Arriving by train at Gare du Nord, we soon got our bearings with the help of a small map and the sun in the sky, heading south on foot to our hotel to check in. With our reservation secure, we continued walking south, then west to (believe it or not) the Hard Rock Cafe to pick up our Paris Passes. If you visit Paris, a Paris Pass is a must! For only for a 2 day pass, one can visit over 60 galleries & museums, ride the hop-on-hop-off busses & trains, and skip the long lines - to include the Louvre to visit Mona and the Musée d’orsay for a chat with Vincent and the Impressionists!
After a successful (but crowded) trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower within a short time of our arrival, followed by a backpack picnic at the foot of the monument, Kim left us on foot to catch a train to visit her father who lives in France. Jackie and I continued with a lovely trip along the River Seine, if one doesn't mind traveling by boat with about 100 French teenagers and another hundred international tourists on holiday! When we debarked, moving swiftly away from the hordes, we needed a bit of refreshment. To toast our journey and calm our nerves, we spied a floating cafe at the foot of a very familiar monument!
|Arc de Triomphe|
With the Paris Pass, we were able to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, and the front of the line when the Louvre opened, moving swiftly through the museum to arrive front and center, just a few feet from the Mona Lisa! Can't wait to tell my 7th grade art students!
|Louvre entrance under and through the glass pyramid|
|Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa|
|Sacre Coeur on Montmartre|
With such a short time to visit, we used public transport as much as possible (after the first day when we walked from one end of the Paris center and back again!!!!) to visit the Sacre Coure on Montmartre and the Palace of Versailles.
|Palace of Versailles|
Our whirlwind trip to Paris was truly amazing; and I am only now able to process all we experienced in such a short time! But, by far, one of my favorite places (ever) to sit and relax with a cup of coffee at the end of a long day - was on the narrow balcony of our room, just outside a pair of French windows, at the foot of my bed.
Thank you, dear Jackie, for a lifetime of memories in
1/2 + 1 + 1/2 days!