2 Days in a row we just walked and walked and walked. It might be the flattest city I have every visited. The walk was 22 kms and doesn't include touring around the different buildings we went into. I think I took as many advil as I had glasses of wine :). Every morning we left our hotel and went for a quick latte and croissant, the French Breakfast. And then we started walking. How could you not follow the slowly meandering Seine any time you could. It was full of boats and barges and restaurants docked on the boardwalks.
|It felt like there was a bridge very kilometre.|
There were beautiful carousels on a number of street corners, especially around the Eiffel Tower. I couldn't get Jim to go on, next time :)
This is a new Russian Church that had opening day on the Wednesday, Putin was supposed to come to the opening, but had a disagreement with the French PM. I must admit I was glad he backed out, the security would have been even more stringent.
Everyone was stopping on a tiny little island in the middle of the Champs Elysees to get their selfie of the Arc De Triomphe. There are beautiful memorials surrounding the Arc commemorating the different wars and the lives that were lost.
As we are sitting having lunch on the Champs Elysees we kept spotting people stopping to get their picture taken just next door to us at this wrought iron gate building. Lots of people going in, security checking them. We thought we better check it out when we finished. LOL. Yep it was Abercrombie & Fitch.
These buildings were crazy busy, with lots of security and lots of people. FIAC was in town, a contemporary art show. I gather it is here every year. We definitely needed another day or two.
Afternoon wine was in the Latin Quarter, Happy Hour too. Paris also seems to be famous for their chestnut trees. I can't remember the last time I saw a chestnut tree (ok probably in Italy). We had them on our street growing up in Mimico, but we only used them for making conkers, stringing them up and then whacking your friends conkers to see who was the King of the Conkers. Lots of bruised fingers.
Lots of street vendors and take-away cafes with amazing aromas surrounding them.
On one of our little jig and jogs around the Paris streets we came across this memorial along the Seine near Notre Dame. A memorial to 6 female resistance fighters from WWII.
Two last little comments on life in Europe. My first shock was when we stopped for a latte overlooking the Joan of Arc church in Rouen and I had to go upstairs to the bathroom. Yes all the bathrooms were up or down windy stairs. I see 2 stalls - ladies and men and a central sink. OK I'm cool with that. I come out of my stall and I hear water running, it wasn't water. Right beside the sink is a urinal and sure enough there was a man there having a pee. I think my face went scarlet, not that I could see anything, but yes it kinda shocked me. LOL and here we are in North America hiring consultants and advertising companies to try and smooth over transgender bathrooms.
When we were having lunch in Honfleur, this couple came walking in with quite a large dog, they walk right through the restaurant and sit down beside where the seafood display is. The waiter comes hustling over I thought to remove them, but no he has a bowl of water for the dog along with his menus. In Canada you can't bring them into a retail store, even when it's 80 degrees outside.
A number of restaurants in Paris had cats wandering around, the waiters would pick them up and rub them and then bring you your food/drink. The cats would jump up on the tables and no one thought anything of it. I think this little one is waiting for his date. As friendly and well cared for as a cat could wish for. I'm a cat (and dog) person and was missing my cats terribly so I was more than happy to enjoy these little cat moments.
And lastly when walking in France, keep your eye on the pavement/cobblestones, not so you don't trip, but looking for dog poop. It doesn't seem like you have to scoop up your doggy doo, but we did find a few Scoop and Poop public employees wandering around.
Au Revoir France and Paris, we had an amazing time and hope to return someday.