Tag Archives: seine

Paris Day Twelve — The Last Day of the Trip

It’s Sunday afternoon, our last day here before flying home in the morning.

Mrs Poolman and I had breakfast with Brother- and Sister-in-Law before seeing them off on the next stage of their journey. They are headed off to Taize,  a monastic retreat center in southern France. They plan to spend four days living in huts, eating lentils and rice, and meditating and chanting. SIL is really into that kind of thing and doesn’t understand why everyone else isn’t also. More power to her, but it doesn’t appeal to us in the least.

Mrs P and I headed out for an easy sight-seeing expedition. We planned to take advantage of the free museum admissions on the first Sunday of every month. Apparently so did everyone else in Paris. We went to the Louvre and, gave up before we could even find the end of the line. Seriously! The line wrapped itself out of the gigantic courtyard, into the next courtyard and on and on. We never did find the end. It was at least a half mile long!

image

This was just the middle part of the line. The end was in the next courtyard, maybe.

So we wandered around. We visited the gardens of the Palais Royale.

image

The Palais Royale Garden.

image

Myself

image

Mrs P has always belonged on a pedestal.

We bought macaroons at Angelinas and ate them sitting on a bench in Tuileries Garden.

image

A busy Sunday afternoon in the Tuileries Garden.

We walked along the Seine to the Pont du Arts. This is a pedestrian bridge near the western end of the Louvre. Couples place “locks of love” on railings. Mrs P and I id not add to the padilock congestion.

image

Mrs P and the locks.

image

Locks of love

image

Myself again.

image

A pretty view from the bridge towards the western end of Ile de la Cite

We walked down towards St Germain and stopped at an outdoor cafe for a “Coca Cola Light” and a potty break. Mrs P was startled when a pigeon landed on the small cafe table and helped himself to a peanut from the bowl right in front of her.

image

The little cafe and a pedestrian-only street

We strolled down Blvd St Germain, past several famous cafes and back to our hotel.

image

One of Hemmingway's favorites

All told, it was a very pleasant last day in Paris. We’ll hit one of the local cafes for dinner tonight, then to bed early in prep for our long travel day tomorrow.

Paris — Day Six, Arc, Champs Elysees. Orangerie

This was a busy day. Monday is day three on our four-day museum passes. Tomorrow, we are headed to Versailles, so today was the last chance to hit some of the paid-admission attractions by using our passes.

We started the day by riding the Metro half way up the Champs Elysees and then strolling the rest of the way to the Arc de Triomphe.  We took the elevator to the top, where the view was very nice. We have been blessed with sunny weather ever since the third day here.

Back down the Champs Elysees and the Metro and a breeze-through visit to the l’Orangerie museum. This is a relatively small art museum, but is packed with Monet’s Water Lilies and a bunch of paintings from other impressionists, like Renoir, Modigliani, Cezanne and Picasso. Mrs P wasn’t so sure about this stop. But afterwards she said “That was really cool!” Chalk up one win for the Poolman!

Back on the Metro. Next stop, Ile de la Cite. We wanted to visit the archaeological crypt at Notre Dame but it was closed on Monday. Our next planned visit was to be the chuch of Sainte Chapelle. However the line was around the block and wasn’t moving.

So, lunch time!

We got some sandwiches and pastries from a walk-up lunch stand and took the food to some benches along the Seine. Lovely scene. Lovely weather. Even the begger-pigeons contributed to the ambience. Not too shabby. Pics below.

After lunch, we hiked through the Latin Quarter to the Pantheon. I was not overwhelmed, but BIL really wanted to see Foucault’s pendulum. It was pretty cool.

The best part for me was the church next door, St Etienne du Mont. The steps on the side of this church was where a key scene in one of my favorite movies, Midnight in Paris, was shot. Owen Wilson’s icharacter, Gil Pender, is reclining on those steps at midnight when a 1920s era cab picks him up and carries him back to the 1920s where he meets F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso, Hemmington, Dali and a bunch of other characters. I waited on the steps but no one came to pick me up. Of course, that was four in the afternoon, not midnight. Maybe I should go back later.

After that a stop at Monop for supplies and back to the apartment for the night.

image

We have logged a lot of trips on the Metro.

image

Mrs P and me on the Champs Elysees

image

The view from the top

image

Our merry band back on the ground

image

The sisters near Musee de l'Orangerie

image

Picnicing by the Seine

image

The none-too-shabby view from our picnic bench.

image

Back up at street level.

image

Pantheon

image

We be pooped.

image

BIL and SIL watching the pendulum.

image

St. Etienne du Mont

image

Paris Day Five — Louvre and Lunch

Catching up…

Sunday was filled with two big activities, the Louvre and a two hour, leisurely lunch.

