We got to take the Bullet train to Paris from London. It was super cool. We went through a lot of tunnels so we were in the dark a good portion of the time, but the train went so fast that you knew you were just flying and your ears would keep popping.
After doing Hop on/Hop off buses in London, we decided to try it again in Paris. What a great time. With the audio commentary in the headset, we learned so much in a short period of time, while sitting out in the open breeze and sunshine enjoying the whole panarama .
One of the things on my list to see, in real life, was the Hotel George V. So many movies and book plots have taken place in that hotel and they always portrayed it to be extremely fancy, expensive and glamorous. I was not to be disappointed. It was gorgeous.
I would have enjoyed dining out on the Terrace if I’d had more time.
The lobby was even exceptionally beautiful. The flowers were all real and very fresh. The one thing that did surprise me, was that the staff of the George V were not rude and stuffy, the way they’re portrayed in the story books. The hostess at the terrace restaurant was just lovely a took a couple of pictures of us for our collection.
As much as I loved Princess Diana, I’d forgotten that this was the hotel where she and Dodi had dined on that fateful night when they both died. Parisians have not forgotten. The tour bus pointed out this hotel and showed us the tunnel where the driver took the curve too quickly, resulting in the crash. There are bouquets of flowers are still placed by the tunnel every day in Paris in their memory.
After all the excitement of seeing the fancier side of Paris, we definitely needed a Starbucks. It’s very popular in London, but not so much in Paris. We were so excited to spot one from the top of our bus right on the Champs Elysees. After being fortified with an Ice Grande Latte, we were off to see the Arc De Triomphe. What a spectacular momument. It sits right in the middle of the craziest round-about in all of Europe. It was so much larger than I’d ever pictured and the statues on the sides must be 10 or 20 times bigger than life.
We had so much fun just running around looking at what ever we wanted to see. There’s never enough time to do it all and see it all, but we certainly put in a very good effort. Of course we wanted to go to the top of the Arc De Triomphe, but I didn’t realize that most people climbed the entire 284 steps. Not an impossible climb, but I knew that in my shoes, I’d be done for the day with too many blisters, so David, being the gentlemen, explained that after having knee surgery, he’d be in too much pain to make the entire climb and we got to take the elevator. Now, this was all true, but he never would have admitted that, or let it slow him down, but he knew I was too embarassed to ask for the elevator, so he did it for me and saved the day.
Here, you felt like you were on top of the world. On the right is the beautiful Champs Elysees, the most elegant avenue in the world and in the distance, on the hill, is the spectacular Basilique Sacre Coeur. I loved to look at the beautiful rooftop gardens and imagine what it must be like to live in the center of all of this history and fashion.
The view of The Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc De Triomphe. We felt very high up at this point.
Then we took a picture of the view of the Arc De Triomphe from the Eiffel Tower. It looks so small in the distance.
With the crowds of tourists, you can spend time taking pictures of strangers, and they will do the same for you. Honestly such a romantic day. The weather was a dream and the scenery – ‘picture perfect’. Cliche…I know.
The Seine River cruise is something everyone must do. As the sun was setting, we boarded our boat and the Eiffel Tower was illuminated…Sigh…heaven.
Notre Dame was on my must do list. We may have spent a little too much time there, but its so magnificent and full of centuries of history.
The beautiful stained glass. My photographic abilities don’t allow you to experience the beauty and majesty of this cathedral, but it might just be enough to create a desire in you to see it for yourself.
Our hotel was actually named the Opera St. George and it was right in the Opera district. It was a pretty little place within walking distance to the Metro, Sacre Coeur and the Opera House.
We kept in touch with our kids, just enough to get by, mostly by text messages and Facebook. Afterall we were only going to be gone for 8 days. Blissfully we explored the cities, feeling like we were on a great adventure, knowing the kids were in good hands. But in every little bit of heaven, on this earth, there can be a little dark spot, and we had no idea what was really going on at home. See ‘Once a Mom,..’ post. This was our last day in Paris, and then we were off to Rome on the over night train.