We have had a lovely week in Paris, and I only wish we could have stayed longer. We got a good mix in of tourist attractions and just experiencing our neighborhood and life here, but had we stayed longer, we would have dug in more to that experience of daily life, developed habits and regular haunts, and gotten to know the city in a different way. With a month ahead of us in Arles, though, we look forward to doing just that there.
The weather was beautiful for us, with 7 straight days of sun and temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Only this afternoon has it started to rain, and we are enjoying a cozy afternoon in. Our apartment is the top floor - a 5th-floor walk-up - with skylights that look out on a pleasant intersection in the 6th arrondissement. Currently, the rain is drumming on the skylights and Brendan is preparing our dinner.
Here is the view from our apartment window, taken the night we arrived:
With only one exception, we have eaten one meal out per day and cooked at home the rest of the time - saving us some money, making our apartment feel more like home, and giving us the opportunity to explore local grocery stores. The stars of the show? Butter, eggs, bread, butter, cured meats, and wine. And butter.
Each day, we've ventured out on a long walk to see some part of the city we hadn't been to yet. We've covered Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower; Montmartre and Pigalle; the Jardin du Luxembourg; Notre Dame and the Sorbonne; Versailles; Montparnasse; and the Jardin des Tuileries, the Champs Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe. Here are some of our favorite sights:
Les Invalides, home of Napoleon's tomb:
The Eiffel Tower, of course:
Le Pont Alexandre III - one of many bridges across the Seine, but this one has pretty gold statues!
Le Jardin du Luxembourg - where Parisians come to play with their kids, get exercise, lounge around, and play boule (like bocce).
The Saint Sulpice was right by our nearest metro stop, so we saw it almost daily. I understand a grizzly murder takes place here in The Da Vinci Code, though neither of us has read the book. This church facade is seriously massive.
The Notre Dame Cathedral:
Versailles - I'm so glad we took a day to get out of the city and see this. The palaces were amazing in their scale, detail, and opulence, and the gardens and grounds were way beyond expectations. We likely walked 15 miles that day, sometimes finding ourselves so far from the chateau that we wouldn't see anyone for 10 minutes. Simply gorgeous.
And to close, a sleepy Brendan on the train back from Versailles: