Many of the children were up and out roaming Paris long before our 9 am meeting in our room. We are fortunate to have a larger room with enough space to gather all thirteen of us when necessary instead of the lobby. We gave them their six day museum passes and decided to go together to Chateau de Vincennes since it is reachable by Metro. The strike is affecting everything today.
In reading my blog from yesterday I see that I forgot to properly thank our Flight Coordinator for Tuesday. Yes…my sister Mary in Florida spent her whole day on the telephone and computer helping us keep track of all the various airplanes that we were flying on to reach Paris. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that I could make one phone call and find out where everyone was during the day. Thanks Mary; your assistance was truly priceless!
At 10 am we met in the lobby and headed towards the Tourist Information Booth to find out what was open. Several Museums were closed including both Chateau de Vincennes and Versailles. Those that were not closed were closing much earlier than normal. Two of the Metro Lines are running normal schedules and all of the rest have gone from a train every five minutes to every fifteen minutes. We were at Notre Dame and the line was short so we immediately all went in for a visit to the Cathedral. The line had tripled by the time we finished. From there we split into small groups for the day with a plan to meet in our room at 8 pm tonight. We’ll buy some wine, cheese and bread and head for the Seine River to enjoy the sunset Parisian style. I found some plain wrap chocolate bars at the store today that will be a perfect dessert!
The youngest son, Bill, headed out with us for the day. Several groups were headed toward the Louvre Museum. We stopped to tour the Archaeological Crypte in Notre Dame Parvis first and then walked along the Seine to the Place de la Concorde. There, we toured the Musee de L’Orangerie that houses the Monet Water Lilies along with a small grouping of other impressionist art.
Our feet were tired as we crossed the river and headed back towards the hotel. Stopped for a short time at the Musee d’Orsay …that’s the beauty of the Museum Pass…bypass the lines for tickets and go to each more than once….giving us the ability to do the large museums in small chunks of time.
Lunch at De La Fontaine Creperie Café; Bill was surprised when we showed him that coke was more expensive than beer! Also introduced him to a Jambon Fromage Crepe. Back to the hotel to put the feet up for half an hour and then back to the cobblestones for a walk to see the Arenes de Lutece; the remains of a large Roman Arena that has been rebuilt enough to be used for children’s sports. We saw the original one at the Archaeological Museum this morning. Then we walk further to the Place d’Italia and up the Rue Mouffetard; a wonderful old market street that was used in the movie Julia, Julie.
Eventually we reached the Pantheon….but it was 5:30 pm and they were closing because of the strike! But further down we found the Cluny Museum that was also closing early but they were great and let us come in for fifteen minutes to see their famous six tapestries of the Lady and the Unicorn. Bill is excited about going back again. It’s very close to our hotel. Nap time is nearly over and the children are due here in ten minutes so I’ll continue this later this evening.
Nearly 1 am and I’m just getting this into the computer. Can’t believe it but we were on the streets until nearly midnight. It was after 11 pm before we left the quay and we were one of the first to leave….the place was still jammed with people. We had a marvelous time! The kids brought champagne, cheese, bread, meats, etc. and we feasted for a couple of hours with wine and 2 bottles of champagne. They all agreed that they want to do this at least one more time before we leave. We had a bride’s party next to us and that added lots of spice to the evening!
And so I quickly say good night…av revoir and we’ll see you tomorrow….hope you enjoy the photos from our first full day in Paris.