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Transatlantic Cruise 2011

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S: Paris 2011

BC: The final stop on our trans-Atlantic voyage was a two-day stop in Freeport, Grand Bahama where we relaxed by snorkeling and shopping.

FC: Paris 2011

1: Paris | Built for the 1889 World's Fair, the Eiffel Tower offers incredible views of the city! We climbed 187 feet to the first level after we stood in line for an hour, only to realize our line did not offer an elevator. It was definitely worth the climb! | October 23, 2011

2: L'Hotel national des Invalides contains monuments from France's military history, including Napoleon's tomb. | A beautiful plaza stretches from the Eiffel Tower to École Militaire.

3: The Seine River divides Paris into the left bank (Rive Gauche) and the right bank (Rive Droite). The Eiffel Tower provides incredible views of both.

4: Louis XIV | Louis XIV (The Sun King) began his reign at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days. He moved the official Royal Palace from The Louvre to The Palace of Versailles. . | Versailles

5: The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution.

6: The Apollo Fountain was inspired by the legend of Apollo, the Sun gold and emblem of Louis XIV. | Flora Fountain depicts the Roman goddess of flowers, gardens and spring, symbolizing the first season of the year. | At its peak, Versailles boasted more than 1400 fountains. Today more than 400 remain operational. On weekends, Grandes Eaux – showcases all the fountains in the gardens.

7: Latona Fountain illustrates the legend of Apollo’s mother and Diana protecting her children against the insults of the peasants of Lycia, and calling on Jupiter to avenge them. He heard their plea and transformed them into frogs and lizards.

8: Thousands of statues add to the grandeur of the immense gardens. | La Colonnade with the "Abduction of Persephone".

10: The Eiffel Towers twinkles every hour on the hour. | A boat ride on the Seine is a great way to see the city. | We took an evening boat ride on the Seine where we we able to see Notre Dame, The Louvre, des Invalides, and the Eiffel Tower.

11: Even the bridges are filled with incredible detail and all 37 are very different.

12: Arc The Arc de Triomphe stands in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The Arc honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

13: Arc de Triomphe

14: Sacre Coeur sits at the top of Montmatre offering a view of the entire city. After climbing hundreds of stairs, we discovered a tram that runs up the hill. It was a reminder of how important it is to learn the language before traveling to a foreign country. Funiculaire is not a word that we will soon forget! Still, the climb was well worth it. The basilica is beautiful and the panoramic view atop Montmatre is breathtaking.

17: N | Notre Dame

18: Situated on the eastern portion of Ile de la Cité, 850 year old Notre Dame is as impressive as any building built today. What may be most impressive is the cathedral still hosts mass in spite of all the tourists snapping photos.

19: Constructed between 1210 and 1220, Rose Window is one of the most famous windows in the world.

20: French Architecture

21: Neo-Gothic buildings and fountains are abundant in the city.

22: Panthéon

23: The inscription above the entrance reads AUX GRANDS HOMMES LA PATRIE RECONNAISSANTE ( "To the great men, the grateful homeland"). By burying its great men in the Panthéon, the Nation acknowledges the honor it received from them. As such, interment here is severely restricted and is allowed only by a parliamentary act for "National Heroes".

24: In 1851, physicist Léon Foucault demonstrated the rotation of the Earth by his experiment conducted in the Panthéon, by constructing a 67 meter Foucault pendulum beneath the central dome. | Voltaire

25: King Louis XV vowed in 1744 that if he recovered from his illness he would replace the ruined church of the Abbey of St Genevieve with an edifice worthy of the patron saint of Paris. He did recover, and entrusted Abel-Franois Poisson, marquis de Marigny with the fulfillment of his vow.

26: Luxembourg Palace | Commissioned in 1615 for princess regent Marie de Medicis (now home to the president of French Senate), the palace is now called Petit Luxembourg.

27: Genesis of Freedom is one of many statues situated in the streets of Paris. The city is rich with history and boasts a culture that embraces its heritage.

28: A one-fourth scale (65 foot) replica of the Statue of Liberty, stands on Ile aux Cygnes, a small island in the Seine. The statue faces west, toward it's larger New York counterpart. The statue was given to the city of Paris by the American community of Paris, commemorating the centennial of the French Revolution.

29: Placa de Catalunya is a plaza full of sculptures, monumental fountains and ponds. | Barcelona

30: The Arc del Triomf was built for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona 1888.

32: Situated between the Arc del Triomf and Parc de la Ciutadella, the Palau de Justicia is a must see.

35: Parque de la Ciutadella was established for the 1888 Universal Exhibition.

37: Now home to the Natural Science Museum, the Castell dels Tres Dragons is one of the only remaining buildings from the 1888 transformation of the park.

38: Hidden in the middle of Parc de la Ciutadella is a Roman oasis.

40: Barcelona Bull-fighting arena

41: Tibidabo is the highest part of the mountain range of Collserola. Perched at the top is the Mirablau, a 20th century Temple dedicated to the Sacred Heart. | La Rotonda sits at the base of Tibidabo.

43: The Poble Espanyol is an outdoor open-air architectural museum, located on the mountain of Montjuc. It was supposed to be torn down after the Olympics, but public outcry saved it. | Barcelona's 1992 Olympic Torch

45: Park of the Royal Palace of Pedralbes

46: Casa Mila (aka La Pedrere) | Casa Mila was Gaudi's final civil work before devoting himself exclusively to the Sagrada family.

47: Catedral Barri Gotic | In the heart of old town, the cathedral has traces of the Roman colony Barceno in the remains of a Roman wall, aqueduct, and temple to Augustus.

48: The hop on-hop off bus was a great way to see the city of Barcelona. The architecture is ornate throughout the city. Domes, arches, and or spires can be found on nearly every building.

49: Paseo Colon was the first attempt to connect the city to the sea by means of a large avenue, and it was first opened for the World Fair in 1888. The Columbus Monument commemorates the visit that Columbus made to the Catholic Kings after returning from his first trip to America. | Central Post Office

50: After an exciting week in Europe, we set sail on the brand new Carnival Magic.

51: Our Malaga excursion took us on a 2 hour coach ride to the town | Malaga, Spain | of granada, which was invaded by the arabs in the 8th centruy. The city reached its peak in the 11th century and we were able to marvel the Arabian architecture during our visit to the red palace of alhambra.

53: The differences between Alhambra and Notre Dame are amazing since the buildings were constructed within 150 years of one another.

54: Our guided tour took us through parts of Generalife, the summer palace of the Arabian kings (which remains in remarkable condition), in addition to the gardens and fountains.

56: Our visit to Grand Canary began in a tropical park and allowed us to spy some of the local architecture and statues. | Las Palmas

58: Plaza Santa Ana Cathedral has a striking resemblance to Notre Dame.

60: Though the house did not actually belong to Columbus, the Casa Mvse D'Colon is the home he stayed in while preparing to journey across the Atlantic Ocean. It houses several museums, one of which shows scale models of each of his three ships.

62: The basement museum of the Columbus House contains artifacts from ancient cultures around the world.

64: Las Canarias refers to the dogs that were found on the islands. | Statues in Plaza Santa Ana pay tribute to the dogs. | A stop at Alta Vista offered incredible views of Pico Bandama volcano crater, Las Palmas, Las Canteras Beach and the harbor. Though the Canary Islands are less than 100 miles from the coast of Africa, the water has more of a Caribbean color than one would expect of the Atlantic.

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