We may have drawn out the blogging of our week in Paris a little too long. The city is just such an alive and electric place that each day seems like 3 when we look back. It is been hard to cut anything out when retelling the story. We really did save the best of Paris for the end of our trip. The best museum(The Louvre), the best meal(Le Grapillon on NYE) and best experience(running around the city drinking champagne at midnight).
The Louvre has two entrances(that I know of), the main outdoor entrance at the famous(infamous?) glass pyramid and this back entrance at the inverted but equally impressive glass pyramid. I recommend this one because of the dramatically shorter line and protection from the rain.
Some of the art at the Louvre is more impressive than I could have imagined(e.g. “Winged Victory”, “Liberty Leading the People” ) Others like the Mona Lisa above, are a bit disappointing. As if being tiny, far away and behind bullet proof glass wasn’t bad enough, there is a constant crowd of people straining to get the same bad photograph.
In complete contrast, “The Astronomer” one of Vermeer’s 34 known paintings in the world was unprotected and ignored in the corner of a side room.
The aforementioned “pyramid entrance” with ever-present long and winding line.
Outside of Restaurant le Grappillon. Site of one of the best meals of my life. For new years eve we ate there with our friends EF and MF sharing a fabulous and very french meal of foie gras, scallops, escargot, oysters, lobster and more.
Walking through the courtyard of the Louvre at night on our way to celebrate new years was a beautiful and unexpected experience.
The Louvre and its pyramids in all their surreal, city of light glory.
A little early in the night to be our official new years eve kiss but the dramatic setting will live on in our memories.
Walking through Parisian crowds on NYE towards the Eiffel Tower for midnight champagne. The energy of Paris at night was infectious.
This moment has inspired us to try to celebrate New Years Eve on every continent(So far we have N America, Africa and now Europe)
The next morning we woke up and flew on to Rome to continue our whirlwind tour of some Europe’s most famous sites. Blog posts of this, our more recent trip to Jamaica and upcoming road trip/dogsledding in Scandinavia are on their way soon!
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.