Good Morning! Sorry for not posting until the morning...the weekend had me busy with my family doing fun things, but hopefully I will be back to scheduled midnight posts beginning with tomorrow morning!
As I woke up today (with not much on my to do list) I was just thinking about my trip and realizing how much I love traveling. So today I will share Paris with you - it really was one of my favorite places on the trip!
We took the Eurostar on a morning train ride from London to Paris. We got off the train, and there was a company there to take our luggage so we could get on with our sight-seeing right away. Our Tour Direcetor took us straight away on the Metro to Centre Pompidou where we got to take an hour lunch:
So this is just like a little square surrounded by cafes and shops. The big building up there, that looks like it's under construction...well, it was built that way as a form of art. (?) Looks like a huge mess to me, but everyone comes to this square to meet with friends, have lunch in the sun, just hang out:
I didn't write down all the stories that Rosaria told us, but the Mayor lives here and it's a beautiful place!
Kept on walking a little more and quickly found Notre Dame:
It's a beautiful building (like all the others over there!). Rosaria told us about it and then we had time to go in and see the inside. I'll spare you tons of pictures of the structure, but just share one of some stained glass:
This was up towards the ceiling and isn't it absolutely gorgeous? I didn't take pictures of them, but all the stories of the bible were depicted through stained glass and sculpture and what a sight it was to see!
From here we walked towards the Latin Quarter...
Shops, cafes, beautiful fountains...all of this surrounds a university. This area is named the Latin quarter because of all the different people who came to study here - they had to move all instruction to Latin so everyone had a common language to share. Anyways, I'd definitely like more time in the Latin Quarter...there was so much to see in Paris so we didn't get that long here. It was off to dinner shortly after arriving here and then home to rest up for a full day in Paris for the second day!
Our second day started with a sight-seeing tour from our bus and the first awesome thing we saw was the Arc de Triomphe - a beautiful structure in the center of a parkway with cars driving all around it:
It's so amazing how these structures were built so long ago without any of the modern-day technology that we enjoy! Arc de Triomphe stands in the center of a circular street, and funny story: Insurance won't cover any accidents that happen here because there really is no organization or stop lights to direct traffic. It's kinda like a huge free-for-all, but I'm glad we got to see it. It takes your breath away!
We drove on and stopped to see the Eiffel Tower in the morning from the lawn:
One of the two best moments of my trip - made every dollar I spent on this trip worth it! My only wish is that I had said yes to going long ago!
We then drove on and stopped at another location - all I remember is the obelisk that is in the background and I think that's the one that France *didn't steal* - most of them were stolen, but I'm pretty sure that this one was a gift:
After this stop, we were dropped off by the Opera building (which now hosts the ballet):
From here, we had like 5 hours of free time for lunch. The kids went off to explore this area and Heather and I went off looking for the filming locations from the Sex and the City finale episodes. That will be a blog for another day so I can finish up the highlights of Paris!
We met back up for dinner and then got to see the Eiffel Tower by night. Here's a pic of our whole group and I just love it!
We had to hang around for a long time - it didn't get dark until 9:45 or 10 - and I really wanted to stay until it lit up and sparkled, but me being the person who loves to sleep (I know, you're thinking...even in Paris?) I went home. (My feet were also killing me from the flats I wore all day!) Heather stayed with two of the kids and next time I'll do the same. Here's one of heather and I when it was getting a little darker:
We had one more day in Paris which began with a trip to the Louvre:
Once we got inside, we stayed together long enough to find the Mona Lisa, but the kids took tons of pics of everything:
They were having such a great time together as we were trying to navigate this huge museum. We finally found the painting we all wanted to see...which is now well protected:
Everyone is behind the ropes and the painting is also behind glass:
Heather and I stayed in the museum for awhile trying to find some impressionist paintings, but we were mostly lost and there weren't even that many impressionist paintings (they're in another museum - that is on the bucket list for the next time!). We never found them, and then wanted to take a long lunch, so we took a walk across the Seine River and sat down to relax for lunch.
After that, we took a walk and saw the Lock Bridge (more on this in a future post!)
We stopped at some shops and then sat in a cafe and had some coffee before we had to meet up again to board the night train to Venice:
And that was the best of Paris! I'm definitely not done with that city, and I'm hoping to go back in the summer of 2017. I want to take some great kids that I have already taught...and then meet up with Heather and her students.
This city was so special, I actually just bought the Eiffel Tower Pandora charm this weekend:
Well, that's all for today. Hope you had a great weekend! Looking forward to having time to read all the blogs that are linked up today!
One last thing....some notes about the challenge: The Link-Ups don't close until midnight on July 31st, so if you missed a day here or there, it's okay to go back and get linked up for each day! Make the challenge work for you!
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