i’m throwing my arms around paris

On our third day in Paris, we woke up early to get to the Louvre first thing, hoping to avoid the crowds.

It took no time at all to get in and find the wing with Mona Lisa, but by the time we got there, there were already swarms of people. We had to fight our way to the front to get a glimpse of her. She is very heavily guarded.

We couldn’t admire her for too long before being pushed out of the way by other tourists. We made our way through a lot of the Louvre and saw Venus de Milo, Vermeer’s The Astronomer, and Nike of Samothrace.

We made our way outside and marveled at how big the Louvre is.

We walked through Jardin des Tuileries and got a view straight down the historic axis (L’Axe historique) — a straight line starting from the courtyard of the Louvre Palace to the outskirts of Paris.

We saw the Centre Georges Pompidou – a building that was built inside out.

Then we stopped at Église Saint-Merri at a cafe opposite Fontaine Stravinsky for some wine and tiramisu.

We then took a train up north to see the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur – a church high on a hill overlooking Paris. It’s quite a climb to get there. Even after taking several flights of stairs to get above ground from the train, we had to walk up steep streets and more steps to get to the foot of the Basilique.

It provided another great view of Paris.

Later that night we had dinner at Atelier Maitre Albert – a Guy Savoy restaurant. It was delicious!

Walking back to the hotel we stopped again at Shakespeare & Co. At about 11pm, it was still packed.

Across the street, we got a great view of the Notre Dame Cathedral all lit up.

On our last day in Paris, we took the train out to Versailles in the morning.

See those cement pillars along the sidewalk? Minutes after taking this picture, I walked across the street, looked back at Drew as I was walking, and BAM – I walked right into one of those cement pillars. Besides embarrassing myself, I completely bashed my knee into it and it immediately swelled up. I was in sheer pain the rest of the day. Great start to my day at Versailles…

The palace at Versailles was incredible. I had no idea how big it was and how ornate all of the rooms were – each of them different. And the gardens were amazing.

The Hall of Mirrors was pretty packed, as was the rest of the Palace. But by this point in the trip, we were pretty used to all the travel groups.

We headed back to Paris around lunchtime and went to Musee d’Orsay. By now I was limping stiff-legged, but we kept on truckin’ through. I wasn’t about to let an injury slow me down on my last day in Paris! Well, maybe it slowed me down a bit, but it didn’t stop me!

We saw paintings by Van Gogh, Manet, Degas, Monet, and Renoir among others.

Our last stop of the trip was to Jardin des Plantes.

What a perfect cap to a perfect trip, a leisurely stroll down a tree-lined lane.

Sadly, it was time to go. One last dinner al fresco at a cafe in the Latin Quarter. One last bottle of Bordeaux. We had to pack our bags and get ready for our early flight the next morning.

Au revoir Paris, tu vas me manquer!

Check out more of my pictures from Paris on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” by Morrissey

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