Paris

Paris, the City of Lights.  We arrived in Paris via plane from Venice.  Best plane ride ever!  I’m not a geographer, so I was so excited to see the Swiss Alps as we flew from Venice to Paris.  I’m sure that’s the closest I will EVER get to them.  From above, the Alps are amazing.  I was in awe.
We arrived in Paris on-time and headed to our hotel, the Novotel Gare-Monteparnasse.  I highly recommend the hotel – very modern, staff spoke English, and close to the metro.  We spent three whole days in Paris, plus a half-day.  It was not enough, but then again we didn’t spend enough time in any city we visited.  Guess that means we have to go back, right?  Here are some highlights from Paris.

View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower. While many believe going up the tower at night is the best view, I have found out otherwise. Go up the tower during the day, then go to the Montparnasse Tower at night. From there, you see the Eiffel Tower at night. Beautiful!

Gears of the Eiffel Tower. It really is a marvel of engineering. And beautiful at that.

Another view from the top. This area seemed to have lots of people sun bathing, picnicing, and the like while we were there. Of course it was close to 90 degrees most days, so who WOULDN'T do that?

This little red box is how you go up and down the Eiffel Tower. It goes up the legs, so it's at an angle. It's a small space, but so worth it!

Being creative and using the bars on the Eiffel Tower to create a frame. Paris is very flat (which is how the Parisians want it), but there are two sky scrapers in Paris. Two. That's it. And people complained that Philly didn't have a good skyline until recently. Shesh! Paris doesn't have ANY!

After leaving our friends, we realized we would have to be creative to get shots of us together on vacation. So, I started shooting our shadows. This is us walking back from the Eiffel Tower. Hubby on the left, me on the right. Looks just like us!

Boats on the Seine. On Sunday, we decided to wander the city and see what's what. We headed back towards the Eiffel Tower and crossed this pretty bridge. This view is from that bridge. No idea what the bridge is called, but it gave some great views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. These boats are tour boats, which we debated doing, but didn't.

The Seine and the Eiffel Tower. Doesn't get more iconic Paris than this.

We visited the Louvre. No, we didn't see the Mona Lisa. We decided seeing Paris was more important than seeing artwork, but we HAD to see the architecture of the Louvre. Well worth it! This is a fountain as you enter one area of the Louvre. The fancy glass pyramid is to the left of this area. You go through an archway and down a few steps and it's right in front of you.

I fell in LOVE with Notre Dame. Absolutely gorgeous. Peaceful, beautiful, gothic. This is just ONE of the stained glass windows at the Cathedral. If you ever have the chance to go, go. I don't care what religion you are, the building itself is just so beautiful. God may strike me down for this, but I believe it is more beautiful than St. Paul's in Rome. Shhh...

A picture of the Cathedral from the back. It is just amazing.

Behind Notre Dame is a pretty little garden with a fountain in the middle. This is just one side of the fountain. Looking to the left of the fountain as you face the Cathedral were artists selling artwork. It was very neat to walk down rows of artists with their paintings for sale. Very Parisian.

Original designs of the Eiffel Tower. The eventually settled on the brown color it is now when they realized how much glitter it would take to maintain. LOL!

Beautiful, is it not? Can't remember which building this is, but the architecture is wonderful. Reminded me of Rome.

The Arc de Triumph. You take your life in your hands visiting this site. Six lanes of traffic to go through to get to the center of the circle. No lane markers and no cross-walks. Our friend, who lives in Paris, told us that if a driving instructor wants his pupil to fail their driving test, they take them here. I can see why! NJ circles are cake compared to THIS!

This face is on a bridge in Paris. Not sure who he's supposed to be, but honestly, he's cool. I wish we had stuff like this in the States. Of course, he's probably been hanging around longer than we've been a country...

Luxenburg Gardens. This building is now a political one, but the area is so serene around it. Our tour guide in Italy, Mathieu, told us to go here. It's near the Surboune (sp?) and this is where the students go to relax, study, read. I can see why. It's lovely. We had a nice hour break to chat under the trees here.

Now, while in Paris, we spent a day at Versailles outside the city.  I’ve decided there are too many wonderful photos from there to include in this post.  You will get a whole ‘nother post on Versailles.  I’m just generous like that.

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