Well, Paris has been frustrating in that we do not get internet at our hotel… seriously, they should spend less on sculptures and fresh flowers, and get some WiFi!! So apologies for the less frequent updates. There are only a couple places nearby where we can sit and use their internet… consequently, we have to buy something to eat or drink, so we’ve consumed lots of coffee & pastries!
On to the fun stuff… Day 2 in Paris started with a long walk to find breakfast. I am very difficult to eat with (thanks, Brian) because everything here is ham, cheese, eggs, etc. But fortunately we found a place that had a giant salad with rice, artichokes, tuna, asparagus, and olives. It was delicious! Then we trekked around the Louvre – oh my gosh, it is enormous. Brian took some amazing photos… the architecture is just spectacular. Next stop was a long walk further south along the Seine to Norte-Dame. The detail and craftsmanship of this cathedral… there are no words. You’ll have to scroll down to check out Brian’s gallery. I was in awe. In front of the entrance is the “Place du Parvis” which is the spot from which all distances to and from the city are officially measured.
We couldn’t find that famous ice cream spot, Berthillon, but I was relieved when I checked my tour book and it is closed this time of year anyway. So next we attempted to rent the bikes here, and it proved to be far more complicated than the rental process in London… but we persevered and hopped on the bikes for our ride up to Montmartre. The goal was the top of Sacre-Coeur, but the map distorted my perception of the distance, so it took a bit longer than I planned, ha ha… Brian took some more great video of the bike ride and our view from the top. My book said that it is the second highest point in the city (after Eiffel Tower). Pretty foggy and gray, but you can really see the whole city from up there.
The ride home was another adventure… I navigated our route through some super dirty and seedy neighborhoods, and we were right in the middle of rush hour traffic, AND it conveniently started raining. We had a good laugh when we made it back to our hotel safely… but seriously, the roads here are called like seven words that all look the same, and there are no bike lanes in the roundabouts!
Brian made some friends, Kathy and Gilles, at a little cafe while I was trying to find a depot for my bike. Fortunately, he had a corner table out front with two glasses of wine waiting for me when I returned. This couple was from London and just in town for Valentine’s Day, and they had a great sense of humor so therefore Brian had a blast bantering with them… they thought he was hilarious. Naturally 😉
After we had a good wine buzz on, we ventured back to the hotel to clean up for our Valentine’s Day dinner. The concierge recommended a little Italian place within walking distance, and a place for last minute/no reservations, called Cafe Romantica. Delicious wine, yummy food, and cute ambiance made it a perfect place for our little romantic dinner.
The high point for me, was walking back to the hotel along the Seine with the lights and Eiffel Tower as our backdrop. C’ est magnifique!