DAY TWO – Grands visit Paris
Leave Apartment for train at Enghien by 9:15.
Can get bus 48 – at Gare du Nord to Louvre or
Can take BUS back – if taken Metro there
Louvre (Closed Tuesday -10 euros, kids free) 9:00 – 6:00 (Paris Pass)
(Louve tour at 11:00am on Monday 3/19/2012. Be there at 10:15am
MONDAY – Eat- SANDWICHES IN PARK near Tuleries – or next to LOUVRE
L’Orangerie at the end of Tuleries Gardens)
WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:
Got to Louvre early actually – and no line for getting the special tour. I was so hoping the female violinist would be playing in the metro when we arrived and she was!!! Had the kids put some coins in her case. Got to the main Ticket Window and we got the special tour for all of us with absolutely NO ONE in LINE (unheard of) and then after I turned around – a huge line had formed behind me. Good timing! Tour was 1 1/2 hours, excellent, and not a minute too short. It was a LOT of information!!! But ofcourse! It’s the LOUVRE!!! Our guide was really good. Saw, ofcourse, the Mona Lisa, Venus d’ Milo, (Has anyone ever really looked at the BACK of her?!?), Winged Victory and a lot of other wonders, Renaissance paintings, Egyptian statues. Let me insert here, that I cannot stress enough how overwhelming and huge the Louvre is and that a guide (for an extra 9 euros) is by far the best & greatest thing to do. It’s a synopsis of many of the great masterpieces & just to follow this guide and not get turned around or lost is worth it’s weight in gold. We then hit the famous basement Louvre shopping ( Carousel) where there is every store imaginable, beautiful boutiques (expensive ) and many places to eat, even a McDonalds, Starbucks (2), Tie and hat shops, Nature shops, Designer handbag boutiques, Apple, Gap,Children’s Louvre shop, Postcard and art shops, and a wonderful POST OFFICE where they will stamp your cards right there and give you beautiful stamps if you request them, plus put a huge LOUVRE POSTMARK on your cards. (I go to this postoffice a LOT, because I love their stamps, and they speak English and are very friendly. ) I went to APPLE to re-charge my iPhone and Graham played on some iPads as he needed a “tech fix”,
– while the rest browsed around. Had coffee at Starbucks – free internet there, Also at Apple if you have your iPhone with you – – – –
Walked into the lovely sunny Tuleries Gardens and had our homemade French Baguette with goodies ( lunch) by a fountain and sat on the comfortable green chairs. BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!! So relaxing – everyone was out! After lunch trekked to the L’ORANGERIE down by the end of those gardens -we were the first ones in! – (AGAIN) no lines – and then boom, they started forming!! (did GOD work this out – seriously?) You betcha! BEAUTIFUL l’ORANGERIE with those water lilys inside — Monet’s famous paintings – and the children gazed at them intently !! Other paintings as well, and and a surprise – Munch paintings! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edvard_Munch
Then – walked back through the Tuleries Gardens to Palais Royal where the MONARCHY moved to (one of many places) to avoid the masses trying to get rid of them…then to Rue Vivienne, very famous lovely area and saw one of the first enclosed shopping areas ever (Mall) – Also on Rue Vivienne is where VIDOCQ had lived in (famous Fr. detective- 1823- who started the fingerprints Identification method.) Saw & browsed the oldest bookshop in that enclosed “mall” (see pic) and then once outside the enclosure saw the Colbert Cafe where Jack Nicholson woos Diane Keaton. Still in the Palais Royal area now and a Great photo opportunity on the black and white round controversial “step columns” that President Mitterand had installed during his Presidency along with the Pyramid at the Louvre – The coin toss on the column in the “moat” was difficult but Olivia got it on there twice. Her wishes are sure to come true! Saw where COLLETTE hung out (1873-1954) – her apartment. She is best known for her novel GIGI. Her history and life and writings were controversial, but weren’t a lot at that time?
We trekked to Gare du Nord – got to Enghien-les-Bains- with still energy that- I’m not sure where it came from – and took the bus to our large market (Auchun) via Bus 14 into the suburbs of Montmorency. Many good deals, & unusual food stuffs, i.e. Lavender honeys, special chocolates,biscuits, etc with prices not found in shops in Paris. Had pasta and meat sauce either this night or night before with salad & dessert. Crashed.
Musee D’Orsay (Closed Monday 9 euro, kids free) 9:30 – 6:00 (Paris Pass)
Solferino M – or Bus _63__
Jardin de Luxembourg –
Pantheon – maybe
(Catacombs – 7 euros, kids free) 10:00 – 5:00
Do the “Latin – Laura tour” can use – BUS 95 if tired out –
Crepes a go go – on Rue Soufflot (near the Pantheon)
Eiffel Tower (Tues 8pm)-RESERVED
Ian and B to a special stay at a lovely Renaissance Hotel in Trocodero area by Eiffel Tower!