Monday, January 7, 2008

There’s love in the air under Paris skies

My original plan was to spend just one day in Paris, by myself. So, I was thrilled to find out that we'd get to spend multiple days there. Together.

We celebrated Boxing Day by taking another self-guided day tour of the city. Our first stop was the Louvre. We only spent two hours there, but we could have spent two weeks. It was a most rushed visit, but at least we saw "The Ladies of the Louvre" - the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, and the Venus de Milo, among others that we had to mostly just glance at.

Following, we took a stroll along the Seine and crossed over the Pont Neuf to the Ile de la Cité. We as the Place Dauphin and, across it, La Conciergerie before walking along the Quai des Orfevres. Our visit to the Gothic chapel Sainte-Chapelle taught me one of my new favorite phrases - Tarif Reduit - or Reduced Fare, as I am under 26. There was no senior discount anywhere, but I got Tarif Reduit on all of our entry fees. That rocked! The upper chapel of Sainte-Chapelle was amazing. The stained glass was beautifully detailed.

We then took in a little bit of West Bank life by crossing over the Pont St. Michel, visiting the Latin Quarter and the Place St. Michel. After a very tasty panini for lunch, I have decided that I need more gruyere in my life.

We finished off our lunch whilst visiting Notre Dame in daylight, which was just as cool. The decision was made not to visit the top and the gargoyles, so that will have to wait until next time. Then, we metro'd to the Place de la Concorde, where Madame Guillotine once stood. We took one good view of the Champs-Elysées before metroing most of the distance and approaching the magnificent Arc du Triomphe. It was from atop this edifice that I finally realized the magnitude of the Eiffel Tower. Sure it was amazing when I was right there, but seeing it from a slight distance, you realize just how much it actually dwarfs the rest of the city. Wow. Just wow.

Sadly, it was a really cloudy day, and going up the Eiffel Tower would not have been fruitful. So, once again, this necessitates a visit there in the future. At least we got a great panoramic view from the Arc, and I could even see all the way to Montmartre.

Our final stop was the Museé Rodin, where we saw such works as Balzac, The Thinker, and The Kiss. Beautiful.

Dinner was yummy, again, but words cannot describe how I felt about the lemon meringue tartellete we picked up on the way home. So. Good.

It was an absolutely wonderful visit, with fantastic company. We returned to the London Temple on Thursday, where Grandma and Grandpa worked their temple shift and I was able to serve in the temple for a few hours. It was really special to be there with them.

The best part? I was only halfway done with my vacation. London - here I come!


Nancy said... I have been to Moscow FIVE times, and wouldn't you know it, Lenin's tomb was closed each time...

Ironic? yes

Sorry about your Eiffel tower disappointment, but it certainly is a good reason to go back (or to just go, as in my case).

AmandaStretch said...

You have now jinxed any further attempts at Eiffel Tower visits I may have. Thanks. ;)