Thursday in Paris

The late night got to us and we did not walk into the Louvre until 12:30 pm, which was actually a perfect time because it seemed to be in between the early morning crowd and the afternoon crowd. We split into three groups (Skye and Tracey stayed together; Caroline and I separated) and decided to meet up at 2:30. I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed a museum completely at my own pace…I meandered through the Greek antiquities, up past the Winged Victory and into the Italian renaissance crowd looking for the Mona Lisa. Freshly amazed at Raphael and Botticelli, I then walked through the French paintings—which really are gorgeous—over to the really cool stuff:  The sphinx…the mummies…the gigantic statues of Ramses. I love the Egyptian hieroglyphics and the mysterious painted eyes on the sarcophagi.

When we met up at 2:30, hungry and ready to sit down, Caroline had spent her time with statues, Skye had taken photos of architectural details and views out windows, and Tracey talked about the beauty of Napoleon’s apartment. The two hours were definitely worth the $15 ticket.

We had another frantic search for a bathroom during the long walk back to the hotel (you’d think we’d figure this out by now—go early), rested for a bit and then headed out for the evening in Montmartre. Skye was determined to get some night-time photos of Paris and since it doesn’t get dark until almost 10:30, we knew we were in for a long one! After about 500 steps up from the metro, we wandered the cobblestone streets of Montmartre to a charming intersection of three streets surrounded by shops and restaurants. We enjoyed a pasta and pizza dinner outside, at one point serenaded by an accordion player. Then we were had by some African guys who cheerfully insisted on braiding bracelets onto our wrists then requested 5 euros each! Tracey saw it coming and kept her arms folded so they couldn’t get her. I gave up 8 euros, I’m sorry to say, for Caroline’s and mine. Tracey would only give 2 for Skye’s—smart woman!

Then it’s 175 steps more up to Sacre Ceour, the church of the Sacred Heart, and the not-so-great view of the city. The people-watching up there was more interesting. There was an acrobatic ball juggler who was really amazing and deserved every coin he got; the Ethiopian drummers who offered Skye and Caroline some pot to smoke were less impressive. It was an interesting place to spend the evening, though Tracey and I made a big mistake. We had French coffees at 10 pm. Big mistake. Neither of us slept last night.

On the way back we went by the Champs Elysees to try to get a cool shot of the Arc de Triomphe, but we were too far away and too tired to walk closer. I hear Skye got some good shots of the lit-up Eiffel Tower from her balcony when we got back, though.

Today has been truly uninteresting. We packed up and went to the airport for our flight to Barcelona, which was delayed 2 hours. So now I’m on the plane writing this, looking forward to Spain and new adventures! Enjoy the last Paris photos (from me) below.

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One Response to Thursday in Paris

  1. Tracey Burde says:

    Tracey here… this has been an amazing trip. I could not be happier with how our planning has turned out. Our neighborhood in Paris (the 7th arrondissement) has been charming with very friendly people. We were right near the golden dome of the Hotel Les Invalides where Napoleon is buried. It housed the wounded soldiers as well as the armory. If you look at the photos you can see it in the background of the photos of Skye and Beth. Amazing!!! It has been a very full trip. As you have heard, we have walked our feet off, but are not complaining. The weather and the sights have been outstanding! Our rooms were a bit tiny at the Hotel Duquesne Eiffel, but the beds were incredible and the bathrooms were splendid. Tonight we are staying at our adorable apartment in Barcelona. It is called The Five Rooms and we are loving having a washer and a small wall kitchen where we will enjoy our coffee, bread with cheese or jam and some eggs tomorrow morning. Then we plan to head out to see some Gaudi at the cathedral and some neighborhood architecture before heading to the beach after lunch. Caroline has a National Cathedral School classmate who lives here so the girls will meet up with her for the evening. Love and miss you all. Hugs, Tracey

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