Paris in the Springtime with the warm wind in our hair (not Springtime and I’ve got no hair)

We ventured into the city on the Metro on our first night. We got lost. First on the Metro and then in the city. But then we turned a corner and saw a metal Meccano like object in the distance. The excitment of seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, between the buildings, was amazing. It sent a chill up my spine. It really felt like Paris then. We carried on not knowing where we were until an imposing entrance confronted us. It was the building that now houses the Louvre. It was closed for the night but we entered anyway. I stood in awe. It was the magestic palace in what now houses the Palais Royal Musee du Louvre. I couldn’t wait to see what was inside tomorrow. We slowly retraced our steps back to our apartment in Montmatre and slept well on the first balmy Parisian night.

Day two. We decided to book the open top bus tour around the city to get our bearings and check out more of the sights. It was a good choice. We got earphones to listen to a guided tour of all the landmarks and their history. And there are plenty of them. Deciding where to start was the hardest thing. The Louvre won out. We queued for 30 minutes with hundreds of other tourists then we entered the pyramid. Heading straight for the Mona Lisa gallery was predictable and we joined everybody else looking for La Gioconda. It took a while and it was a bit disappointing really because there were so many people doing the same. We got a quick photo and moved on.

We checked out the Egyptian section, and the French and Italian Sculptures which were amazing and then decided to leave the hoards to it. The complex is huge and you could easily spend two full days exploring. It must have been lunch time because Donna was hungry. The Place de la Concorde is next to the Louvre and we wandered along looking for food. McDonalds appeared and Donna weakened, allowing me to order a Beef Royale Nouveau, up sized with Coca Cola Zero. It didn’t help my diet but it was good.

Day three. Eiffel Tower. Early start to beat the crowds. Unfortunately everybody else had the same idea, and we were the crowds. It was a one hour queue to get to the ticket office. Then another queue to get to the first lift. And then another hour to get to the second lift to the top. It was cool, but by then we were over it and headed straight back down. We ticked that that one off. You can’t come to Paris without going up the Eiffel Tower.

Ooooh, lunch time again.  We jumped back on the Tour Bus and climbed off on the Champs-Élysées. It is lined with boutique shops and lots of cafes. We picked one and ordered crepes, lattes and cocktails. Afterwards we shopped along this iconic stretch and then headed home on the Metro. We’re seasoned underground rail travellers already. The trains roll through every three or four minutes and lots of people climb on and off. It’s strange that nobody speaks or smiles to anyone. It is a regimented routine without emotion. Anyway we have joined the masses and migrate dutifully between venues.

Here’s a few more pics of our day. We’re visiting a travelling Dali Exhibition in Montmatre in the morning and then heading to the Musée d’Orsay. No doubt a cafe for lunch and then we will head out for dinner on our last day in Paris.

Categories: France, Paris | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Paris in the Springtime with the warm wind in our hair (not Springtime and I’ve got no hair)

  1. Deb

    Looks amazing. Fantastic updates. Its almost like we were there. Just wishful thinking.i think I now know Tonys happy place!

  2. Buds

    You might need to steal a bike and ride the cobbles on the Champs Elysees. But yeah, jealous as!

    • They have bikes all around the city that you can hire and drop off. You buy a ticket at an automated kiosk. I haven’t tried it, but lots of the locals use them. The cobblestones are very hard and bumpy, and the Champs isn’t very long. Yep, France is pretty good.

  3. Roger

    D’oh did you not listen? — visit the eiffel tower at night and cut queueing times by 90%! Tony, whilst Donna goes shopping get ye to the catacombs! and 5 francs says you will find musee d’orsay 10 times as good as the Louvre — also the specialist monet museum (somewhere near the Eiffel tower from memory) is great. Otherwise, hope that weight is still dripping off you despite the allure of fast french food and cool beer!

    • Yes, I tried to get Donna to go at night but Donna was puffed by then. The strategy of the early start didn’t help, although the queue was twice as long when we left. Looking forward to D’Orsay (I knew it would be better than the Louvre) and there is a Cubist retrospective in another which I am keen on catching. I haven’t been on the scales but all the walking and no time to eat is great. Managed to squeeze in a few wines last night though. Mmmm Catacombs.

  4. Leigh Rodgers

    It’s surreal seeing you guys there – in a fantastic way! Musee D’Orsay is amazing – you’ll love it but prepare for queues again! Am loving following your blog. Very exciting. Keep on keeping on!! Lots of love xox

    • There is no shortage of art history to soak up. I used Paul’s TomTom (GPS) to locate the Bateau Lavoir, the old piano factory where Picasso, Braque and others lived in and worked in Montmatre. It’s a couple of blocks away and I will visit it this morning. Looking forward to the South soon, for a different side of France.

      • Leigh

        So much was played out in Montmatre! Have an absinthe, it was the cheap drink of choice in the early 1900s(or pastis for a modern version) , in a seedy bar there in honour of Modigliani, Picasso, Braque, Apolinaire and others. When you’re at Musee d’Orsay, don’t miss Courbet’s “Origin of the World “. Amazing when you realise it was 1866! It still shocks today! You probably won’t have time but Pompidou centre has great modern art. The South will be so you’re ‘thing’. Looking forward to your reactions!

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