27 August 2011

Paris -- Days two & three

Friday morning we had to get mobile pretty early, as we had booked a private tour through Tours By Locals and our tour guide was collecting us at our hotel at 9:30 a.m.

Pamela first took us to the Louvre via Metro, though we didn't go inside. She told us the history of how the huge building came to be (which I won't detail here as it would take too long and you can look it up pretty easily).

Then we walked along the Seine And crossed over the Pont des Arts, where couples declare there everlasting love by attaching a padlock to the wire and throwing the keys into the water.

(We did not attach a lock, as we didn't have one.)

We then wandered in a sort of zig-zag path back towards St. Germaine des Pres, stopping at Restaurant le Procope, founded in 1686, which was a meeting-place for the many writers and philosophers, including Voltaire and Robespierre.

We also went through Notre Dame, which had many nooks containing little chapels dedicated to various saints, and glorious stained glass windows.

The whole tour lasted 4 hours. It was great, but after lunch, we headed back to our hotel and crashed for a couple of hours, before having dinner at a nearby bistrot called Cafe de Paris.

Today, Saturday, we took our time getting up and out. After a light breakfast, we took the Metro to the Louvre.

We spent about 4 hours wandering around, then walked slowly back to 'our' neighborhood. We had a light lunch at a cafe just down the street from out hotel. When we emerged, it was raining, and by the time we reached our room it was raining quite hard, which was a good excuse to curl up with a book for a while.

We had a late dinner at le Procope, the very old and historic restaurant we'd toured yesterday. Fantastic food. The French do have a way with chicken dishes! I made sure to leave room for dessert:

Tomorrow, a cycling tour to Versailles!

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