Still sounds good, that.
And there were flowers everywhere. Beautiful.
But it started a bit...awkward.
Paris, here we come!
On our way from the airport our driver got some serious trouble with the car.
First the gearbox didn't work properly.
Then it started to smell funny and smoke from the engine.
So we had to stop right in the motorway with heavy weekend traffic.
As the engine still was smoking we didn't mind getting out. At all.
We managed to haul another taxi, and this one got us safely to the hotel in Montparnasse.
We stayed at the hotel Lenox Montparnasse, and it was a very nice hotel.
They helped us with recommendations on restaurants twice and both suggestions were very good. The rooms were rather small (as normal in France) but nicely decorated.
We got a good price on the rooms through booking.com.
We packed up, changed clothes and out we went for dinner.
Around the corner we had a renown seafood restaurant, so to Le Dome we went.
Le Dome is an Art Deco brasserie, which opened in 1898.
It later became the gathering place of the American literary colony and a focal point for artists residing in Paris' Left bank.
The interior still is 1930's Art Déco period, beautiful, and it creates that special atmosphere.
(Unfortunately I forgot to bring my Marlene Dietrich outfit)
Many of the French seafood restaurants have a display of the goods outside, kind of like a candy shelf for grown ups...
We had oysters as a starter. We really had to feel that we were in France.
I had a fantastic main course: Coquilles Saint Jacques, risotto avec truffles blancs
(Yes, I am a foodie. I still get happy when I think of it!)
After a dessert and some coffee we rolled the 50 m to the hotel.
The following two days we walked all over Paris from early morning to evening, so even if I had my share of food & wine, I believe that I could eat with a good conscience.
(Bah, would have done anyway!)
The medieval museum, a 15th century Gothic mansion
Yes, there are still some of them left!
Hey Quasimodo, where are you?
He had a lot to climb on, that guy...
Inside Notre-Dame there is a miniature so you can see the whole church and its proportions.
During the French revolution many of its treasures disappeared.
When Victor Hugo wrote the "Hunchback of Notre-Dame" the church was in a tragic condition, and it was contemplated to tear it down completely. (What a tradgedy that would have been!)
Hugo's book sparked a renewed interest in the church, and a restoration project was started in 1845.
The church is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside.
Construction begun in 1163, and was completed in 1345.
What a project, and what an achievement taken into consideration what tools and instruments that were available!
I find it a paradox that in those days, when the life span of people were shorter, they took on such a gigantic project. Could you imagine something similar nowadays?
Come to think of it, there is actually an ongoing project in "La Sagrada Familia" in Barcelone.
Construction started in 1882 by Antoni Gaudí, but the fantastic church is still not finished (planned to be in 2026).
Notre Dame is placed on one of the two isles in Seine, Île de-la-cité.
The other one is the smaller Île Saint-Louis.
Passing the small bridge between the two, a jazz band was playing. They played well too!
We did not enter - huge queues...
The building is incredably large, you just see one side of it here.
The assortment in French boulangeries is REALLY mouthwatering!
Aux Champs-Elysées, aux Champs-Elysées
Au soleil, sous la pluie, à midi ou à minuit
Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées
Want a touch of Paris? Listen to the real thing here
Yes, it is huge!
And even more impressive as you get closer.
I feel the Eiffel tower is really the quintessence of Paris.
It was marvellous to see it in real life.
Saturday evening we ate at "La closerie des Lilas"
And it was a marvellous meal!
I can highly recommend this restaurant.
It has since the late 19th century been the home to many artists and authors.
The interior, the service and the food & wine made this a memorable evening.
“The only decent café in our neighborhood was La Closerie des Lilas, and it was one of the best cafés in Paris. It was warm in the winter and the terrace was lovely in the spring and fall…” (Hemingway)
Saturday morning started out with a visit to Sacre Coeur.
It was Sunday Mass, and it was beautiful to hear the chorus and the organ.
The view from Sacre-Coeur over Paris - c'est magnifique!
I hope I will return some day!
We will watch over the city until you return...whenever that will be
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