We’d been meaning to go.
It was on the proverbial “list,” of places to see, but for one reason or another, we had yet to make it to Paris. And with the thought of one day departing Europe and having never made it to Paris, we thought it was due time.
Our train (TGV) arrived as scheduled and we made our way (baby in Ergo, backpacks strapped on tight) into the sites and sounds of a big city. There is something about a big city that immediately energizes you, which adds an extra pep to your step making one anxious to explore the new location!
Our big excursion for the day was the Eiffel Tower. What a wonder! We made the unfortunate decision not to purchase tickets prior to our arrival and were a bit overwhelmed by the masses of people who wanted their chance to climb “her” towers, and make their way up on the elevator to the top. So we made the decision that we might only do this once and waited in the line to climb to the second tier of the Eiffel Tower. It was well worth the wait!
After climbing the eight hundred stairs (as was claimed by the tourist gal standing next to us) we discovered how massive and expansive Paris truly is. We had the pleasure of being perched on the top as the sun made her dramatic exit for the day and glistened across buildings and danced along the Seine River. I must say our timing was impeccable!
As we made our way down and meandered back to our hotel, we turned to take in “her” grandeur one more time and realized that the Eiffel was sweetly lit up and her lights twinkled as dusk was upon us.
The city dazzled in her glow and we were captivated by Paris’ beauty!
Day #2 in Paris – Walk With Us
We have come to love Rick Steve’s and his quirky, yet time sensitive ways of seeing new places. We printed a walking tour from his web site (many of the facts included in this posting are excerpted from his information…thank you Rick), and easily had our second day planned. The day was cold and windy, but clear skies were overhead.
Stop #1: The War Museum
The entire time we walked through this immense structure we kept thinking of Jacques. Wow, he could have easily spent and entire day if not more in this incredibly impressive museum. We even had the opportunity to see the outside of Napoleon’s tomb.
Stop #2: Notre Dame
Oh, the wonders of European cathedrals! The cathedral was beautiful, grand and stunning. Robert was able to capture some beautiful shots in the cathedral, though you truly cannot appreciate the sheer size of this wonder unless you see it in person.
Stop #3: The Deportation Memorial
This was a sad, but a necessary stop. During WWII, over 200,000 French citizens were victims of the holocaust. There is a plaque in the floor that reads, “They went to the end of the earth and did not return.” Memorials like this help us remember our dark past and help us to look forward to a bright future.
Stop #4: Left Bank Booksellers
These booksellers, according to Rick Steves’ have been in existence since Medieval Times. They create their own hours, have virtually no overhead and sell some pretty cool books and trinkets to remember your time in Paris.
Stop #5: Saint – Chapelle – The Stained Glass Wonder
This amazing cathedral was built in 1242 and 1248 for King Louis IX. The cathedral is a sight to behold and the room dances as the sun makes its way across each of the panels of glass.
Stop #6: Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
The bookstore that made its appearance in one of my favorite movies, Before Sunset, is sweet, old and full of people. The bookstore is a reincarnation from the 1920 original. Apparently, emerging writers are offered a free place to stay upstairs and collect inspiration from the thousands of books stacked on the shelves and from the views across the street of Notre Dame. Not a bad place to ponder your next book!
Stop #7: Palais de Justice
According to Rick Steves’ (this guy is a wealth of knowledge) “the cathedral Saint – Chapelle sits inside a massive complex of buildings that has been the home to the local government since ancient Roman Times.”
We wish we had allotted more time to view the truly magnificent art in the Louvre, but we had a pending train date, so we made the most of our time.
The Louvre is incredible!
The entire time we walked through the museum, we kept saying to each other,
“Wow…now this is art!”
The scale of some of the paintings and the sheer talent of the artists was mind blowing.
Time of Year: March
Duration: Long Weekend
Where we stayed: Le Grand Hôtel Lévêque
Eats & Treats: Local Markets and Cafes
Child Friendly? Yes, with a stroller.
Would we return? Yes, but a different Hotel