Thursday, October 6, 2016

Château de Malmaison and Paris - Our Final Day in France

Our ship is still docked in Mantes-la-Jolie but today is our last day in France so at some point, the ship will leave here and return to Le Pecq. Tomorrow we start the day early to get to the airport for our flight back to the States. This morning our alarm went off at 7:00am. We got up, showered, dressed and got things ready for the day. We still had a little time before breakfast so we took out our luggage and started to pack some things. At 8:00am we met with Deanne and Dave in the dining room for breakfast. After a relaxing breakfast, we returned to the cabin and continued with the packing. We received some luggage tags last night so we went ahead and attached those. Then we took a little time to fill out surveys.
At 9:30am we stopped at the reception desk and turned in our surveys and got our cards.
Château de Malmaison
Then we headed out to the dock for an excursion to Château de Malmaison. This was the home of Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte. I am not sure how long it took us to get there but time seemed to go by quickly. Our tour guide took us around the Château and gave us history and obscure facts.
Napoleon's Library
The Château is not a castle or anything like that, it is more of a large mansion. And I thought it was extraordinary and beautiful. The place was filled with beautiful furniture (most of which was not the Bonaparte's but was of the time period) and paintings. I was hoping we would have time to walk around in the gardens but by the time our tour guide finished we had to get back to the bus for our ride back to the ship.

It was close to 1:00pm when we arrived back at the ship. We went to the cabin and reorganized for an afternoon in Paris. Once we were ready we all met in the Aquavit Terrace for a quick lunch buffet. Dave decided to stay on the ship and just relax while Deanne, Thomas and I took the shuttle into Paris. The shuttle left at 2:00pm for Paris and the ship left Mantes-la-Jolie for Le Pecq as our bus pulled out of the parking lot.

The shuttle dropped us off in front of Petit Palais and this is where we needed to return at 5:00pm for our ride back to the ship.
Walking the Champs Elysees
We had two things to do in Paris and then the rest of the time we could do whatever. Deanne needed a shirt for her god daughter and I needed some safety pins (my suitcase was ripped at one of the seams on the flight over). So we walked from Petit Palais up Avenue Winston Churchill to the Avenue des Champs Elysees. We turned left and headed toward the Arc de Triomphe. Near the Arc we were able to find stores that had what we needed.
Petit Palais
Once we had purchased our items we headed back toward Petit Palais. We ended up going into the building and walking around a bit and had some coffee and relaxed. Then we headed out and walked along the Alexander III Bridge. All of this took up our time and we returned to the bus at 5:50pm. As we got back to the dock in Le Pecq and exited the bus we watched as our ship pulled up and docked. We had to wait about 15 minutes until we could get on the ship. Thomas and I went to the cabin and got cleaned up for dinner. At 7:30 we headed to the dining room for dinner. We sat with a couple from San Antonio (Jim and Patty) and head a great time.

Tonight we had an excursion back into Paris - Paris by Night Tour. So at 9:15pm we got on the bus and headed into Paris.
Eiffel Tower
For most of the tour we were just on the bus as we drove around to see all the major sites. It was beautiful and magical - the city is perfection at night. Glittery and romantic, peaceful and shining. I took quite a few pictures but I don't think they came out all that well (we will see when I upload them to the computer) since I was shooting through glass. I did learn on this trip that my camera does have a setting for taking pictures through glass and I did use it, so we will see what happens. When we arrived at the Eiffel Tower, the driver parked the bus and we were able to get out and get some good pictures. We also were at the Tower at 11:00pm, which the tour guide had arranged so that we could see the Eiffel Tower sparkle. The Tower flashes for a few minutes at certain times and I am glad we got to experience it. It was amazing. After about a 20 minute stop we were all back on the bus headed back to the ship.

Once we arrived at the ship Thomas and I took showers and then finished packing. Tomorrow we have to have our luggage in the hall at 5:45am. So we have a wake up call for 5:00am. It is now 1:00am and I think I need the four hours of sleep before our long day of flying home.

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