Carys and I took a trip to Paris over President’s Day weekend with several ladies from my office. We bought into a bus tour that left Sat morning and arrived at Paris in the afternoon. We relaxed at the hotel then the tour guide led us to an area where we walked up to Painter’s Square. It was so fun! It was the classic stereotype of Paris. Painters in their berets painting portraits of patrons, selling their other paintings, etc. An artist wanted to add Carys’ eyes to a drawing he already had done of a woman. I said no as I thought he was just trying to get us to buy the drawing. We bought some prints of paintings of Paris and coasters with Parisian landmarks on them. We were up high looking out over the city at this time so got some great pictures.
From there, we went to a French restaurant reserved for the whole tour. The waiter is a gentleman whom I was messing with, and he with me, during the dinner. I wanted to get a shot of all of the glasses at the table he was about to clean up. He decided to pose for me. After dinner, some of the ladies went to a Moulan Rouge show while Carys and I, with two others, walked to the Arc de Triumphe and the Eiffel Tower to see them at night. The massive size of both is striking. The Arc de Triumphe included a memorial to their unknown soldiers, shown in the picture below. The Tower is beautifully lit up and on the hour, the lights flash for a minute or so. We didn’t know that and were lucky enough to see it that night and be on the Tower when it happened again.
This picture, from the restaurant, deserves special mention. This painting was on the INSIDE of the door of my bathroom stall. Indicative of the fact that, in Paris, art was everywhere.
Sunday the tour took us to Versaille and the Louvre. Versaille was stunning inside but the grounds were dormant, as we were visiting in February so I hope we return sometime with Todd and Joel. The Louvre was so huge it was impossible to even see one of the several floors during the time we had available. But we did get to see the Monalisa, a huge number of statues and mummy cases J, etc. Just walking around the Louvre was a tremendous experience but I definitely would like to spend a few days there with Todd. We got to spend a little bit of time Sunday walking along some of the stores but really very little time to shop.
Aren’t the rooms amazing!!
This one is Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. The small door to the right of her bed is where she ran out from her bedroom when the mob came for her. She had purposely slept by herself that night and already had instructions for what to do with her children, to try to save them. She knew what was coming but her husband, the King, didn’t think things were that bad. At least, that’s what I read on the internet! 🙂
Check out the tapestry!
Leaving Versailles and onto the Louvre…
We left the Louvre and took a bus ride around the city a bit. Our driver was amazing. He could get that bus anywhere! We took a quick stop at an entrance to the a park. If I remember correctly, it was the Champ de Mars.
Before dinner in the evening, we took a boat cruise on the Sienne River and saw the city from a different perspective. This is where I took a fabulous shot of one of Paris’ Statues of Liberty with the Eiffel Tower in the background and the Pont Alexandre III, the most extravagant bridge in Paris, but unfortunately you can’t see that extravagance in this shot.
We were still traveling around at night and I was thrilled to get this shot, too:
We went back to the Eiffel Tower on Monday morning and were amazed at the short lines. So we were up and down quickly and spent some time in a small restaurant nearby. There were some Parisians protesting a tax on fuel so they had a parade of cars with signs, honking their horns and moving slowly down the street to protest. Then they set up in the park near the Eiffel Tower to continue their protest. We relaxed in the restaurant then walked over to the park near the Tower and took some silly shots with the other women with whom we were travelling. This was the perfect time for Carys and I to get an ideal shot of us with the Eiffel Tower but neither of us thought of it.
Once the group got back together, the bus took us to Notre Dame, which really wasn’t as impressive as I expected, having already seen the St Stephen’s Cathedral in Metz and the Dom in Cologne (Köln, Deutschland). Before leaving Paris to head home, we had lunch at a restaurant across the street from the cathedral.
We left Paris immediately after lunch and headed home on the bus. It was a long trip back because of stops at other military bases. Carys and I had a great time together and we both agreed that we were happy we went. It was more exciting to be in Paris than I expected. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Before we went to Paris, I thought it might be my only time visiting. Just checking it off the box. Now that I’ve been, I definitely want to return to see more. Paris is a beautiful city and I understand why people return again and again.