Paris: Oct 2012
Wow! Our first trip to Paris.
It starts on the Thayles train - an easy 3 hour trip from Koln to the Gard Nord in Paris. No airports, no security, no passports - yay! Finally got to attempt our aging French language learned from many years ago. Occasionally we would get the comment, “Do you want to speak English instead?”
Walking, walking, walking all over Paris we take in the different neighborhoods and sites. Our hotel is very simple - a small room in an old building, but clean and in a fun little neighborhood close to the metro. There is a small market by the hotel where we purchase breakfast rolls and munchies. We found an Indian food restaurant that was so good we went twice! We had to have crepes one evening. The hop on - hop off bus gave us great access to the main tourist points.
First stop, the Arc de Triumph. Photos on the outside, then up the stairs to the top to get a view of the surrounding boulevards.
The Eiffel Tower is just as cool in real life as in all the photos. We walked up the stairs up to the top observation area which was on the second level and what a view of the city! The “Buddy Bear” exhibit was visiting with colorful bears from each country. Really interesting to see how each country chose to decorate their bear - the US was the Statue of Liberty bear - not so creative - many countries were much more colorful.
It was fun to walk along the River Seine and take in the small book stores lining the shores, the boats tied up on the sides, the old bridges across the river and all the beautiful buildings around.
Montmartre was stunning, sitting up there on a hill above Paris. What a combination of experiences - from a busy neighborhood selling a million tourist items, to a quiet church inside to a performer at the top doing amazing stunts on a pole with a soccer ball.
Walking, walking, walking... the mini Statue of Liberty on the Seine, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Egyptian Obelisk, the Louvre. The Louvre was the only disappointing part of the trip - it was SO crowded that it was hard to see anything. You had to physically push into the crowd to get close to the Mona Lisa. Yet, it was pretty amazing to see in person the picture that I have seen in reproduction a million times. It was very small by the way!
Yes! We want to go back!!