france, part 2

Paris.

our thought was to start north and head south; spend a few days in a couple of different cities.  not only breaking up the travel time to get from city to city, but also providing for the opportunity to see what we came to know as some of the most beautiful countryside we had ever seen.

so we hopped on a plan on a wednesday night and showed up on paris’ doorstep at 7am thursday morning.  my first picture in france…

the airport

this was right before the three armed policemen (not a policeMAN with three ARMS – duh!) strolled by in formation, and about 10 minutes before our driver showed up to take us to our hotel. the ride turned out to be rather eye opening: 80s pop music set the tempo (a little Wham! will never hurt anyone) and the traffic of morning rush hour provided us with the opportunity to scope out the fleet of vehicles parisians prefer.  and to answer your question: yes – traffic sucks regardless of where you are in the world.

by the time we found our hotel, i had been awake for 25 hours.  perfect timing for a stroll through the beautiful streets of the 15th arrondissement to find a farmer’s market in front of our hotel and wind up on a parisian double-decker tour bus.

the seine
the 16th arrondissement across the seine
farmer's market along boulevard de grenelle

departing from the eiffel tower, our tour bus stopped at places like the arc de triomphe, the louvre and notre dame, and lumbered down the champs elysees.  it was an ideal opportunity to figure out the lay out of the land…without walking.

paris... eiffel tower...bus
ecole militaire (l) and st germain l'auxerrois (r)

sure, there’s the possibility of calling the bus ride cheesy, but we saw things we never would have seen had we been walking.

place de l'opera (l) and notre dame (r)

i think i can speak for each of us when i say that the grandeur of the architecture was really awe inspiring and left us speachless. the place de l’opera was spectacular all the way around.  and, notre dame was amazing on the outside.  it wasn’t until 2 days later that we had the opportunity to actually go inside and marvel at that little slice of awesome (more to come on that later).

it was a fun bus ride, but…..

the grand palais

heading down avenue des champs elysees we caught a glimpse of the swanky retail stores and made our way to the arc de triomphe etoile.

avenue des champs elysees outside louis vuitton (l) and arc de triomphe etoile (m/r)

by the time our bus tour was headed down the avenue des champs elysees, we figured it was time to bring this journey to a close and walk back towards our hotel for some  dinner and sleep.

next up…versailles

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