You might notice its the only one I photographed on the trip.
For instance - this street, Rue de Mouffetard.
It was like walking back in time, You name it, they had a little specialized shop for it.
We ate dinner here one night, and it was delicious.
Even if I didn't see any other parts of Paris, I would have been content just staying on Rue de Mouffetard.
The Eiffel Tower is a close second to Big Ben in my book, and there is always just one first view of the Eiffel Tower on each trip to Paris. And look at our bus stop - Edward was waiting for me. :)
The bus took us to our first museum for Paris, the Musee d'Orsay. Its housed in an old train station, and its such a beautiful place, and its full of Impressionist art, which has always been my favorite.
This clock reminded me of the one in Hugo, so I reflected on that film a lot, and how magical it was. I've avoided seeing it more than once, simply because I'm afraid nothing can compare to that first viewing when the unexpected film unfolded in front of my eyes.
In addition to the works of Monet, Renoir, Degas, Morrisot, and Manet, the M'O also boasts amazing views of Paris.
After the museum, we walked along the Seine and shopped at all the fun little kiosks, and then at some of the shops as we wandered back to our hotel.
One of my my favorite sights was this group of priests all walking along. Made all the better by the fact that they walked over a subway grate which blew gusts of air up at their robes, giving them a Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch effect. These were all young, attractive Catholic priests, and I don't think I'll ever forget the image of their robes blowing up and showing their little black socks and black shoes. My picture was taken discreetly, so you don't get the full picture, but still... it was a sight to behold.
We headed back to our hotel for a rest before dinner, with a stop to pick up some wine, snacks and water for the room, only to find a bottle of champagne waiting for us!
The next morning, we woke up and headed out on the train to Vernon. This was a standing room only train ride for one hour, so a note to future travelers to Giverny that you should book your tickets in advance and get a seat.
Once we arrived at Vernon, we opted to forgo the bus ride to Monet's house and gardens, and instead rented bicycles. It was about an hour ride each way - I'm sure it could be done faster if 1) you have a better idea where you are going, 2) you are used to riding bikes, and 3) your bikes don't break down the way Carl's did. Happily, he finally found a nice Frenchman in his garage that we didn't feel too bad about borrowing some tools from, and things went a bit more pleasant for him after that.
I had high, high expectations for this lily pond, and it did not disappoint.
We were more than a little obsessed with the frogs on these lily pads.
There was an abandoned boat on the side of the pond.
We spent a lot of time at the pond and in the gardens.
Both Carl and I were in awe of its beauty.
And a few sculptures. Some famous (like Rodin's Kiss) ...
Someone *might* have snapped a few photos in the rooms.
Afterwards, it was time for a crepe at the Place de la Concorde before we decided it was siesta time.
After a very good Bordeaux (or two), we headed out for dinner.
But we did love the restaurant we ended up at for dinner (not on Rue Cler). We split the cheese plate for a first course.
We then took a leisurely walk along the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower.
We were there when it lit up at midnight, and it was just as perfect as it sounds.
I had not expected a big walking evening when we left, so I had worn my pretty shoes for the evening. My feet were tired at this point. My body was tired. We'd already biked ten miles and done extensive walking around Paris earlier in the day. But I had already checked the metro times and confirmed they ran until two am on weekends, so it was just a fifteen minute walk to the nearest station. Except that station was closed down for some reason, and we were directed (in French) to the next station. Which was about twenty minutes away. My feet just about lost it at this news. So we looked for a taxi. Since its now about 1AM, and the closest metro stations are closed, taxis are in short order. So we keep walking. No taxi. Bitter feet. Blisters have formed, and its not a pretty sight. Finally, the next station. And. Its. Closed. Finally understand (in French) that its the entire line that is down, so that walking in the direct line like we were doing won't get us anything but closed stations. We have to walk east to catch another line. For another fifteen minutes. Feet start crying. Taxis are nowhere to be found. Decide to walk barefoot. Carl points out broken glass bottles nearby. Put shoes back on. Walk. Ever. So. Slowly. With. No. Taxis. To. Be. Found. Reach next metro station. Its open! There are trains! Waiting to take us... a really consulted way back home, since we've lost the direct line back to our hotel. Its a race against the clock since the trains stop running at 2AM, but at 1:57AM, the train pulls up to our station. Lesson for this story: Midnight in Paris should not be spent atop the Eiffel Tower, and I see why the only taxis Owen Wilson could find in 'Midnight in Paris' were ones that transported him back in time to the 1920s.
BECAUSE THEY DON'T EXIST IN REAL LIFE.
Rant over. Maybe now that I've blogged about it, I can start to let some of my bitterness wash away.
The next day, we slept in and then headed over to the Ile de Paris. We stayed in this area the last time we were in Paris, so it was nice to revisit some of our old haunts.
We visited Notre Dame.
This was Sunday, mind you, so we toured the cathedral in the middle of their Sunday services.
Frankly, I had forgotten it was Sunday (traveling can do that to you), and I'm more than a little astonished they let tourists in while conducting religious services.
Mental note for the next trip to Paris.
The flight was... not as much fun going home as it was going over, but then when it is ever more fun to be leaving London than going to London.
On a plus note, Carl had a great time on the trip, and is even thinking ahead to our next international trip (not sure who took over the mind of my husband, but I'm not about to complain). And the kids are definitely sad they didn't go, and are asking daily when they can go to London. Living with three boys who want to travel just as much as I do might actually mean I make it back sooner rather than later. Time to start planning!