Thursday, May 24, 2012


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Breakfast this morning was in the kitchen of the B&B in Honfleur; the owners had extended the room by adding a glass conservatory to one wall creating a charming dining area.  By 9 am we were on the road heading southeast towards Giverny and then Paris.

It was just over an hour to Giverny; a tiny village near the town of Vernon that was made famous by the artist Claude Monet.  He spent his last years here and is buried along with most of his family in their cemetery.  He painted his famous water lilies here in these gardens.

I think every tour bus in France was visiting Giverny today!  It took us over half an hour to get into the gardens and then moving from one place to another was a process of moving in long lines along the narrow paths.  You’ll see the crowds in the photos.  But even with the crowds it is a beautiful place and worth the effort.

Jim decided to walk the town and visit the cemetery while we were in the gardens; smart move as we’ve been in the gardens about four times….in fact we stayed in the village several years ago for one night on a trip. 

By 1 pm we were on the road to Paris; stopped along the way and ate our picnic lunch before following Daisy/Fifi’s directions back to the car rental agency.  They had programmed the address into her memory banks and it was the easiest car return we’ve ever made!  We had each put 125 Euros into a kitty for parking and toll fees.  There was 2.50 Euros left to divide.  Our odometer read 5,999 kilometers as we drove into the lot.

Completed the paperwork, loaded the piles of luggage into their van and they took us to the railroad station at Roissy.  We had others in the van including a couple from San Diego…they were originally from Indiana.  The lines were long for tickets so eventually I took all of coins that we’d been saving the last few days and purchased the tickets at the machines…another learning experience.  We were soon on the train headed for Paris.  

Weather today was bright and hot sunshine that was also overcast at times.  Actually muggy, the breeze through the door when it opened at each stop … yes we were on the milk run…was a welcome relief in the non-air conditioned train.  The train became more and more crowded until they were standing in the aisle shoulder to shoulder.  We had to inch our way to the doors at our stop but at least we did have seats all the way into Paris.  It’s a great way to get to and from the airport…just don’t try it at high traffic times.  We were lucky that we decided not to go to Rowan or we would have arrived at the wrong time.  

Off at St.Michel and up the stairs…two long escalators and one set of stairs….and we were in Paris!  Our hotel was a short two blocks from the RER Station.  Terry & Linda have been upgraded to a Superior room with a balcony…they are doing work on some of the rooms…they actually have two balconies.  We have a Standard Room without a balcony but with a good view.  We’ve very happy to be back in Paris.

Out the door as soon as we unpacked a few things.  Its 85 degrees outside!  But we walked back to the RER Station and purchased our tickets for the trip tomorrow to Versailles; then over to the Information Booth at Notre Dame to purchase our four day Museum Pass.   

Terry and Linda are amazed at Paris.  Yes…it’s hot…but we wanted hot…and the tourists are here…very crowded everywhere.  I love it!!!!!

We walked over to St. Chapelle to check on the concerts…have decided not to do it again as it’s mostly Four Seasons.  Then we walked back towards Notre Dame and over the bridge to I’lle St. Louie….showing them our town!

Purchased ice cream cones at Berthillon; very expensive but a must at least once.  Then back across the bridge to the left bank.  Climbed down the steps to the quai and discovered a television crew filming.  Walked through their set and continued on our way towards our hotel.  We found a restaurant near the hotel, made reservations and then returned to the hotel for an hour to take showers before dinner.

It was a decent dinner…nothing to write home about, but afterwards we walked a triangle.  First through the Sorbonne…Paris Universities…to the church where they shot the film “Midnight in Paris” where he meets the car at midnight.  It’s across the street from the Pantheon so they also saw that from the outside; then down the hill to the Luxembourg Gardens.   They were in the process of closing the park for the night…we realized it was after 9 pm….continued down Blvd. St. Michel towards our hotel giving them an overview of the area.  Stopped at the store for some supplies and then back to the hotel.

We meet tomorrow morning at 9 am for our trip to Versailles.  So nice to be back in Paris even if it is VERY warm!

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