Strolling through Paris, cruising the Seine and visiting the Pantheon
08.06.2014 - 08.06.2014 79 °F
Woke to a beautiful day, perfect for taking in the sites of the city. Nice dinner planned this evening and even a little wine.
By our standards, we were up and ready early, had breakfast and were ready to take to the streets by 9:30. It was a quiet Sunday morning and the streets were so peaceful. We took a stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens alone except for the morning joggers. Stopped by the World War exhibit. It truly is amazing to see what was happening here in Europe. Besides the fact that I wasn't born yet, I can't imagine what it must have been like to fear for your life every day. Such a strange people we are.
Continued walking around the palace. It is such a beautiful building and to think it is being used as a government building. People were slowly starting to filter into the gardens, sitting in the the gardens reading their newspapers. Saw the Medici Fountain, beautiful but buggy in the morning shade.
Strolled the streets down towards the river. Many art galleries and clothing shops. When we arrived at the river, the Batobus was just arriving. It's like a hop on - hop off sightseeing boat. Pay one price and it takes you to eight different stops. The people who worked at the ticket office deserve a special shout out. There was a family with a young man in a wheel chair. Before they sold them the tickets, they made sure he'd be able to get on and off.
We bought our tickets and used it as our private tour boat, staying on for a loop and taking in the sites. It was a beautiful sunny day and Paris was looking great. Funny to see how some people aren't in tune with the sites. One man was dozing, a couple of kids were attached to their cell phones and not even looking around. Then again, others were pointing and taking pictures and I think on a warm day just glad they aren't walking all over.
Hopped off the boat at Notre Dame on the way back, the lines to climb the bell tower were long - not that we were looking to climb the tower. Very crowded around the church, pickpocket heaven! It is another of those Paris landmarks that I never tire of seeing.
The church looks beautiful from every angle - front, back and sides. There was actually mass going on, so we couldn't go in to see the new lighting that was installed. We did hear the new bells ringing and they sounded just as good as the old ones.
Realizing that most of the gargoyles around the building are downspouts has made them a lot less mysterious, though the classic ones up on the top of the tower still hold their mystique.
Took a picture of Point Zero in front of the church. For you trivia buffs, it is the spot where all distances are measured from in Paris. Just a small bronze point on the ground, but important nonetheless.
Grabbed a nice lunch at a small place called Cafe Juliette before going to the Pantheon. We've seen it, but have never been there before and really weren't sure what it was. Turns out it started out as a cathedral in honor of St Genevieve and now it is considered a monument and mausoleum in tribute to the greatness of France. In the crypt below, the tombs of Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas and Pierre and Marie Curie among others.
They are doing some restoration work on the dome and pendulum clock, so they have added an exhibit featuring the many faces of Paris. A huge group of selfies that have been placed on the floor and ceiling.
Enough culture; time to head back to the hotel to rest and clean up before dinner. Dinner is at Les 110 des Taillevent, it's a spin off of the famous Taillevent Restaurant and has an interesting concept. 110 wines are available by the glass, hence the name. When you look at the menu, you see four wines listed next to each item. Each column is a different price range, but the wines are all decent and pair well with the food. It wasn't cheap, but it was delicious. Highly recommend it.
Back to home before the coming rain hits.