Friday, October 26, 2012

Paris


What can I say that hasn't been said or sung about the City of Light, La Belle Ville? How enchanting to view it at night from atop La Tour Eiffel, stroll along it's streets and boulevards, gaze into the Seine, mangez un petite quelque chose...

That being said I didn't have a great attachment or longing to go back I was expecting..but while we were there we certainly enjoyed ourselves and most everyone was nice.



Our street at night
So yes, I use this typical tourist shot of the Eiffel Tower...it is impressive. That was what we did on our first evening in Paris....oops, sorry about the perfume reference..couldn't resist.

We took the Eurostar from London's St. Pancras station to Gare du Nord and easily figured out the Metro system - as long as you know where your stop is and the end destination of the line you're good.  The train was super quick and easy.

We stayed on Rue Cler - thanks to a recommendation of a friend of ours. It was a charming street filled with shops, cafes, grocers and very close to the Eiffel Tower and many sites. The closest Metro stop was Ecole Militaire. Our hotel was the Grand Hotel Leveque - the yellow sign on the left of the picture and it was a very cozy place to stay - the staff was all great - no attitude and obviously used to dealing with a lot of anglophones.  There was even a bit of joking around with Fraser asking for his room key in French (coached by me).


One of the wonders of Paris is not necessarily trying to cram in as many tourist sites as possible but just the joy of strolling amongst the people and taking in the buildings and many parks - and checking out the latest fashion.

We did decide to check out the Rodin Museum - which has sculptures on the grounds as well as inside...our favourite though was that of his muse and student, Camille Claudel. I highly advise you to check out the movie, too with Gerard Depardieu. Claudel's emotional investment in her pieces is arresting.



Continuing along we saw many of the "ponts" or bridges over the Seine, including this one which I think is Pont Neuf - locks attached to the railings by lovers. Apparently the local government tried to remove them at one point but there was a huge outcry. You can even buy locks from some nearby vendors..

Then to view the iconic Notre Dame...here's an interior shot.

After all that walking we were hungry and had a lovely lunch at nearby "Le Grenier de Notre Dame"..


It was Middle Eastern influenced and I believe macrobiotic - all in all it was delicious!


Back along the river, crossing to check out the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysee and the outside of the Louvre...

We had a rest and a snack back at the room and then it was time to go up the Eiffel Tower...along with several hundred other people...but it was worth it!




The mechanics of how they get all those people to the top..

If all that wasn't enough we went over to Le Marais to hear some jazz - a fantastic trio at La Cave du 38 Riv...




 A great first day - the next day - Musee D'Orsay  some vegan cupcakes, parks and the Pompidou Centre...



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