Thursday, June 20, 2013

Paris in 1/2 + 1 + 1/2 days


Wonders of wonders! Once our plans to return to England to visit family for the month of June 2013 were underway, my husband's niece, Jackie, asked if I might be interested in popping over to Paris for a couple of nights. Well ... why not!  As an artist, I've only wanted to visit Paris since I first attended college art classes in 1974!  Thus, once Peter and I arrived in London by plane (from St. Louis, MO by way of Dallas, TX and Orlando, FL) and had an overnight rest at his sister's in Horsham, Jackie and her daughter, Kim, and I grabbed our backpacks and headed off to see as much of the center of Paris as physically possible in only 3 days, minus the to and fro 1/2 day train rides on the Eurostar.

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 €110.00 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!

Eiffel Tower

Notre Dame
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
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!




2 comments:

  1. Oh I am so jealous I can taste it. The pictures are fabulous, your accompanying story is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Someday, perhaps I'll get to visit too.

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  2. Thanks, Pat. We did have a grand time!

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