Day 6: Paris
Paris Travel Blog› entry 7 of 7 › view all entries
Our final day in Paris will never be forgotten. It's difficult to forget being pepper-sprayed by the police no? But more on that later…
We took the day at a relaxed pace, visiting the Orangerie impressionist museum in the late morning and then wandering through a well regarded French neighborhood in the afternoon.
The museum was very beautiful. Monet is my favorite impressionist and the Orangerie was built in consultation with him to specifically to house his final works- large panoramic paintings of his gardens at various points of day. Sadly, he died before the museum was finished but his work remains on display for all the world to remember him.
Once we were finished at the Orangerie we made our way to the Rue Cler Arrondesment. This neighborhood is well known for their culinary shops and cafes so it is a requirement of course for all epicureans to visit. The seafood shop blew me away. I've never seen live shrimp or crabs at a seafood market. I was so impressed I took not only photos, but a video of the shrimp and crabs dancing about. We popped in and out of several food shops- the butchers, the oil and vinegar shops (picked up some lovely Balsamics and olive oils from Italy), the wine stores, the produce market, and as expected, the stinky cheese shops (picked up a nutty hard french cheese to bring back to the states).
By the afternoon we were ready to go back to the hotel and rest for a few hours before the New Year's Eve festivities were scheduled to begin.
For the evening adventure, we decided to participate in the big celebration on the Champs Elysees, having heard that it was akin to Times Square but less aggressive and with a lot more champagne and liquor being consumed on the public street. First we attempted to do dinner at Chez Clemont again only to find their regular 30E menu was jacked up to one hundred and fifty euros.
After dinner we ventured over to the Champs Elysees to find a relaxing spot to watch the scene from a block away. Not possible. All the cafes were closed for the holiday evening round the street. So we had to stand outside in the cold with everyone else for at least an hour or more waiting for the celebration to get going.
Our eyes burned, our throat burned, Valerie asked over and over "Are we going to die?" and I realized Jonathan was missing.
We got back to the hotel and found Jon there. An unforgettable evening indeed.
The cherry on top of the whole trip was that as a Delta Elite Frequent Flier (having reached 25k miles flown in 2008) I was upgraded to First Class on the transatlantic Air France flight home.
Our first trip to Europe. Definitely not our last.
Note: make sure to check out the 3 videos I filmed on NYE on the Champs Elysees from the picture list below. In addition, to get a real feel for the mini-riot that evening copy and paste in your browser this link to a clip another attendee filmed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyWAzPXJDmA&feature=related