Garnier Opera House
Entrance leading up to auditorium
A must do while in Paris is an evening boat cruise on the Seine River. It took us about 1 hour and although the temperature was brisk, it was well worth a shiver or two. We did have to snuggle up a bit to keep warm and when we passed under the Mary bridge (there are 37 bridges that cross the Seine), we kissed as is the tradition on all the boat cruises. It was so romantic!!! With the lights reflecting off the water and the Eiffel Tower fully illuminated, the city becomes magical and shows why Paris is called the “city of lights” There is also a dinner river cruise, however, Debra’s research indicated the food is “iffy” so we took a pass.
Our plan next day was to take a guided tour of the Garnier Opera House, however, we decided to do it on our own. The Opera is named after it’s architect, Charles Garnier and in it’s day was one of the premier architectural buildings attracting the attention of professionals from all over the world. It was commissioned by Napoleon 111 and the final design was controversial and particularly disliked by Napoleons’ wife Eugenie. It’s still operational
Garnier Opera House
Some of the balcony seating in the main auditorium
and currently is used primarily for Ballet performances.
After walking about looking for Henri LeRoux Chocolatier and Polaine Bakery, we finally had our sandwich lunch in the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens. This is a 23 Hectare park in the middle of Paris and is clearly distinguishable with a view from the top of the Eiffel Tower as a large green space. Although some of the flowers were beginning to bloom, undoubtedly the true beauty of the park would be in the summer. As with all the attractions we visited in Paris, the Luxembourg Gardens were meticously maintained.
A short walk to the Pantheon which is close to the University of Paris. It was originally built as a dedication to Ste. Genevieve and over the years changed it’s function to a church then to a mausoleum. It was meant to rival the Pantheon of Rome and it’s location frames the Eiffel tour well and provides a panoramic view of Paris.
Our last stop in Paris was Sainte-Chappelle. The beautiful array of stained glass windows makes this small Chapel unique. It was built in the 13 century and housed for a period of time the “Crown of Thorns“ that was
The Polaine Bakery
A very good small bakery.
worn by Christ at the time of his crucification. The Crown is now resident in the Cathedral Notre Dame.
After a week in Paris, we are looking forward to a tour of the French countryside. Our time in the city was a great experience. We saw many interesting and educational parts of French history and culture. It’s obvious the French people place great importance in their heritage as evident by the restoration and preservation of their icons of the past. We only saw the center of the city which probably reflects a portion of Paris today, however, the sidewalk cafes were always full, there is a lot of art and culture to explore and the French appear to be maintaining the “joie de vivre”. If you can be patient with the crowds, Paris is a very worthwhile city to visit.
We can confirm Paris is a very walkable city. After 7 days, our Health App showed a total of 140,000 steps taken ( a little less for me because of a wider stride) and 93 km of walking. For those who have more discipline and can resist all those croissants etc, it is possible to see everything by
There were protests just outside the Pantheon which is just across the road from the Human Rights court. We talked to one of the protestors but wasn’t able to determine exactly what they were protesting against?
taking public transportation which we’ve heard is very good.
Next stop, Ypres in Belgium
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