Trying to see two of the worlds great cities in 9 days is a Herculean task, but we gave it our best shot last month travelling to Paris and Rome. During the middle few days in Paris we dragged our friends EF and MF on a whirlwind tour. Ignoring dreary rain and chilly temperatures, we biked, walked, ate and drank our way around town at breakneck speed.
We probably were not supposed to be taking our rental bikes on this stone walk along the banks of the Seine, but it made for a memorable if a bit bumpy morning.
A view from the windows of the Musee D’Orsay looking out onto the Louvre. It really is worth getting up early to get to these museums before the crowds, the people of Paris are not early risers which may be related to Parisian restaurants not even opening their doors until 8pm.
Arc de Triomphe. This arch sits at the end of the “times-squarified” Champs-Elysees and got me wondering why Europeans seem to think is a good idea to turn great historical monuments into traffic circles.
We loved the Montmartre neihborhood, it is everything Champs-Elysees is not…mostly, it still feels culturally Parisian.
Montmartre is dominated by the Sacre-Coeur Basilica at the top of the hill.
Sacre-Coeur holds a commanding view over Paris.
French wine (which is definitely better in France) combined with decadent French food and the Paris cafe culture makes for relaxing days filled with little luxuries…not a bad way to live.
The Eiffel Tower: Iconic enough to draw a massive crowd even on a cold and rainy Wednesday in the middle of winter.
I have heard it said that since pictures of every square inch of the planet are available in a few mouse clicks, that we have lost some of the purpose and thrill of travel. However, in my mind there is nothing that can take the place of standing in the fog looking up at this beautiful tower. If you have ever really traveled, to places far away, and seen things of unimaginable magnitude and stunning beauty, then you know it doesn’t matter how large your LCD screen is, there is no substitute for the experience of travel.
After an overnight flight with minimal sleep, on our foggy first morning, it was determined that against our better judgement and the advice of our driver we will be riding these tomorrow on the crazy streets of Paris.
Le Marais, location of our rental flat. Older of the neighborhoods of Paris.
First time in Paris!
Notre Dame looming in the fog.
Two coffee stops later, our food consumption included the longest hot dog and cheese baguette we had ever seen. Our friend is a great sport!
Our lack of sleep left us delirious and made the day seem very dream-like.
Stained glass viewed from the interior of the cathedral.
I’m in love!
Our table experienced steak tar tar, duck confit, roasted duck breast, and pan seared pork with mustard seed seasoning (above plate). Throw in a great bottle of Bordeaux and chocolate cake to call it a successful night.
Le Marais in the evening. “Our Home in Paris” (rental company) has really impressed us with our flat, driver, and concierge. We didn’t plan anything on our travel day, yet found Paris to be very walkable and easy to navigate making it easy to accomplish so much on our first day.