paint, hit up a chocolate factory and do some other fun things. What an adventure. :)