We are back on the train after a full two days of Paris. Let me try to recall the highlights!
As we exited the train, we had all our belongings and started to walk. Enjoying the sunshine, bright sky and new sights, I was full of awe to be back in Paris!
Jim found a great patisserie. An almond croissant for Steve and a delightful French toast for Jim, to walk around with. He said one of best he ever ate and wanted to go back. With map in hand we began the walk to the hotel, Best Western Jardin de Cluny on Rue de Sommeraud.
We had to cross the Seine River, we select Pont Augustins close to Notre Dame cathedral. We stopped to get a bottle of red wine close to the hotel so we would have it later :). The hotel is easy to find, pleasant and very clean. We arrive and one room is available, we dropped our light overnight bags and head out to explore.
First stop at Cafe Village Ronsard.
Shirley had beef Bourgogne, Steve had duck something, Jim a Caesar salad with chicken and I had tomato and Buffalo cheese salad. Mine gluten free swimming in olive oil and tasty green basil and spices. We had wine and enjoyed people watching. Back to the hotel and got directions for hop on bus.
We walked on banks of the Seine, got on bus near Notre Dame perhaps a little after three pm. We rode it for an hour or two, top of bus taking great pictures and taking in the scenery. All the highlights of the city. Busy traffic on Champs Élysées and toward Arc de Triomphe. So beautiful and great weather. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Tuileries, Pallais de Chaillot, Esplanade Invalides, and the river. Ahhhhhh the beautiful river!
We walked by and stopped in a Swarovski store to see what they have in the way of bling. A crystal Eiffel Tower was very nice, just a few inches high. Bracelets like the one I wear.
We walked around the Galleries Lafayette (we found the Starbucks in the third floor). The incredible ceiling I remembered from my last and only other time to Paris. We stopped at a cafe, sat outside and people watched, then strolled the Opera House district. We got back on our bus and continued the sight seeing until returning to the stop nearest the hotel.
We opened a bottle of wine and had a snack of goat cheese and baguette. We found another cafe, Rives de Paris, for dinner, a short walk from the hotel. We had only an hour or so as we made reservations for a private taxi to tour the four of us around to see the city of lights at ten pm. Dining was quick and very tasty! Even time for dessert! Shirley paid a handsome tip and the waiter, who provided very great service was appreciative and told his buddies before we even left the cafe! His appreciation was appreciated!
Back to hotel, a man named Lee picked us up in a lovely van. He followed a suggested route and the lights and sights were beautiful. All of us a little tired but willing to keep touring. We saw the Eiffel Tower in the dark, lit up and sparkly. Then we went down below it and took pictures up. It is so festive, like a party going on all around us!
We saw the Diana memorial at Pont d’Alma and I got out of the taxi to take pictures quickly. We drove up the Champs Élysées and then to Arc de Triomphe. It was a beautiful tour and we thanked Jim for arranging it for us. The city is so alive at night, people out in cafes and walking and streets busy with traffic … Adding to the lights and festivity. Lovely.
Midnight and exhaustion saw us safely back at the hotel for a good night sleep. Up around ten … Really ….. Eleven by the time we headed out for breakfast. Comfy beds, clean, crisp white sheets and updated bathrooms. Much nicer than most three star hotels I have stayed in the past!
The locals were setting up for the market yesterday, and today it was in full bloom. Bags, fruit, fish, breads, clothes, hats, and more. So colourful and fun to walk around. We took our time, having left our bags at the hotel for the day while we toured around the city. The lady at the front desk gave us some great suggestions and after the market we made our way over to Marais district.
We stopped at the shop for Berthillion glacé. I remember from my research how flavourful the sorbet of this name from my previous trip to Paris. Now getting used to my surroundings I was excited to enjoy the tastes once again. Yum. Everyone tasted and we walked along the Seine on isle de St. Louis …
Heading over to the Bastion. The buildings are unique, old and very well kept on the outside. Beautiful grounds, red flower boxes on shuttered window sills. I took pictures of old wooden doors and window boxes. I can’t seem to get enough!
We walked on cobblestone walk ways and roads, trying to stay off the main areas so we could enjoy less traffic and more quiet. Little alleys were inviting. Mostly window shopping we saw Mademoiselle Chapeaux, on a street in Marais district where I bought a wool tam, made in France. Oh la la! My mom bought one as well.
We walked back to the hotel however we stopped along the way at a cafe across from the bridge to enjoy the sights before catching the train back to the villa. We took pictures and drank wine … Ate mussels and fries and salad and local fare. It was so fun and beautiful.
Then to the hotel, we picked up a taxi to gare de Lyon and so here I am now on the fast train to the south with a stop in Beziers where Anne will be waiting to take us home to the villa.
Tomorrow is my moms birthday. I have bought her a book of watercolour images from the Languedoc region … I am sure she will love it.
The sun is starting to fade on the train, we departed at 1807 pm on 10 October from Paris. Not doing very well facing backwards in a moving vehicle, I am now seated in an aisle row beside my mom and across from Steve. People around me sleeping and enjoying the gentle sway of the train. The greenery and fields are beautiful and it is nice to be heading back to the quiet of the villa.
As the sun begins to set I can see silhouette of trees and some cows, sheep and goats in the dark fields. Some lights on in farmhouse windows as they are finishing up their working day, no doubt and maybe settling down to supper.
Paris is always a good idea …. And it was perfect this time!
The weather, the pace, the company … The touring, the food, the wine, the sights, the French tams, the tomatoes, the market, olives, olive oil, flowers, bright colours, green wooden boxes along the Seine, artists painting, brides being photographed, swans, ducks, pigeons, trees changing colours for autumn, lights of the city, old beautiful buildings, well dressed men and women.