We arrived back in France courtesy off a bus from Victoria Bus Station. At GBP25 this was not to be sneezed at. The bus journey was good, the experience of getting the bus onto a train to take you through the Chunnel was a new one. The minute we were back in France we were smiling, such happy memories from our time in Touzac. Be prepared, superlatives will abound in this blog! Without any hassle at all we arrived in Paris and were soon at our hotel. Such a lovely room and so central. We dropped our bags off and went out for dinner, we found an absolutely gorgeous little cafe and had a delicious meal accompanied by a really nice un-oaked chardonnay. MUCH nicer than an oaked chardonnay. The next day we were up and at it, well at least as far as a small boulongerie to have coffee and a baguette. Yes, we ate well in Paris! Reminds me of Rome and Touzac!
While in Paris we walked everywhere doing at least 12-15kms each day, no wonder my sandals are wearing out! First to the Louvre. SO BEAUTIFUL, SO GRAND, and surprise, surprise, such a long queue to get in. We had already decided that we weren’t going in so this was not a biggy. Want to know why? We have already visited some incredible art spaces, many for free, most with no queues. We spent ages just turning and looking at these beautiful buildings, built on such a grand scale. It really does take your breathe away.
Moving on we went to the park that leads off from the Louvre towards the Champs-Élysées. More beauty, more grandness, more smiling, more hawkers selling trinkets and hats.
After reaching the Place de la Concorde we turned towards the Siene and headed for the Eiffel Tower. It was a long walk, quite a few kms but so many stops were required to look at things along the way. If you read my blog about our time in KL you may remember the advice we were given about the Petronas Towers, ‘the best view is from outside’. The same applies with the Eiffel Tower, again horrendous queues but we were very happy to look at this magnificent structure from a distance, from each side, from underneath. Incredible.
The Siene of course requires some attention so we went on a river cruise, a good rest for the feet but also a great way to see this grand old lady of a city. The 70 minutes on the boat went by very quickly, I would recommend this trip. Now all we had to do was walk back to our hotel!
The next day was Sunday and we decided to walk up to Montmartre and go to mass at Basilique du Sacre Couer. A really lovely experience, this a great way to see a church in action as well a time for us to stop and give thanks. The singing is led by the Bendictine sisters who live at Sacre Coeur and it was just beautiful to hear them and to join in with the singing. After mass we wondered around Montmartre looking at the art markets, admiring the buildings and eating lunch before wandering back down to our hotel mid-afternoon.
Our friends Fran and Gary Elliot arrived early evening and with much excitment we greeted each other and then it was off to (you guessed it) dinner. So much talking followed it took ages to finish dinner.
Notre Dame was the goal for the next day, another long leisurely stroll via the Louvre to see this landmark, and there were the queues. Honestly, all these tourists! We of course are travellers not tourists. So we walked around the outside, admired this beautiful building and then it was lane walking. This has turned out to be one of our favourite things to do in a city, just wander the streets and the lanes, look at the houses, the shops, seeing where and how people live in some of these old cities. All this walking makes one tired so a stop in the park and a beer with lunch followed by a long conversation was just what we needed. Refreshed we walked the Champs-Élysées to towards the Arc de Triomphe.
This was our last day in Paris but the beginning of Fran and Gary’s stay so we traded yet more stories over dinner and wine, then it was time for us to pack our bags and get ready to fly to North America. Paris was magic, it is an experience for all the sense, writing about it evokes both memories and a very happy feeling. I do hope we return one day!