August 29-Sept. 1: Paris
We most definitely needed more time in Paris. So much to see. We were also a little toured-out. Such a gorgeous city with so much to offer… We’re definitely coming back at some point!
Flight was very smooth and no customs. :) We took the subway to our hotel – not so pleasant. Overcrowded, hot, smelly. Felt disgusting by the time we arrived at our lovely hotel, Hotel le Regent in the 6th arrondisement. The location was perfect (thanks to Raisie and Simon for suggestion), beautiful small streets with bustling café’s, galleries and boutiques. And of course a beautiful artisan gelato store with ice cream macarons! We dropped our things and found a great little place to eat – Restaurant La Jacobine, around the corner in a quaint alley.
Had a delicious lunch with fruit and vegetables (we had eaten primarily Italian food in Prague and were missing the vitamins) and then headed out for a walk. It was BROILING hot - 33 degrees but felt hotter. We walked along the Seine through Tuileries Gardens but faded quite quickly. We decided to go back to the hotel for showers and air conditioning and to head back out at night.
We had another Italian pizza meal in the evening, then boarded a Bateaux Mouches riverboat for a 9pm cruise along the Seine. We watched the sun dip below the horizon and the city light up.
The views were beautiful. Amazing to see so many people picnicking and even dancing along the Seine. Refreshing wind in our faces (and a little bit of diesel;), Maddy fell asleep along the way and an hour later we docked, soaked with the beauty and energy of Paris at night, ready for some sleep.
Wednesday, we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel. The beginning of French carbohydrate loading had begun! Out to Fat Bike Tours for a ride around Paris.
Our guide Trevor provided us with an animated history of France as we rode big comfy bikes by Les Invalides, Napolean’s tomb, the Louvre, lunch in Tuileries gardens and Place de la Concorde.
Fortunately, the heat from yesterday had dissipated and we had a few light showers along the way. We had a great ride - a fantastic way to see the city! Back to the hotel and given that the forecast was calling for thunderstorms, we decided to go shopping. Wandered around the stunning Galeries Lafayette (made Maddy happy to honour one of her favourite Hamilton characters) and bought a few things, had a functional dinner then to sleep with plan to finally have a sleep in!
Originally, we had planned to go to Montmartre on Thursday, but we were exhausted and frankly done with touring. So, after breakfast we caught a taxi to the Arc de Triomphe and wandered down the Champs Elysees.
We all enjoyed Adam trying on gorgeous watches at the TAG store, and the kids each picked up something along the way. We stopped for lunch, and then wandered all the way back to our hotel along the Seine (13 km). Beautiful temperature, and just enjoying being with each other taking in the sites and chatting.
Our last night in Paris we had tickets for sunset on top of the Eiffel Tower. What can we say? Paris under our feet from high in the sky. We watched as the city turned white and lit up as the sky turned shades of purple. Lots of pictures which do it justice more than any words.
We have done and seen a lot this trip. As with all travel our eyes have been opened to new places and people and cultures. We are thankful to have been able to make this trip, and to celebrate Maddy’s Bat Mitzvah in such an intimate, adventurous and meaningful way. We hope that the memories will endure.