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BRAZIL TRAVELOGUE

1 - The Road to Iguacu

2 - Iguassu Falls Nat'l Park

3 - Macuco Boat Safari

4 - Iguazu Falls Rest.

5 - Foz Tropicana Aviary

6 - Rafain Churrascaria

7 - The Road to Noronha

8 - Fernando de Noronha

9 - Sueste Bay Snorkeling

10 - Farewell to Fernando

11 - The Road to Rio

12 - The Hippie Market

13 - Sugar Loaf Mountain

14 - Copacabana Palace

15 - Too Much Gluten

16 - Botanical Gardens

17 - Buzios

18 - Copacabana

19 - Ipanema Beach

20 - Plataforma Show

21 - Corcovado Mountain

Travelogue Main Page

 

BRAZIL

Introduction to Brazil

Impressions of Brazil

Brazil Travelogue

Rio de Janeiro

Iguassu Falls

Fernando de Noronha

Scuba Diving

 

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CHANIA, CRETE
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.  Bummer. 

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 wonderful time.

 

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.

               
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