We started at the Louvre. It was SIL’s and my second time, but the first for BIL and Mrs Poolman. It’s simply amazing. Pictures are below. We concentrated on the Greek sculptures. The “Grand Gallery” of Rennaisance painters and the Near East antiquities.

It was BIL’s birthday, so we went to the famous and highly recomended Le Fumoir for brunch. It wasn’t quite what we expected, because they were set up for a brunch, not a regular lunch menu. All the same, everyone said they enjoyed it.  I had a white pizza. Mrs P had eggs benedict.

After our second round at the Louvre, we headed back to the apartment. (We are giving the Metro system a workout.)

Most of our merry ban were very tired. SIL went right to bed at six o’clock and BIL was down by seven.

I took off for my second solo evening walk, this time to try to catch the “golden hour” light down by the Seine. I took a bunch of pictures during twilight and talked to a bunch of people. A pair of Australian girls wanted me to take their picture. (That IS what I do.) A couple of French guys couldn’t figure ou their camera, and an Asian couple asked for help with their photo. Before I returned to the apartment, I got into a nice conversation with an Australian couple of around our age. It was a very pleasant time on a bridge over the Seine.

image

The pyramid at the Louvre

image

Mrs P

image

image

She really is amazing.

image

Mrs P was getting ideas for her next decoration project.

image

Soon our house will look like this.

image

These would look very nice by our pool.

image

A little soft porn in the French neo-classical section?

image

Vermeer is one of my favorites.

image

A white pizza for brunch.

image

The Seine at dusk. Orsay at the right and Notre Dame in the distance.

image

The Tour Eiffel and Pont Alexander III

Paris in the springtime…

Well, today has been quite an adventure.

Our flight to Paris was smooth and uneventful. They showed that Denzel Washington movie about the runaway train, so that made a couple of hours fly by. We got into Charles DeGaulle Airport around 730 am just as it was starting to get light.

On the other hand, the trip from the airport to the hotel, on one train and two metro subways was a real adventure. It involved large amounts of time wandering around looking for an appropriate exit (sortie), at least one nearly-lost train ticket, and an incident where an admission gate snapped shut, with me on one side, and my arm and bag on the other.

Dragging our luggage through the two transfer stations was a real trip. We just followed the signs, but then went up stairs, down stairs, around the corner and all over the place. At one point, we had to carry/drag our bags up about three flights of stairs. I didn’t think Birdie was going to make it. When he finally reached the top, he looked at me and said, “We’re not doing that again.”

When we finally popped out of the last Metro station, our destination street, Rue d’ Miromesnil (after which the Metro stop is named), was no where in sight. Rather than wander around aimlessly, I walked into a bakery and got two very nice people to point me towards the right street, just a block away.

When we got to our hotel, we felt like we had finally arrived.

Our hotel

We had been rode hard and put up wet. Our rooms were not ready yet, because it was only 930 in the morning. We caught our breath. Then we left our bags with the front desk and backtracked our route back to the Louvre area. We had lunch at a nice café that travel-writer Rick Steves recommended.

Une baguette

After lunch we walked through the Louvre grounds and down to the Seine River. We bought tickets to the Batobus which is a boat that travels up and down the Seine, stopping at eight different locations.

Batobus

You have unlimited jump-on jump-off opportunities. We spent around an hour and a half riding up and down the Seine, chilling out and taking pictures.

Notre Dame

The Seine

Birdie, Poolman and Ron

After one complete round trip, we figured our rooms would be ready so we headed back to the hotel.

Birdie, Ron and I met up later at a bar-café about a block from the hotel. They said it was the only one of several such establishments that made them feel welcome. It might have had something to do with the pinball machine – Big Buck Hunter Pro. Birdie and Ron are both big outdoorsmen, so that made them feel right at home. Birdie commented that he expected to see that in a convenience store in Vidalia, Ga., not in downtown Paris, France.

We had a dinner there of steak and fries and crashed early. (Or at least that was the intention. I’m still writing.)

Tomorrow, the plan is do Notre Dame and the surrounding neighborhood, and then the Louvre in the afternoon. I hope the rain holds up.