Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pedaling through Paris

After twelve hours of sleep, we were bright-eyed and ready to face the city...until we realized that we must face the city in the same underwear we were wearing when we left America.  (Sorry if that grosses you out...just imagine how we felt...)  So we decided that Mission #1 would be to purchase clean underwear, and anything else we could find that might make our experience in Paris more pleasant.

A couple of blocks away, we found the Gap.  Yes, out of all the boutiques we could have shopped at while in Paris, we choose the Gap.  But cut us some slack here; we wanted to make our purchases, change clothes, and get out into the city.  The Gap was familiar, and we felt that alone would save us some time.

Time was saved, money was not.  You don't even want to know that my modest outfit from the sale rack + a clean polo for Jamie + socks for Jamie + underwear for both = $400+.  Or maybe you do want to join us in being shocked and dumbstruck by that total.  I must plug Delta now, and say that they did reimburse us for all of the costs that were incurred before we were reunited with our luggage. 

With clean clothes, and two smiles, we set out to explore the city.  Our agenda included the bike tour that we booked before leaving the hotel that morning, and journeying to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  

After all of the time that we'd spent walking the day before, we realized that it was essential to take advantage of public transportation.  Time was of the essence.  So we ran with open arms to the Metro.  Only to have the Metro continually reject two negative magnetic poles, refusing to bond...  Just wait.  You'll see. 

We told the agent that we wanted to buy two passes that would take us anywhere we could possibly dream of going in Paris.  Please note that we are 100% sure that she spoke English, but since she was feigning ignorance, we played along.  We tried to gain a little favoritism by acting out the fact that we were on a need of a magical memory.  Then, with our Metro map, we used wide gestures to help her understand that we wanted to be able to travel e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e in Paris.  After about six minutes of charades, she smiled and somehow assured us that, with €50, we could have two passes that would meet all of our traveling needs. 

We got off on what we believed to be the closest stop to the Eiffel Tower.  And then we took this picture of the entrance; you never know when you'll need to retrace your steps. 

And we made it...

After locating the south leg, the meeting place for our bike tour,  

...we decided to find a quick snack.

Paris is unlike any place I have ever been.  It's timeless, it's quaint, and it's so full of life.  And the life comes from the Persians, who give off such an energetic vibe.  I don't even know how to fully describe it.  Just go.  And take me with you. 

We found our tour guide!

First stop: École Militaire 
This school paved the way for commoners to become military officers.  Their most famous cadet?  Napoleon Bonaparte.

World Peace Monument

Les Invalides: Napoleon's Tomb

Musée de l’Armée:  
This was originally a hospital for disabled soldiers, but now it's the museum of the Army of France.

And I don't remember the name of this bridge, but our guide said that many fashion models are photographed here.  We also spotted this bridge in the movie we saw last night...which you will like if you're a fan of American Literature.   

Then we toured this beautiful garden, Jardin des Tuileries.

And stopped at La Terrasse de Pomone, which is one of the cafes inside of the garden.

The Louvre:  This is only a sneak peek ;). 

The Lover's Lock Bridge:  
Couples secure a lock on the bridge and then throw the key into the Seine.  Doesn't it just warm your heart to know that all of this romance is only an ocean away? :)

Jamie was romanced by the cars.  Even the taxicabs...

And in Paris, the people seem to just enjoy living.  All of the businesses are closed by 6:00 p.m. and many of the restaurants close around 8:00 p.m.  In the evenings, and on the weekends, so many Parisians spend their time outdoors: socializing, having picnics, and enjoying the parks. 

Those people include Mario...

and Peter Pan.

When our bike tour was complete, we waited in a llooonnngg line in order to walk up the Eiffel Tower.  We walked the first two levels, and then took the elevator to the very top.  Our legs were not happy about all of those steps, but the view from the top was worth it. 

As we went higher and higher, the wind became stronger and stronger...and it was oh-so chilly. 

We didn't make it down from the tower before 8:00 p.m., but luckily we found a 24-hour bistro close-by. 

And when we were warmed and filled, with this salad + beef bourguignon, which we scarfed down before taking the time to unsnap the camera lens, we began the journey back to our abode.  We followed the memorized landmarks back to the Metro Station.  After making sure that we knew which direction to go, we ran our tickets through the machine.  Jamie's ticket worked like he'd paid for it, and he walked right through the turnstile barriers.  I wasn't so lucky.  We couldn't figure out why my ticket wasn't working, but there was no solving the mystery as there wasn't a ticket agent to be found.  Jamie handed his ticket back to me and I put that ticket through the machine.  We then made it onto the Metro, back to our quaint hotel in Bastille, and into our soft, comfy bed.  And our dreams were full of new places.  

1 comment:

  1. you both are the sweetest couple i mis you all so much hope all is well tell uncle i hope hes good and i want to see u all soon
    -courtney barlow