Paris Stage 21

What a day! Not sure where to start…

John and I got up early yesterday in Le Mans and took an hour train ride into Paris for the final stage of the Tour de France. (I’m glad the new royal baby didn’t over shadow yesterday’s events lol! Congrats Kate and Will! Closer to my Aunt Nora’s birthday I believe than mine so no money coming my way!) It was a gorgeous day to be in Paris, much better than when we went in February brrrrr. It was an evening finish this year so we had lots of time to walk around and eat macaroons by the Seine, too yum…

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We also spent some time in Jardin du Luxembourg. It was lovely with so many people out and about. The little lake in front was adorable with children playing with the sailboats that you could rent for 2 euros, just John’s thing…

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There was even a Highschool orchestra playing in the gazebo…lovely…

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Outside the garden gates L’Equipe newspaper had put up a whole set of stunning blown up photos of past Tour stages, it was fabulous…

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Then off to the race. We headed for the the Place de Concorde just before the bend to the Champs Élysées. It was shady there and a wall to sit and stand on, so perfect! You have to walk by the Louvre of course first…

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We also just had to get our photo at Norway corner…

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We were a tad too early but we did get a good spot. There is always something to see as the caravan comes in before the race. We each snagged a green PMU sprint jersey shirt too that they were giving out free to the crowd so that was cool. The atmosphere was electric. We tried to get as many pictures as we could but once the race started it’s hard to get good ones as they whiz past!…

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As you can see Team Sky lead the way for the first lap with their leader and winner Christopher Froome…

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Overall it was so great to see them go around so many times. It’s definitely worth the effort of getting there. I’m totally gutted that Mark Cavendish didn’t win the sprint finish but at least I did pick him out of the pack. You really have to look as they do go by amazingly fast. I also picked out some of my other favourite riders…Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans, Alberto Contador and the new best young rider from Columbia! It’s fun to catch a glimpse in person.

It was a late night when we got back to our hotel in Paris near the train station (by the way if you are looking for a decently priced and standard/modern/clean/know what you are going to get hotel in Europe try a Mercure. We’ve stayed at a few now in different cities and they have always been totally modern and fine for a couple of nights). This morning we got up at 6 to get our train back to Le Mans at 7. Tired now!

We had a full day today going to the Canadian Juno Beach centre (I’ll write about that soon) and tomorrow we are off to Jersey to cuddle Lady Fia and see her mummy’s home. Can’t wait.

Au Revoir Paris

Paris tired us out! It was a whirl wind rest of trip and I don’t know where the time went. The weather stayed cold and rainy for the rest of the weekend but of course it didn’t stop us. We started with trying to find a few crafty stores, as you do in a new city right? We found a few that were supposed to have yarn and fabric but really had more cutsie gifts. Then we found La Droguerie. Despite one of the woman yelling at me from behind the counter to not take pictures it was a lovely shop. Oops!

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Ooo la la right!

Then we wandered over to Notre Dame…

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Ahhhh Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite…how Les Mes!!!!!!

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And there it was…

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In all it’s glory…

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Extra large touristy areas aren’t really our thing so we headed across the river from Notre Dame to Ile Ste Louis…

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We had lunch at a quaint restaurant and then checked out the little shops on this teeny tiny island…

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And of course I had to enjoy a real hot chocolate, thick and creamy!…

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After walking back from this island you get a stunning view of Notre Dame…

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Near Notre Dame were a few interesting things, of course the Latin Quarte, but before that we spotted the Arab World Institute which was a bizarrely modern and old world looking building. Out the front were these too cute elephants…

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Oddly near here was a quilt shop…

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Apparently run by an American lady. Unfortunately, not my style too country but not many pure quilt stores in Paris so, there you go.

Before we left to go and explore the famed Latin Quarter we found Lover’s bridge where lovers write their name on a lock and put it on the fence, ahhhhhhhhhh…

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The Latin Quarter has restaurants and little shops to explore. How odd to find a Canadian bookstore stocked filled with books; there was even a whole section on travel in Canada…

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I didn’t buy a book on Saturaday but I did get the cutest camera case on this day which I think is me in Paris!…

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And so Saturday ends.

Sunday…
On the first Sunday of the month the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay are free so we took advantage…

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How funny am I taking pictures of people taking pictures of the Mona Lisa ha ha ha…

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Look what I found at a shop for breakfast. They all had little hats for charity…

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That’s a lot of knitting as they were all over Paris in different shops in all different colours.

One of the most interesting things we did on Sunday was to visit the Catacombs. It would have been creepy except it was so artistically done. In the underground of Paris you can walk for Km’s and see the old Lime Quarries as well as where they put some 6 million bodies when the Paris cemeteries were too over crowded. These are real human bones…

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It was hard to get a good picture but you can google it, it’s a fascinating piece of history.

We finished the day with the Tour de Eiffel at night…

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On Monday we didn’t leave until later in the day so we were able to see the famous Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe. I loved imagining being there in July to see the Tour de France whiz by; maybe we will have to make another trip!…

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All in all a wonderful weekend getaway. Thank you John. I love you!

Allez Allez Petite Rouge

Bonjour! Finally, John has taken me to Paris as a Christmas/anniversary treat. We are very excited. Not sure how I’ve never been to Paris though. It’s super easy on the Euro Star…

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29 mins to St. Pancras and then about 2 1/2 hours on the train and we were at Gare Du Nord…

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Despite the yucky drizzly weather we made the most of our first day. We are staying in the Montmartre area, actually just around the corner from the Moulin Rouge (not sure if John really planned it for that…)

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Anyways…we checked into the hotel and bizarrely I was taken with the mobile phone charging centre! Really! Totally clever and weird; yet, I used it to charge my kindle because I forgot mine, 2 euros for 1/2 hr…

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Our first real stop was actually the famous cemetery just beside the hotel…

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Wow, who knew that a cemetery could be so historic, beautiful, impressive, kinda creepy and magical all at once…

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As we made our way to the Basilique Sacre Coeur we found Paris’ only vineyard and a neat little restaurant, famous for some one or something…

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We caught the end of a mass too…

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It looks like I didn’t care for the view but I did. You could see all of Paris…

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Of course we had to walk back through the Place Du Tertre with its cafes and artists…

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Around the corner from here we found a small Dali museum. John really likes him so we went. He was surprised that he had done so many sculptures. It was a very informative audio tour. I was just happy it was an odd time to go and there was only 1 other person there so I took some photos…

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After this we decided to get a coffee and on the way came across the funny scene of the day. Seriously!!! It brings a whole new meaning to “drive thru”…

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We got a picnic of wine, bread, cheese and olives for the hotel room and both fell asleep on the bed for a nap. You know you are old when…

Off to bed now. We have a big day of touring planned. I’ve even looked up a few yarn and fabric shops to check out. Stay tuned mes amis.

(P.S. Mel, I need your French!!! I’m too shy. At least I can read most things!)

(P.P.S. just looked out our hotel window and we have Tour de Eiffel room with a view!)…

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Honestly, look closely between the buildings. It’s all lit up lol…

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