It’s been 11 years since I was last in Paris & Anthony has never been. I think he knows now why I’ve wanted to return. We are here for just two days, just enough to wet Anthony’s appetite to want to return longer and explore France further. There’s so much more to see & we’ve seen a lot! On just the first day, we clocked 34 flights of stairs & 14k steps (thank you Mr. Fitbit for reminding me just how tired I should be!
For this leg of our journey, we stayed at the Hilton Paris Opera, which is a beautiful hotel very centrally located at the Gare Saint Lazare stop on the Metro.
I was dying to return to Montmarte, my favorite spot from my last trip & yesterday reminded me why. Though the first time, I took a cable car to the top. Only this time, the metro took us to the back side, so we had to trek (hence the 34 flights!) I was exhausted but determined, and it was just as I remembered. Once again, I was awestruck by not only one of the best views, but also the very cool artisan vibe. This time, I bought a painting to commemorate this trip.
We did ride the cable car down. Then I took Anthony through the red light district in search of another destination. I’m not sure if he was amused or alarmed when he asked me if I knew where I was, but then we found it.
Finally, we settled down for a long night sleep after an early (3 am) rise to transfer from Naples to Paris via Naples Airport. Or so we thought. Instead, we were awakened at 2:30 am to the sound of the fire alarm. Yes, the fire alarm, so we dressed quicker than quick & treked down the 5 flights of stairs to learn later it had been set off my someone smoking in his room.
Despite the interruption, we fell back to sleep to rise pretty early for a full day of touring.
We boarded the L’Open bus (& would highly recommend it). First stop, the Louvre.
Our next stop was the Cathedral of Notre Dame, my favorite cathedral in the whole world. I don’t know what it is about it, but it just makes me feel incredibly peaceful.
Along the way, there were beautiful views of the river Seine. And so many views of the Tour de Eiffel.
This is a picture of the Roue de Paris, one of two giant ferris wheels. They still don’t compare to the London Eye, however, which is what I think they were trying to replicate.
Next up, the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the Champs de Elysee.
Typical of our days in Europe, we returned to the hotel for a nap before heading out at night. We decided to take the Open bus to get us to a store we’d been looking for all day: Shakespeare & Company, a book store/cafe that many writers frequented to write their novels. This is something I learned when reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Only, we took the wrong bus & ended up getting off and trekking through parts of the city I’d never seen. I love the little surprises you find when you get lost. We walked through the Latin Quarter and the Saint Michel area which were very interesting, very Soho-esque.
Until, finally, we found it. A little bookstore with a cafe next door. While it was a bit hidden, you couldn’t miss it because other writer/readers like myself had taken the same pilgrimage to find it.
And so our time in Paris came to a close. It was such an amazing two days, not nearly enough time to see everything, but just enough to take in the essence to make us want to return. It reminded me that Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. And so, we returned back to our hotel just as the sun was setting. A perfect ending to a perfect two days.