Paris wanderings

We had a rather round about route to Paris from Bruges! We had booked a train from Bruges to Lille and then a bus from Lille to France.  However, the snow in the night turned our route into a train ride…then another train ride…then a 45 minute wait in the snow…then a bus to Lille! We had planned on having a couple of hours for a coffee inbetween travel but wound up having only just enough time to make our bus to Paris.  We made it in the end though and had eight days in a cute little apartment in Montmarte.  (We are really loving Airbnb – our whole apartment was less each night than two dorm beds would have been!)

 

Our place in Montmarte
Our place in Montmarte

 

On our first full day, we set off to do a self guided walking tour.  (Every now and then we go online and find a free walking tour to guide us around a new place).  This tour started us on the Ile de la Cite at the beautiful Notre Dame cathedral (much to Reuben’s sadness, we didn’t see any hunchbacks!)

 

The beautiful front of Notre Dame
The beautiful front of Notre Dame

 

One of the stained glass windows inside
One of the stained glass windows inside

 

 

The tour then guided us out the back of Notre Dame to see the Holocaust memorial…unfortunately the banks of the Seine were extremely high and had flooded the memorial – so no visiting or walking along by the water for us! Our next stop was the Left Bank of Paris, where we visited the very cool Shakespeare and Company bookstore, where writers like Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce used to hang out.

Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company

 

 

We explored around the Left Bank, visiting Place St Michel and St Severin before wandering back to the Ile and past St Chappelle, the Palais de Justice, Place Dauphine and across Pont Neuf. We saw lots of locks with couples’ initials on them on the Pont Neuf  and other bridges for Valentines Day- a sign of one’s enduring love…(that eventually get cut off with bolt cutters because they weaken the bridge! Maybe not the best sign?!)

 

Locks of love. We did not do one!
Locks of love. We did not do one!

 

We walked across Pont Neuf to the church of St Germain before finishing outside the Louvre with a stroll in the Jardin de Tuileries.  Here we also saw the mini Arc de Triomphe, which I had remembered as being much bigger – I was most confused until we worked out that there were actually two of them and this was the little one! Despite the grey day, this was a great first day of wandering around Paris.

 

Inside St Germain
Inside St Germain

 

The mini Arc de Triomphe
The mini Arc de Triomphe

 

Our next day in the city was mostly taken up by a visit to the famous Louvre museum.  We managed to skip the lines and buy our tickets underground before arriving, but we couldn’t escape the mobs inside! We spent hours here exploring – some of the highlights were the Egyptian wing and the ancient statues. We saw some of the highlights here, including the incredibly underwhelming Mona Lisa.  Not only is the picture somewhat small and dark, the mob that was 10 people deep was pretty off putting. (On a side note, does anyone else think it’s odd to take photos of yourself with a famous painting? We saw a lot of this!) You could spend days at this vast museum but we were pretty happy with what we managed to sample in our time there.

 

Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo

 

The underwhelming Mona Lisa
The underwhelming Mona Lisa

 

The crowds taking photos
The crowds taking photos (and me trying to get out)

 

Outside the glass pyramid entry to the Louvre
Outside the glass pyramid entry to the Louvre

 

Reubs at the Louvre
Reubs at the Louvre

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Sean Marston says:

    Great photos. Cathy and I still see our time in Paris as our best holiday together. You are right the ‘Mona Lisa’ was so under whelming

    Like

  2. hayley says:

    Awesome photo of you and Mona. It was exactly the same when Lauryn and I went!

    Like

  3. Raci says:

    I am lame and got a photo with mona. If you can’t beat em join em.

    Like

  4. Aunty Moira says:

    I felt the same about Mona, I think everyone does, where do we get the impression its a lot bigger ? ! ! !

    Like

  5. Karen Olson says:

    The funniest thing is, it wasn’t until I posted this that I realised that I am the tourist directly under the Mona Lisa…so inadvertently I too have a photo of me with the Mona Lisa. I was trying to escape at the time 🙂

    Like

  6. Monica Drefs says:

    Green with envy.

    Like

  7. Mum Bunn says:

    I love it all! Except for the Mona Lisa crowd — either it wasn’t like that when we visited, or my memory has selected that part out. The windows in St Germaine are so pretty. I know a song about walking along the Seine, and it mentions St Germaine but I’ve never been there. So thanks for the pic!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s