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For the penultimate day of our trip, we planned a day trip to the city of love, Paris. Several months in advance, we booked Eurostar train tickets for the 2.5 hour trip. Aside from buying the tickets, we did not do much more planning as we wanted to roam around and see what the day brought us.
Arriving at St. Pancras International railway station early in the morning, we boarded our train and enjoyed a smooth ride. Upon arrival, we took a taxi directly to the Tour Eiffel. The day was very foggy and dreary such that the top of the tower was obscured. Subsequently, we decided to forego taking the trek to the top of the tower because visibility of the city would have likely been low. We walked around the grounds and along the River Seine for a bit before heading into the heart of the city in an attempt to find an everyday Parisian experience. Feeling some hunger pangs, we stopped at a small restaurant for lunch and navigated through Google translate to order some delicious bruschetta pizzas (I know, not very French!) We then found a small but busy bakery and marveled at the beautiful saccharine concoctions on display. My husband decided to brave the rich (and when I say rich, I mean rich!) chocolate cake while I chose an apple tart shimmering under a sweet glaze.
Walking off dessert seemed like a fantastic idea, so we headed back to the Eiffel Tower to hail another taxi to The Louvre. Not only is the Musee de Louvre a world-renowned museum, it is also a great way to spend a cold, gray day. The pyramidal glass structure is breathtaking from both the outside and from within. We certainly need to go back when he have a full day (and comfortable walking shoes!) just to peruse the vast museum’s multiple galleries and wings. We did make it a point to see the original Mona Lisa, of course!
Afterwards, we decided to make one more stop to the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris. The cathedral’s stunning beautiful architecture was among the first in the world to incorporate flying buttresses, or arched supports on the exterior of the building. The cathedral took almost 90 years to build; numerous renovations are planned as part of the year-long commemoration of its 850th anniversary which was kicked off last month. The cathedral sees about 14 million visitors annually from all religious persuasions. Even with so many patrons, there is a quiet peacefulness within its walls.
After some souvenir shopping near Notre Dame, we had a small dinner which I topped off with a chocolate banana crepe. After all, one cannot visit Paris without eating a crepe!
Paris did not live up to our expectations because of the weather, but we are optimistic that another, sunnier visit will enchant us! Until next time…