Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Day in Paris

Today is our first full day in France and we are still moored in Le Pecq. We signed up for an all day excursion to Paris. This morning we have a bus tour of the city and then in the afternoon we tour the Louvre. We take a bus from the ship into Paris and then explore the city with a tour guide. We will be in Paris for most of the day. We started the day with a great breakfast on the ship with Deanne and Dave. Once breakfast was done we returned to our room to get our things and then stopped by the front desk for our cards. These cards have to be collected each time we leave the ship. We each get two cards - one has our name and cabin number and the other has a letter and a number (this is the group we are in for the day). At 9:00am we were on the bus and heading into Paris.
We entered the city from the N13 and continued onto Avenue de la Grande Armee. This took us to Place Charles de Gaulle with the Charles de Gaulle Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe. We drove around the Arch and then down the Champs-Elysees.
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Then we turned down Avenue Winston Churchill and drove past the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. From here we could see the Alexander III Bridge. We turned left onto Cours la Reine and made our way to Place de la Concorde. The bus driver drove around the plaza a couple of times and then turned onto Boulevard de la Madeleine. We drove down this road and eventually the Paris Opera House appeared on our left. We drove around the Opera and then over to Place Vendome and around the plaza. From here we headed over to the Louvre. We drove in front of the Louvre and past the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Next we headed over to the Hotel de Ville where we parked. From here we walked over to Notre Dame. We had some time to walk around the area and the Cathedral and explore. After about 45 minutes we returned to the bus and headed to a restaurant for lunch. We ate at Au Pere Fouettard in the Les Halles area of Paris. The food was just barely okay and the service was mediocre. I believe we spent about an hour in the area and then headed back to the bus.

Leaving Les Halles we headed over to the Louvre for a guided tour.
Venus de Milo
At the Louvre we separated into smaller groups and then went on our tour. This was my favorite part of the day. Seeing some of the masterpieces that you only see in pictures was humbling.
Mona Lisa
To be in the presence of such great art was an experience I will always be grateful for. We saw the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, and the Mona Lisa. Today I was able to cross off some things from my bucket list. I thoroughly enjoyed the Louvre and I want to go back and spend the whole day there.
Winged Victory
The building as well as the art was spectacular and has so much history. I even enjoyed the glass pyramid. While there we also got to see the 'Rose Line'. After the guided tour we had a little time to look at the gift shop and then it was time to board the bus and head back to the ship. But before we left Paris we made one more stop at the Eiffel Tower. On the way we drove by the Musee de l'Armee and Eglise Saint-Louis-des-Invalides. At the Eiffel Tower we were able to get out of the bus and take some pictures. Fifteen minutes later we were on the road again and on our way to the ship.
Eiffel Tower
Back on board the ship we had a little time to rest and get cleaned up for dinner. I took some time to upload pictures and do some editing. Then at 6:30pm we joined Deanne and Dave for a drink and the daily briefing in the lounge and the at 7:00pm we headed to the dining room for dinner. Tonight it was just the four of us so there was no having to make up conversation. It turned out to be an incredibly relaxing evening. After dinner I was able to finish editing pictures and get them posted on facebook. Also while we were at dinner the ship left the dock and started our travel toward Vernon. Now it is time to get some sleep - we have a busy day in Giverny and Vernon tomorrow.
Grand Palais and Alexander III Bridge

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