CRETE TRAVELOGUE - DAY
1 - PARIS FRANCE
The elevator ride was part of the fun, as it felt like you
were shooting into outer space.
After the Eiffel Tower, we walked down to the Seine River,
and hopped on the water bus. The Seine River was
really pretty ugly - glad we didn't pay for a cruise.
The high concrete walls prevented any real views or photo
opportunities, just a filthy brown slough with concrete
barriers all around. We hopped off at Notre Dame, and
headed inside to take a look. What a place! The
architecture was amazing, the stained glass was outstanding,
and the history and tombs contained there were very
enlightening. We opted not to climb up the tower, as
we'd already had a good view from the nearby Eiffel Tower.
Instead, we walked across the street to a small restaurant,
where we had crepes for lunch. After lunch, we again
boarded the water bus, and rode it to the Louvre. We
walked through the used-book lined streets of Spanish ? and
over to the Louvre. It was so huge, I can't imagine
spending enough time there to really appreciate it.
Obviously there was no way to do this in the short time we
had, so we just walked toward the Mona Lisa, admiring the
Italian art along the way. Fabulous works. The
crowds at the Mona Lisa were ridiculous - there were
hundreds of people, all holding cameras over their heads and
snapping photos. We managed to wiggle through the
crowds up close enough to actually see it, but it was
barricaded off so you couldn't get close enough to it to see
the details, without which the Mona Lisa is just a painting
of a lady. Needless to say, we weren't able to really
gather the feeling of why the Mona Lisa is so famous.
We walked down to the Venus de Milo, which was a really
magnificent piece, and saw a few other Michelango works that
were wow, and then bailed. We opted to walk back to
our hotel, soaking up the ambience of Paris along the way.
We stopped on Champs d'Elysses to see the Arc d'Triomphe and
stopped at Chez Clement for some delicious chocolate
pastries filled with ice cream, and also a cafe where we
sipped a cappucino in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower,
looking over the Seine River. Both very nice
experiences. Back to our hotel now, we rested for a
bit before the night's excursions.
We had reservations at La Fontaine de Mars, a local
Brasserie that had recently been getting some really good
reviews. We started off with some Foie Gras, which
wasn't really to our taste - I'm sure it was nice for Foie
Gras, but I think I'll pass next time. For our entree,
we had a typical Brasserie meal of Entrecote and Pommes
Frites with Bearnaise Sauce, delicious, of course. We
finished it off with their famous "Floating Tower" dessert,
which was kind of like bread pudding. Pretty tasty,
but we could only eat a few bites, as we were so full.
The service was excellent, so was the wine, and we had a
After dinner, we took a taxi to Montparnasse 56, where we
planned to go to the roof to get a great view of the city
and Eiffel tower at night. There was a bit of a wait
to get into the bar, Bar La Ciel de Paris, but the wait was
well worth it. What a view! The waiter was
pretty rude, but we got a window seat and sat watching over
the Eiffel Tower as the sun set over Paris. I went up
to the roof top, where I was treated to 360 degree views of
Paris - absolutely wonderful - while Sandra preserved our
table for us. Afterward, I went back down and we
enjoyed some drinks while watching the hourly light show at
the Eiffel Tower, and just soaking up the ambience. We
took a taxi to the tower, planning to be under the tower at
1:00 AM when the lights turned off for the evening, just in
time for the final sparkle - the only time during the night
you can see the sparkle without the glow. It was
pretty cool, but we actually liked it more with the glow.
As we waited, we sat on a park bench, right underneath the
glowing tower. There was no more wonderful, romantic,
or memorable experience in Paris than this. The Eiffel
Tower is nice to see by day, even nicer at night, but to sit
beneath the glowing tower at night with your special
someone, gazing up at it, is to truly experience Paris.
So romantic, so beautiful, so breathtaking, in a way that
only Paris can be.
The next day, we packed it up and caught the bus back to the
airport. It was raining - after three days of glorious
sunshine. What a wonderful few days it had been.
I had always figured Paris was over-rated, with all the
fuss. Now I understand it completely. There is
only one Paris, there is nowhere else like it in the world.
We can't wait to return again soon.
Continue to Day
14 - Copacabana
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