What a wonderful four days! I'm just back from a lovely time away in Paris with my mom and dad. Unfortunately Stu had to stay home and work (afterall, somebody's got to fund my adventures!) We left early Wednesday morning and arrived in a hot and sunny Paris by lunch time. After finding our way to our hotel (we were surprised to get a whole self-catering suite!) near the Eiffel Tower we set out for our first day of exploring, taking a boat cruise on the Sienne river and visiting the Cathedrale Notre Dame. At the end of a hot and satisfying day we treated ourselves to raspberry rose iced cream (rumored to be the best in Paris) at Berthillon. In the evening we enjoyed the lovely weather, eating our dinner at an outdoor cafe which we ended up doing every night of the holiday!
Every arrondissement of Paris by law has to have an open air market so on Thursday morning we visited the Saxe-Breteuil market which I had seen recommended on the Edible Paris website. I loved walking through the market surveying the fresh produce, clothes and jewellry (my twin passions for cheese and accessories!) and getting a chance to prove to myself and my parents that I can indeed speak some level of French as I chatted with the vendors! I ended up getting some great bargains on a new chunky ring, a necklace, a pashmina and a set of funky espresso cups. After the market we wandered through the 7th arrondissement toward the Eiffel Tower taking lots of photos along the way. We carried on walking (miles!) along the river and eventually found ourselves a the stunning Musee d'Orsay. We all got audio guides and had a great time going through the museum that is a stunningly restored train station. Of course the third floor which features the Impressionists was the highlight as we saw works by artists including Monet, Manet, Degas and Cezanne. As my mom said, it is amazing to see originals of paintings that you are accustomed to seeing prints of in Zellers! In the evening we got royally ripped off at an outdoor cafe as our simple meal ended up costing a serious amount of Canadian bucks, but c'est la vie as they say!
On Friday we did yet more walking, heading to the Trocadero, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysee. After a picnic in a park, we caught the metro up to Montmartre and climbed our way through the arty, windy streets to the Basilique du Sacre Coeur. The view from the top of the hill was not amazing because the weather was fairly overcast, but all in all we didn't mind because if the sun had been blazing it would have been almost too hot to walk and see as much as we did! Later in the afternoon we had enough time to head back to Notre Dame and explore the posh shops of the Isle St Louis. After a leisurely dinner we headed back to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up in the darkness. Unknowingly we timed our arrival perfectly because at 10pm the tower lights up with extra sparkly lights. It was a special ending to a very special trip.
Okay, I hope I haven't gone on too much, but I really want to convey what a great time we had! It was so exciting to travel with my mom and dad and to experience such a beautiful and elegant city together. I will always remember this trip.