|Subject: Paris travelogue day 7 (long)|
Ziners, here's more Paris!
After breakfast and a lively discussion of our previous evening activities, we discover that by far we had the best experience at the Moulin Rouge. Several others in the group went to dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant (I don't recall the name) and found they were rushed and the waiter impatient with Americans over their choosing the wine. Oh well, I guess we had to find at least one rude Frenchman!
We made a quick stop at the Opera for a group picture then onwards to St Germain de Pres. We note but do not linger at Café de Flore and Les Duex Magot. We leave the bus for a two hour walking tour from the church St Germain de Pres, through the Right Bank and the Latin quarter, which we found to be full of small Greek eateries, to the Isle de la Cite and the marvel of Notre Dame. We studied the outside, with parts dating back to the 1100 Romanesque period. It was interesting to note the different architecture in the other entrances. The rosettes of stained glass are breathtaking.. We spent a while inside and wished we could have stayed for the Sunday afternoon services at 6PM. They say a Mass in English!.
We go back to the Hotel for lunch then get ready for the tour of the Louvre. Lunch was from the take out at the Monoprix. Uninspired, but we wanted the time to explore a row of shops tucked into a side street by the Hotel. Then, the bus ride to the Louvre and a splendid tour it was too!
We had reservations and did not have to wait at all to enter; and our guide made sure we saw all the good bits: We walked in through an area showing the inner and outer original walls, with moat in the middle dating back to the 1300's. The original stones have the brand from the brick maker on them. Not from pride of craftsmanship; but so that they would know who to pay for the bricks!
We saw Venus de Milo (I did not know she was found in two pieces in a field in Greece). A foot was later found and forwarded to France but it never arrived. Unfortunate as the foot had markings on it that could have identified it better. We also saw: Mona, the other 4 Leonardo da Vinci's on display, Winged Victory, and as much as my overloaded senses could take in in 2˝ hours. A bit of shopping at the museum shops then back to the room to sip some wine and relax `till 7PM for our last dinner.
Our last night on the tour was a WOW! We went to the Seine for our own private Batoux! Which took us for a leisurly ride past all the monuments at dusk while we sipped wine and nibbled some really terrific appetizers! Not too shabby to see Paris come alive at night!
Dinner was Foie Gras, Veal with potatoes au gratin and asparagus and a creamy brulee type dessert with coffee. We had our group picture signed by all those we had gotten close to during our week together. We used our handy calling cards with the Travelzine information on them and hope to keep in touch with many in the group. There were couples celebrating their 50th and 25th anniversaries respectively. Also we had four families with graduating children and a group of 5 women from the same family that take a trip a year together (no men, just the females of the family). All in all it was a great tour, and I would recommend Tauck as a top notch travel group.
We ended up having a wine party with seven of our new friends back in our room. We had extended our vacation one more day in Paris and two more days in London, so this was just the end of the guided part of our trip. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about our solo adventures.
Langhan Hotel: 1C Portland Place , Regent Street London tube stop; Oxford Circus www.langhamhotels.com tel# +44(0)20 7636 1000
Hotel Sofitel Astor: on the Right Bank 8th Arrondissement 11 Rue d'Astorg, Paris Metro: St-Augustin tel# 01 53 05 05 05
Pret a Manger and Cafe Rouge: All over London, ready to eat sandwiches, salads, soups, etc###
Ozer # Middle Eastern, moderately priced, 5 Langham Place, RegentStreet
AsK # Italian, Inexpensive, 56 Wigmore Street
Wagamama #Japanese fast food # good value- 101a Wigmore St
Monoprix # convenience store; everything from soup to nuts, bakery goods, food, wine,sundires and clothing#.think SuperWalmart with a Parisian flavor
There was also a good café, close to the Hotel, but I don't know the name. Sorry!
Regards, Marta & George Tamarac FL