Paris, France, May 26 - June 2, 2015

Roxanne, Ryan, and I took a week-long trip to Paris just after Ryan graduated from Athens High School. Here are some photos. They are just cellphone pics (Galaxy S3) -- it was nice not to lug camera stuff around!

With the newly-minted graduate!

We stayed in an apartment in downtown Paris, near the Palais Garnier -- a famous opera house. The Palais is the building on the right. There are better photos of it below. The metro station we often used was located here.

The Sacré Cœur Basilica, a Roman Catholic Church located on the high point in Paris.

Looking out from the Sacré Cœur.

Looking out from the Sacré Cœur.

The Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, a massive shopping mall inside a beautiful building.

Looking out from the top of the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann at the Palais Garnier.

Looking out from the top of the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann at the Eiffel Tower.

At one point we stopped for some food and refreshment. I liked the sound of this biére.

The Seine River.

The Seine River.

While walking along the Seine River, we came across this sight. Some sort of VIP types were departing. Lots of pomp and circumstance, as well as security. They promptly left via motorcade.

Ryan and Rox watching the VIPs.

Pont Alexandre III, a fancy bridge over the Seine River.

Ryan and Roxanne near the Eiffel Tower.

Ryan and Roxanne at the Eiffel Tower.

Looking up at the E.T. I took the stairs up to the second level.

Looking out from the second level.

Another vista.

Looking south at Champ de Mars. Note the clay tennis court -- a promotion for the French Open, which was going on while we were there.

Looking out at Les Invalides.

Looking out at La Défense, the major business district of the area, which is located west of Paris.

Big kid's erector set. I thought the geometry of this joint on the Eiffel Tower was pretty cool.

Ryan at the Eiffel Tower.

At night.

Roxanne and Ryan being silly.

The Louvre. We did not go in.

Jardin des Tuileries.

The Obélisque de Louxor. It turns out this thing was built over 3,000 years ago in Egypt near the Luxor Temple. It was given to France by Egypt in the 1830s.

Me and the Obelisk.

We found it rather amusing that they warn for ticks in the Paris gardens.

Garden along Champs-Élysées.

The Arc de Triomphe.

Another look at Arc de Triomphe. There was some sort of ceremony going on.

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame, on the left.




Notre-Dame. Note the flying buttresses.


Some random seafood for sale on a street corner.

Jim Morrison's grave at Cimetiére du Pére-Lachaise. I think I remember this from one of Mr. Phillips' (one of my high school English teachers) slide shows...

The grave of Gilbert Morard. He is apparently the father of the modern Metro in Paris. Hence all of the train tickets.

The Palais Garnier.

Some huge crystals at the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie.

A very large (5.024 kg) gold nugget at the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie.

Grandes Serres du Jardin des Plantes.

Something I recognize! At Jardin de l'école de botanique.

We spotted some frogs at Jardin de l'école de botanique. Here's one of them. It turns out not to be straightforward to identify these frogs. Possibilities include the Edible Frog (Rana esculenta), the Pool Frog (Rana lessonae), and the introduced Marsh Frog (Rana ridibunda). They are all closely related and readily hybridize. In fact, lessonae is now understood to result from hybridization between the other two. Also note that some people now use Pelophylax instead of Rana.

This is the first one I saw and it had the most interesting pattern.

This pattern form was commonly seen.

As was this pattern form.

A final note on the herp front. We saw one small Wall Lizard (Podarcis) at Jardin alpin -- where there were lots of rocks.

A flower at Jardin de l'école de botanique.

The Galeries d'Anatomie comparée et de Paléontologie. An old-school natural history museum. Lots of bones and fossils!

A preserved monitor lizard (Varanus griseus).

Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae). In this case, the skeleton is encased in some sort of solid resin.

Rana esculenta. That's the Edible Frog that lives right outside in the gardens...

Various primate skulls. Just a little creepy. There were even creepier things that I did not photograph...

There was no label on this specimen, but it is clearly a Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma) of some sort.

Sarcosuchus imperator, an extinct crocodyliform that grew to a length of over 30 meters -- or about twice that of any now-living crocodile.

Smilodon populator, a species of saber-toothed cat.

Irish elk (Megaloceros giganteus). This thing was truly massive.

Unenlagia comahuensis, a feathered bird-like dinosaur.

Allosaurus fragilis.

Here's a few of the places we dined at. Food was a big part of the experience.

Well that's it. A good time was had by all!