Time in the City of Love..

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Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris
July 10th 2011
Published: March 14th 2018
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From Italy, we made our way into France. We drove directly to Paris. As I sighted the Eiffel Tower from our bus, I was in sheer excitement! We were to first take the River Seine boat cruise that afternoon.

Hopped off our bus. Our tour manager got everyone the tickets and we then hopped on to the boat. The cruise starts from near the Eiffel Tower and one can get a complete, unobstructed view of the tower. The cruise boat had chairs on the upper deck and was open to sky. The cruise started and we sailed beneath a number of bridges. We first passed under the LE PONT ALEXANDRE-III bridge. It has a big pillar on each of the four corners of the bridge. On top of these pillars are statues of horses with wings painted in gold. We spotted the Assemblee Nationale (National Assembly) building. Then passed under the Pont Neuf bridge. Musée d'Orsay, the museum, was visible on our right side. As we cruised along, we saw Institut de France, Notre Dame cathedral, Louvre museum and many other monuments of historical significance. Alighting from the boat, we headed straight towards our hotel in Paris.

I was in for a surprise as we neared our hotel. Our hotel was in walking distance of Eiffel Tower! After we were dropped off at the hotel, we had the rest of the evening to ourselves. So, my husband and I quickly freshened up and after dinner, walked towards Eiffel Tower with our camera. We did not go up the tower but just strolled around clicking pictures of Eiffel Tower. It was lit up in yellow and the stars (white lights) glittered on it once every hour. I was in awe! We walked back to our hotel to gear up for next day activities.

Next day, we were to visit the Louvre museum, Eiffel Tower, a French perfume factory. Later in the evening, we would head out for the night tour of Paris.

On our way to Louvre museum, we passed by Les Invalides and Luxor Obelisk at Place de la Concorde. Arriving at the Louvre, I couldn’t wait to see Mona Lisa. Louvre is a colossal museum with many levels and sections housing paintings, sculptures etc. I do not think it can be covered in a day, but we had to do it in few hours. We knew we wouldn’t be able to cover everything, so we decided we would finish the main ones first and if time permitted, we would venture into the other sections. The area where Mona Lisa painting was housed, had a big crowd. We had to make our way through to get a glimpse of the painting. The painting was behind a glass panel unlike other paintings in the hall. There was also a huge painting of the Last Supper. Later we went to the section that hosted the Royal furniture and dining room. One thing that stands out at Louvre is the Glass pyramid in the courtyard.

It was then time to head towards Eiffel Tower. Our tour manager had bought tickets for all of us and we went up the first two floors by stairs and then took lifts to the top. It was windy but felt like top of the world. We could see Paris below us and all the historical monuments from the top of the tower. River Seine was calm and the numerous bridges on it ! We also spotted the twin of Statue of Liberty on river Seine. There was a huge green patch on the ground on one side of Eiffel Tower. We were told that, if Eiffel Tower happens to fall, the calculation says it would fall on this side and the complete stretch on the ground is left empty for this reason. What a risk mitigation planning, I must say!

Coming down of the Eiffel tower, we went to a French perfume factory. Since photography was not allowed, we couldn’t take any photos. At the perfume factory, we went on a walking tour of how perfume is made and at the end of the walking tour, we entered a perfume store where we could buy the in house perfumes.

In the evening, was the night tour of Paris, a chance to see Paris all lit up in its bright colours. We went to Arc de Triomphe, The Opera house, Place de la Concorde and many other places. All these monuments were brightly lit up. Back from the night tour, my husband and I were so smitten by Eiffel Tower, we decided to make another trip to the tower as it was just in walking distance from the hotel. We went to the top floor and spent time there until about 11:45pm when people hanging around on the top floor were asked to leave as it was closing time. We loved out time on Eiffel Tower – we sat on the first floor enjoying the breeze and the view of the colourful city below.

Next day was a visit to Gardens of Versailles. It was drizzling the whole of morning ,so,we went in with our umbrellas. A magnificent garden with ponds, huge stretches of grass lawns and neatly curated bushes and trees. Since it was drizzling, we couldn’t spend much quality time there. So, headed back to our bus.

Our Europe tour had come to an end and it was time to head back to London.

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