It has been a whirlwind two months!
I’ll start by sharing some stories, links and a photo from our recent trip to Paris, France, which was delightful to say the least.
Our journey began with an uneventful United Airlines flight to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Aeroport. After a long flight, beautiful weather and a challenging trek to our residence for the next few days, we finally settled in at the Hotel Notre Dame Saint-Michel. A quaint little hotel in the Latin Quarter of the city, within eye sight of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Following the arson in 2019, the cathedral has been closed while undergoing repairs. It is a magnificent sight, even from the outside with all the scaffolding and construction work that is painstakingly taking place. But we lodged right across the river Seine and thoroughly enjoyed the Parisian lifestyle – walking, watching everyone else, side walk cafes, crêpes which are a very thin type of pancake normally covered with something sweet, like strawberries. Yum! Everything is homemade, with freshly squeezed fruits and vegetables, tasty ice cream creations of the house without coloring or preservatives. This fabulous restaurant sat below our quiet hotel, and we feasted here for breakfast and mid-day snacks most days in Paris. Le Creme de Paris – we’ll be back!
We also made like real tourists and took the double decker Big Red Bus to see the city sights. They drove us all over one afternoon. We passed museums, the Opera House, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and of course, you can’t go to ARC DE TRIOMPHE without driving through the Champs-Élysées! Terry and I spent half a day walking through the Musee de Armee, learning about French warfare and of course, Napoleon. The Opera House is known for the famous Phantom of the Opera, among others. The crowds at the Louvre were huge, as we remember from our 2001 trip. The ARC is a must see destination at night. On a clear night with all the lights lit up in the city of lights, you get an exciting view of Paris. Rivaled by our trek up the Eiffel Tower, which we visited during daylight, we were treated to a delightful young tour guide who spoke excellent English. He is an architectural student and share his planning, design and construction view of the city from all four points of the compass. The night before our departure, we ate dinner at Le Flame before hiking up what seemed to me to be more than 2,000 steps to the top of the Arc. Beautiful city! The people we met and interacted with were all very wonderful. No incidents. No pick pockets. No terrorists. Very enjoyable visit!
Next, our bullet train ride to Marseille, the second largest city in France!