give paris one more chance

From London, we boarded a Eurostar high-speed train through the Chunnel and into France. We got to Paris in 2 hours flat. It was neat to see the countryside fly by (England has cows just like we do!)

We got to the Paris Gare du Nord and took a local train to the St. Michel stop – right on the banks of the Seine in the Latin Quarter. Our hotel was 2 blocks from the river and right in the heart of a bunch of pedestrian streets full of restaurants and shops.

Once we checked in and grabbed lunch, we headed straight to the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was right across the bridge a couple blocks from our hotel.

From there we walked through La Conciergerie, past the Prefecture of Police and stopped in Shakespeare & Co. It’s a very old, very packed bookstore. A lot of history in that bookshop. Lots of famous writers used to hang out there. Back then, the owners would let aspiring writers live upstairs for free, as long as they volunteered for a few hours in the store and promised to read one book a day. This was one of Drew’s favorite spots in Paris.

We headed down through the Latin Quarter to Sorbonne (the Paris University) and to the Pantheon.

I didn’t really know what to expect of the Pantheon. I was not prepared for how vast it felt inside and how tall the ceilings were. And in the middle was Focault’s Pendulum which demonstrates the rotation of the earth.

Next stop was Jardin du Luxembourg – a really lovely park with Luxembourg Palace overlooking a large fountain and very manicured gardens.

While trying to photograph the fountain, I was stopped by a guy who said I just walked onto their movie set. I looked to my left and saw a whole camera crew. Oops! They were filming a scene with two little girls playing near the fountain. Here, the little girl walks right up to the camera for her monologue.

Before it got dark, we wanted to get over to Tour Montparnasse – the tallest building in Paris. You can go to the top for a view of Paris. Here you can see the Louvre in the distance.

By now, we were ready for dinner. And some wine.

We really enjoyed the Latin Quarter at night – it was so lively. Our room had a juliet balcony that we could open and watch the crowds go by.

Our first stop the next morning was none other than… the Eiffel Tower! I was very excited to see it up close and take plenty of pictures. And did I ever. I took 56 pictures of just the Eiffel Tower.

It was cold and windy that morning, but that meant it wasn’t nearly as crowded as it probably is. We took the lift to the middle section and got another nice view of Paris.

There was a maintenance crew working. I had no idea the Eiffel Tower was painted brown. I guess the old girl needed her makeup re-applied. It does make her glow a nice bronze color in the sun!

It cleared up as we walked through Parc du Champs de Mars. You have to be pretty far away from the Eiffel Tower in order to get the whole thing in the shot.

Ouch! The Eiffel Tower is sharp.

We checked out the Musee Rodin – where most of Rodin’s sculptures were scattered around the gardens outside the museum – including Le Penseur.

From here, we walked past the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine, Esplande des Invalides, across Pont Alexandre III bridge, past the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, and along Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.

I went to the top (via another tight spiral staircase) to get another great aerial view of Paris. You’d think I would have learned my lesson from the experience in London and try to conserve the rest of my energy for walking, but I’m glad I didn’t pass this up. It was a great view at the top.

That night we had dinner reservations at La Maree Verte where I had the most delicious mussels I’ve ever had. (It was the first time I ever had mussels.) As we ended our second night in Paris, we had seen a lot, but there was still so much to see and do!

Check out more of my pictures from Paris on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Give Paris One More Chance” by Jonathan Richman


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