Paris (Le Bourget museum)

April 19-21, 2008

We arrived in Paris late in the afternoon and and didn't do much more than having dinner. Sunday we visited the museum and walked around with an audioguide, which was quite nice. After that there was a few hours time for sightseeing Paris. The next and last day of our trip we went back to the museum and had a meeting with some staff, that is, they showed us all their storage hangars, the workshop, the archives etc etc. They actually wanted to show us in the concorde cockpit as well, but as we had to get to catch our flight back to Japan, there was not enough time unfortunately.

In Paris (actually Le Bourget, a small airport north of Paris) we visited the Musee de l'air et de l'espace (air and space museum).

Detail of the wing of the Biot-Massia plane.

The Biot-Massia plane

The space gallery

[HDR] The museum has a full Boing 747 (Jumbo) where you can enter. The front part contains the normal interior (original and modernized style) and in the back the aircraft is "stripped", meaning that most of the plastic panels are removed, some metal plating is removed, there is no foam and textile on the chairs anymore etc. so you can see the structure of the airplane. You can also go downstairs and see a part of the cargo space. (In the front left are the toilets).

[HDR] Ariane rocket

[HDR] Outdoor part of the exhibit


[HDR] After having seen the museum in the morning and beginning of the afternoon, we went back to the city center around 3. Then I hurried to go sightseeing (it was my first time in Paris). First stop was the Notre Dame cathedral.

[HDR] Although there was quite a long line of people waiting, but as the entrance is free, the line progresses pretty fast, so I decided to go in. This is apparently a famous window in the Notre Dame.

[HDR] It's very very dark inside, so it is realy difficult to take nice pictures, but using the HDR technique it actually worked out quite well I think.

[HDR] I had planned to walk from Notre Dame via the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre toward the Arc de Triomphe (I ended up taking the metro from the place de la concorde as my feet were killing me after 10 days of museums and sightseeing). Crossing the bridge close to the Notre Dame I got this view of nice old buildings along the river side.

[HDR] Louvre

Arc de Triomphe

I decided to pay and climb up the arc de triomphe. The staircase is nice and the view from the top was great

[HDR] From the top of the arc de triomphe.

After taking lots of pictures of the view from the Arc I hurried back to the hotel to be in time for our appointment to go for dinner together. We had been talking about Donner Kebab as you see it so much in Germany and Paris, but almost nowhere in Japan. The men from the Narita museum got curious and we had decided to have kebab for dinner that last day. On his way sightseeing one of them had found a nice restaurant ("Istanbul") in the street that leads traight to the gate of Saint Denis (from the North). It was not just a snack-bar like we often have Donner in europe, but a real restaurant with quite a large menu to choose from. We had a really good meal there and the atmosphere was nice too.

After dinner the others went back to the hotel, but I went for some more sightseeing. It was getting quite late and a bit rainy by the time I got to the Eiffel Tower.

[HDR] I did not go up, just walked around, over the bridge north-westward, slightly uphill, took some more pictures and took the metro back to the hotel.