Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Paris (Days 1 and 2)

From Paris-Vernon

You may have heard that there is now a TGV high-speed train that goes from Basel to Paris. It now takes 3-1/2 hours for the trip. That's pretty fast. Before last week, it took 5 hours.

We took our trip before last week. Yet, travel across the French countryside is anything but tedious. We quite enjoyed the views of the countryside as we wound through Belfort and Troyes before we arrived in Paris at the Paris-Est, or Paris-East train station. We hopped onto the Metro and the RER and arrived at our hotel, which was the perfect hotel for Paris as we were hardly in our room, just to sleep. The hotel was very near the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, and just inside the Latin Quarter. Our first day in Paris, we just wandered around a bit. It was Sunday and many things were closed. We wandered over to the Musee d'Orsay to look at the building and then found a coffee shop. Then we walked along the river to Notre Dame and found dinner nearby.

Monday we headed over to check out the Louvre. We spent pretty much the entire day there. We saw the Mona Lisa, Napoleon's Throne, The Raft of the Medusa and the Crowning of Napoleon. It's an amazing museum, but it's very big. Eventually, we were worn out looking at art so we headed out and walked towards the Arc d'Triomphe.
On the way we picked up our train tickets for the next day's trip out of town and we walked down the Champs d'Elysees. We only did a little shopping along the way. At the end of the walk we went to the Arc. It was about 6:30pm, so we saw the relighting of the unknown soldier's ceremonial flame.

From Paris-Vernon

From Paris-Vernon

We took the Metro back to the Latin Quarter to check out the Mexican restaurant we had seen on our way back to our hotel the night before, but it was, unfortunately, closed. We wandered around and found a sidewalk brasserie that was good on a side-street. Then we went over and relaxed in the Luxembourg Gardens until 9PM when the police chase everyone out with their shrieking whistles. Okay, they just toot on the whistles and mention that it's time for the park to close, and the guards at the gates wish you a good evening as you walk past....

From Paris-Vernon

1 comment:

Expat Traveler said...

what great travels! I'm all too jealous! Haven't been back to Paris since July 2003.

Do you have any recommendations on great Cali wines? We are going down to Napa first week of july and need to bring a few bottles back with us..


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