Paris, Paris

Paris Travel Blog

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Smart Roadster near the Louvre, Champs-Élysées.
We got off the highway and took the Parisian streets with no clue at all where the heck we were going (at least me who was driving), to make matters worse it was 4 AM and the Tour Eiffel was turned off, so no landmark to get a hint either... I continued roaming the Parisian deserted streets, until we finally spotted the silhouette of the tower, there it was! our hearts' rate went way up! Dark, dirty and empty it was Paris after all. We got to take a closer look at Eiffel, next was to locate the Montparnasse tower, in that area was our hotel... good luck, finding it! My co-pilot (aka wife) with map in hand was trying to help, we found the very tall building, near there we spotted a group of people and asked for directions to the hotel, they gave us some hope.
Smart city car circling the Arc de Triomphe.
.. after 15 minutes turning circles in Montparnasse we finally found the hotel: Les Jardins de Paris Montparnasse. We woke up the guy in the reception, he let us in, I had another odyssey: find a parking spot!! I discovered one (the next day I knew the reason it was empty: it was a no-parking zone!) The hotel room was tiny, so small I looked for the Smart logo on the door... after having nice rooms in Spain, we thought this was a piece of crap, sincerely - in the AmEx website it looked very nice - Even on that rock-hard bed we fell asleep anyways, we were exhausted...

We woke up late, so no free breakfast, the view out of the window was nice - Ana loved it, though there were only old buildings, but you could see a bakery (boulangerie) and people walking to work, kids going to school... It was enchanting, we were about to set to explore Paris. First thing: park the car in a safe, legal spot; that done we went walking to the nearest Metro (subway) station, Pernety, we took the train and then transfered, our destination was Notre Dame, we got out at Cité, it was a beautiful, cool day; after walking around we asked a French man about the cathedral, and there it was: a majestic church. After several photos and minutes of videos recorded, we stepped inside, amazing stained glasses everywhere, dramatic statues, very high ceilings... We didn't climb to the towers because there was a huge line of people for that pupose (next time).

We walked along the Seine river, where you could find many stands selling from old used books to souvenirs to paintings; being a big fan of the "Bourne Identity" movie I had to identify the places shown in the film, like the Pont Neuf, Pont des Arts, La Samaritaine... Some minutes later, we get to the great museum of Louvre. We do the line to enter, and counting the time, quickly advance to the Greek sculputres section onto the wing where we look to witness the most famous painting of all, Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" or "Gioconda" - if it was a contemporary work, we'd be saying it's all hype, after all, there are better paintings in our opinion; there is the painting, smiling at us from behind a sheet of glass, Ana manages to snap a blurry pic (it's illegal to photograph paintings in the Louvre), we move on, next we check the Venus of Milos, pretty Aphrodita with no arms (with took pics of her back too!). More paintings and sculptures later, we exit the museum happy and hungry...

Starting our walk in the Champs-Elysées, we got a nice, big hot dog (sausage) and a soda, hunger stopped momentarily; passed the Jardins des Tuileries, we see many people laying on the grounds, playing, reading... such a nice park and ambience. Ahead Ana spotted the Holy Grail - for women anyways - a Luis Vuitton store! She went in and back disappointed at the luxurious prices... way higher than in the States, in the meantime, I was taking photos of the big avenue and the Arc de Triomphe. I went to the big monument, there I tried to read the French on the walls and floors, then Ana showed up, the sun was setting down, in the horizon you could see La Defense and the Grande Arche. We went on walking through the Avenue Kléber (another Bourne filming location), and the evening was getting cold, near Trocadéro Ana bought herself a black sweater with a glittering Eiffel tower; we crossed the Palais de Chaillot, and there it was bright orange Tour Eiffel in the dark blue night, with flashing lights at times - it was a breathtaking view! We descended the stairs to the Seine and towards the famous tower, we enjoyed the colorful spectacle for a moment, sitting beneath the tower on the floor. We walked away to catch the metro back to the hotel.

Once in the hotel we showered, put on clean clothes and went for our romantic dinner night in the City of Lights. We have no idea where to dine out, after driving around the Montparnasse area we decided for a seafood restaurant, Le Dome; our hostess, Marie, took us to a table near the door, the place was low-lit and charming, the menu was a completely intrigue - we didn't understand a thing except "poison" (fish), so our smart move was ask our server for a recommendation, and we got our dinner - very artful, very tiny... (in USA we're used to big dishes), to say the least I din't enjoy mine, but Ana was pleased with hers, I ate some bread to feel better and drank wine followed by a good espresso. We enlisted our waiter, Yam to have pictures taken and Christian, a nice funny waiter joined us, he was happy to have his picture next to Ana, then it was my turn, I asked Marie to sit by my side; we had a lot of fun in that restaurant... until they brought us our tab... It was the most expensive dinner we had in our entire trip - all our meals in Spain combined were cheaper! At the end it was a great day.
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Smart Roadster near the Louvre, Ch…
Smart Roadster near the Louvre, C…
Smart city car circling the Arc de…
Smart city car circling the Arc d…
Paris
photo by: Sweetski