Paris Travel Blog› entry 20 of 31 › view all entries
Our first full day in Paris and rainclouds loomed so we set off well prepared with umbrella in hand. Our first stop was straight across the road to the railway station ticketing office to book our France/ Italy train journey. After a few false starts we located the sales office though only with the assistance of a lovely ticket officer who spoke little English but understood the universal signs of frustration. All sorted - we headed for our first proper tourist stop - Musee D'Orsay. We have quickly learned that being lost in Paris is not unwelcome so a few extra twists in our journey allowed us to soak in a number of additional sights - Opera Garnier, wandering past Musee Du Louvre. It was amazing to wander past buildings and monuments that took our breath away and to know that there are countless examples of these throughout the entire city.
Musee D'Orsay did not disappoint with an impressive collection of Cezanne, Van Gough, Renoir, Picasso, Monet, Manet etc. Also some very impressive sculpture collections. The building itself was also noteworthy, being a former Train Station and even one time hotel.
OK so very happy with our first major attraction but daunted by the advice that this was a small Museum when compared to the massive Musee Du Louvre which we were planning to tackle on Monday.
Our next stop after a baguette on the run was the Notre Dame - a stunning Cathedral known as being the heart of Paris relative to which all distances to Paris are measured. The Cathedral featured French Gothic Architecture complete with Gargoyles! We queued to climb to the top of the Cathedral and were rewarded by a spectacular view over Paris. Well worth the 387 steps.
Homeward bound we reached our hotel just in time to get changed to prepare for dinner with Sofiane and Gaëlle and also to prepare for taking on the public trasport system in Paris (easy peasy). Sofiane is moving to Sydney in early September and will be commencing at Avanade Sydney in early October. Sofiane and Gail were gracious hosts assisting us with navigating a few tricky elements of the menu - this allowed us to dine with dignity! We offered a few Sydney/ Australia tips so that we could feel a little helpful in return! After a delicious dinner we finished with a nightcap, farewelled them both, then retired for a well earned nights sleep.