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Quickest Trip to Paris Ever by Ann Treacy
June 25, 2011, 1:16 pm
Filed under: Paris

So we had our plan for Paris in 8 hours. We mapped it out. We read about French history so that we’d be in the know. Unfortunately the train wasn’t in on our plan. The Train was 3 hours late. How does a train that leaves on time arrive three hours late? I have no idea – but it does.

So we did Paris in 5 hours.

And I wanted it noted that we saw just about everything on our list. We left the train station on foot and we travelled on foot the whole day. We did see a musical bus – which I’m sure what part of the Faites de la Musique. We walked through a sculpture gardens along the Seine on the way to Notre Dame – and had very delicious pain au chocolate.

We saw Notre Dame – from the outside. In fact everything we saw, we saw only from the outside. Going indoors was just not going to work for us. The lines were too long and our time was too tight. We loved the gargoyles and the gruesome statues. We took pictures of the lower ones. We loved the devil and John the Baptist. And of course the flying buttresses – which really is just something I like to say.

Crossing the bridge over to the Ille de la Cite (where Notre Dame is) we saw a gate with lots of locks on it – apparently it’s good luck or inspiration to lock your love by putting your name on a lock and leaving it there.

So after that we hightailed it to the Louvre. We passed Pont Neuf (a bridge) on the way. Again, the devil was literally in the detail. There are faces sculpted along the bridge are all different and so expressive. We tried to capture a few. From there to the Louvre. We saw the big glass pyramids, which were very cool. (Also we saw how they clean it – I included a picture.) I was sort of sad that we didn’t get to go in. In my original plan, I had hoped we’d get in but the late train made it impossible. So we marched towards the Eiffel Tower…

We marched by the Orsay Museum (Impressionist Artists), some fancy government buildings, through Les Invalides, all getting a good taste of the Left Bank and then the more businessy, upscale area right near the Tower to the Tower itself.

It’s huge and looming as you might expect. The girls seemed to like it a lot – I suppose, especially for Aine it was one thing she recognized. And it’s always fun to see things you recognize. So after walking around a bit towards Napoleon’s Tomb Kate pointed out that maybe we should be worried about getting to the train station, which was on the other side of town. Luckily she spoke up.

It took a while to find a taxi. I knew that they didn’t love take 4 people but of course what could I do. When a taxi finally stopped, I think he thought there were 2 of us – until the others jumped out from the bushes. I mustered up my French and asked nicely if he could take us to the Gare du Nord. (We did drive by the Arc de Triomphe – which was the final item on our list.) The traffic was terrible – and once we got into the station, the traffic was worse! We got a lot of hassle getting into the UK (immigration comes before the train.). They asked tons of questions and of course I had almost nothing in terms of birth certificate or tickets back to the US but eventually we got onto the train with about 7 minutes to spare. Unfortuantely we got on the train starving and now quite sure where we’d be spending the night in London. I had hoped to talk to Patrick at the station.

On the up side – the chunnel train is kind of cool. You really only spent about 20 minutes of the 2 hours journey going under the see and it mostly feels like a tunnel.

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Paris Plans by Ann Treacy
June 22, 2011, 8:12 am
Filed under: Paris | Tags:

I know this won’t get posted in advance – but I wanted to put our plan into writing – just in case we succeed you can all congratulate us. We’re ambitious. We will be getting to Paris at 11 am and leaving at 7 pm. We have one suitcase on rollers, my very heavy computer bag, and each of the big girls has a purse type bag.

So out of the train station (Bercy) we will be going to the Notre Dame, then crossing the Pont Neuf to the Louvre. We may go into the Lourve; we’re going to see what the lines are like. If we go in I think we’ll be focused on one painting. I don’t want to give it away but it rhymes with Pona Pisa. From the Lourve we’ll be walking through the Left Bank and Les Invalides to get the Tour Eiffel. At least two of us would not enjoy the heights – so we will probably not go up. We’ll take a quick glance at Napoleon’s Tomb as we make our way to Arc de Triomphe. If we have time we’ll try to see Sacre Coeur on the way to Gard du Nord.

PS We are there on the Faites de la Musique, which means there should be buskers and music wherever we go.




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