Day 18 - Spain/France Trip - Paris

July 8 Monday

We were a little slow on getting moving this morning. Our intentions were good but after such a late night I decided to let Jackson sleep in.

We made it breakfast by 9 and then a trip to the front desk to try to arrange a trip for the next day to Versailles and the hop on hop off bus for the day. It took a bit, but by 10 we were on our first bus.

We sat on the top of the bus and became true tourists for the day. Our first two buses had personal guides describing the area, but for the rest, we listened to recordings. We saw all the hot spots of Paris but got off to explore a handful more closely.

We jumped off at —/// . This has a beautiful straight on view of the Eiffel Tower with grass and water features. When I was young I can remember people lounging around this area and children playing in the water. It is now blocked off and no longer adds to the charm of the area. We took a few pictures and then walked to the Eiffel Tower where we caught the next bus. Again the gardens under neath the tower are mostly blocked off and you can no longer walk right under the tower without going through a security check first.

Our next departure site was Opera Garnies. Jackson was particularly excited for this stop because Galleries Layfayette, a large department store is there. This department store is so large that it has three separate buildings and I think 6 floors. Jackson wanted to shop but after seeing the brand names and looking at sale prices he was doubtful he could find anything. In the end he found an authentic bomber jacket and was very pleased. I was pleased that we could see the dome shaped ornate roof in the women’s building and go to the top to check out the view.

I have to make this one note here so bare with me. The bathrooms in this place were the best I have ever been to anywhere in the world. Meticulously kept, White small hexagon tile, and more stalls then I could count! They even had makeup mirrors in various places! If there weren’t other people in there who would have thought I was a creeper I would have taken a picture of the bathroom!!

From the department store we went to a little cafe for lunch. We shared escargot for an appetizer. It was delicious but it took a minute to figure out how to get those things out of their shells! And the sauce they had been prepared in was green so they may not appeal to everyone.

After lunch we hit one more location before getting back on the bus. We visited the Gallery Opera. I can see why people recommend that people visit this building. It is beautiful! The staircase alone is worth it. We explored as much as the public was allowed to see which included the auditorium as well. While walking around it wasn’t difficult to see how the phantom of the was inspired by this place!

Back on the bus we switched to a different line and went to Montemarte. We climbed the steps to Sacre-Coure and admired the beauty of the church and view. Hard to imagine that Parisians found this to be an eye sore when it was first built!

We explored inside and then climbed the 300 steps that twisty tightly up the narrow spire. If you don’t liked tight spaces, you wouldn’t do well in this situation.

At the top we experienced another breath taking view of Paris and a wonderful wind after such a strenuous climb.

Once back down, we wandered over to the artist area. Cafes surround the square and artist display their works. Some offer to do portraits and some work on new paintings. Jackson found a painting of the Eiffel Tower that he liked. We took a picture of him with the artist and the artist packed it up for us because it was still drying.

We looked in a few shops and then speed walked back down the hill. We were nervous about missing the last bus and finding the bus stop again! We found the stop and waited. Other people are waiting as well so we crossed our fingers a bus was coming! After 30 minutes it arrived and we completed the rest of the tour. Since we were on a different line and the other line had already stopped running, we had to walk from the Louvre back to the hotel. We walked on the opposite side of the river this time and saw new things. We dropped off our things and then went to the corner for dinner which included health food selections so we both had a big salad and fresh lemonade with mint. My chicken was crusted with cereal and was the best! The salad itself was drowning in dressing so I wasn’t as fond of that.

We waited for the bill for a very long time and when he finally came I was in such a hurry that when he didn’t give me a pen to sign the credit card receipt I just took them and left. Oops!

My intent was to get to bed at least on time, but after planning the next day and showering it was way past bed time!


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