We took a couple of tube trains in London to the Waterloo station and then boarded the EuroStar high-speed train to the heart of Paris. It is just a 3 hour ride! We grabbed a cab to our hotel for only 11 Euros, although we double-tipped him because he had taken his tip out of our change, and we did not spend to time to examine each coin to see which was what denomination. Oh well, at least it was only 20% total tip.
Our hotel is only a block from the Luxembourg Gardens. We relaxed here for a couple of hours until the police kicked everyone out at dusk. That is the Luxembourg Palace in the background is currently the home of the French senate.
Carolyn is checking her mail in the evening at a cyber-café while enjoying a cappuccino and trying to get through everything before the allotted 15 minutes of on-line time expires. You can see our snooty waiter in the foreground trying his best to not get any extra on his tip!
There are lots of wine shops, cheese shops, clothes shops, etc. Here is a cute little wine shop. Better watch your head entering this one!
The Notre Dame is on a little island in the Seine and is lovely from any angle, but especially with a lovely French beauty in the foreground. Next to Carolyn is one of numerous folding stands that open up and are used to sell pictures and artwork and to do little portraits and paintings.
We had a nice lunch at a brassiere (like a French pub), sharing a pitcher of wine with pate and turkey sandwiches next to a couple of very nice older Parisian ladies. Their main tip to enjoying our stay was to “Just walk everywhere and take your time”.
The Louvre is actually in a gigantic palace. We are coming back again to see more of the artwork. The Mona Lisa is the biggest attraction.
Perhaps we should trade-in the 4-Runner for one with better parking ability.
Of course the famous French baguette! We don’t need to comparison shop when buying these because the French government regulates the baguette price. 1.10 Euros currently!
We spend an entire day navigating the buses to the Champ de Mars and getting to the 3rd platform of the Eiffel Tower at about 900 feet up. You cannot even see the top platform in this picture.
Near the tower is the Rue de Cler. This is a wonderful outdoor market where we wandered down the street until we had enough cheese, pastries, drinks, quiches, sandwiches and fruit that we could wander off and find a not-so-quiet bench to enjoy our picnic.
We got to enjoy watching a mini cooper get ticketed and towed away all from our front row seats on the bench not 10 feet away. I think the driver thought that if he wedged the car tightly between 2 trees on the median, that they could not pull it away, but those French tow truckers are a clever lot.
It was so nice of them to provide the free entertainment, although the sultry meter maid would not let me take her picture, “Arete, Arete”. Little did she know…
We will be thinking of you while sucking down our Rieslings and Chablis’ and Sauvé yon blancs. We are just not big red wine drinkers I guess.