Sunday, March 27, 2011

Days 3 & 4 in Paris

Our third day in Paris, we spent at Versailles. Talk about stunning! Over the top grandeur. Louis XIV (called the "Sun King") transformed a royal hunting lodge to a place of splendor..."Ch√Ęteau de Versailles". He had a thing for gilding with gold. We also visited Marie-Antoinette's estate on the same grounds. Gardens, parks, endless rows of trees, ponds, lakes, all on a vast estate. Which we walked. An amazing experience! 

Day 4: we began with the Musee de l'Orangerie, which houses some of Monet's last works along with many other masterpieces. It was a surreal feeling, to be surrounded by Monet's panoramic "Water Lilies" paintings, or Renoir's "Young Girls at the Piano"

We strolled down some Parisian streets, slowly making our way to the Eiffel Tower. Our reservations were for 9pm, so we had time to walk through a park blooming with spring, peek in on a puppet show, take pictures of grand buildings, people watch, and in general soak in the city. One shopping district we walked through boasted famous Paris names such as Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, and many others. Passing by a restaurant in this area, we noticed the prices per plate were several hundred euro! 

Strolling along the river Seine, we enjoyed views of the Eiffel Tower. We walked in the park and blocks around it, shopping for souvenirs and having our first sit down meal in a cafe. Up until then, we had survived on street food and the occasional patisseries treats! 

At 9pm, we took a lift to the second level of the tower, and after being under the monstrous base (which covers about 3 acres!) we loved being able to gaze out at the seemingly endless city of light. Yes, it was one of those, "pinch me, am I dreaming?" moments! Truly, the thrill of a lifetime.

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