Monday, 22nd May
We arrived in Paris at about 17:00 hours on 20th after a most enjoyable Tour. A taxi quickly had us at our accommodation in the Latin Quarter, 6th Arrondissement. The French taxi driver was excited that we are Aussies and said we had chosen a very good area in which to stay. Erika and Seyedeh, a friend from Switzerland and a friend from Germany were soon there to welcome us (all staying at Hotel Saint Pierre). A Dinner booking at Le Trumilou had been arranged by Moira who was also in Paris – how exciting to have these girls in one place – my adopted daughters from far and wide.We had a fun night!!
Following is a brief overview of our Paris excursions – Day ONE -Breakfast at Saint Severin, visited the famous bookshop, Shakespeare and Co., Walked along the Seine on a sunny morning until Seyedeh left us to fly back to Germany, Walked to Bon Marche (founded 1852, first ever modern department store), purchased delicacies for a picnic in the park, walked back to Hotel, Erika and I set out for the Laundry and caught up with washing and wrote postcards over a cup of coffee. A SLIGHT disaster in the evening when guided by GPS and a friend (!!!) we took over an hour (should have been 25 minutes) to TourMontparnasse arriving at 10 p.m. We had tickets for two visits so were there to do our night visit. Montparnasse Tower is a blot on the landscape but is an amazing viewing platform to see the whole of Paris spread 360 degrees with the Eiffel Tower sparkling. We took the Metro for the return journey and were home by 11:30. DAY TWO – Breakfast (morning tea for me) at 10 at the Shakespeare and Co. Cafe seated outside with Notre Dame Cathedral just across the river, a short shopping time and back to Hotel to meet Moira at 11:30. (she had checked out from her accommodation so left her bags in Erika’s room), Metro to Pere Lachaise Cemetery in the 20th arr. the burial place of many identities including Oscar Wilde, took time out to enjoy baguette lunch, Metro to Montparnasse Train Station to activate EURAIL Pass (waited over an hour) and waved goodbye to Moira who was on her way to San Malo. Enjoyed our second visit to the Tower this time to view Paris in daylight hours. DAY THREE – Now we are three. Today we rode the Metro many times as we went from one side of Paris to the other. First walking up to Sacre-Coeur and the area of Montmartre, a known area for markets and street artists and then to Vigne du Clos (a very old vineyard) passing Cabaret au Lapin (haunt of Pablo Picasso). There are two remaining old windmills in the area and one is situated behind Moulin de la Galette Restaurant. We enjoyed our lunch nearby at Autour du Molin Restaurant while seated at the top of a cobbled lane viewing Invalides as it shone in the far distance. Time to walk back to the Metro and a short visit to Jardin des Plantes before returning to the hotel so that Erika could get her bags and set out for the Airport to fly home to Zurich