A City of Stunning Beauty
I have to admit it, I was a little nervous about the idea of coming to Paris. So much has happened in France in the past year, but this morning we found that Paris is alive and well and we are happy to be here.
Surrounding our hotel are small neighborhoods with cobblestone streets, Little parks are tucked into wherever there is a space and they are bursting with flowers. We saw a gardener working in one today and seeing these places, you forget you are in a large city.
The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, but in the front there is a large glass pyramid entrance and an enormous marble fountain. Small marble cubes were scattered about and people posed on top of them for photos with their hands extended to make them look like they were touching the top of the pyramid. It was entertaining to watch. Young and old alike joined in, some climbing on each other's back.
We headed into the Royal Gardens behind the Louvre and this time, striped wooden pillars of varying sizes were featured, For some reason, people felt the need to pose like a ballerina on these. Walking behind the gardens we discovered an elegant arcade of shops, My favorite was a toy shop with beautifully made French toys, They had the equivalent French doll to the American Girl dolls.
The Luxembourg Palace must be a child's dream place. The palace itself and the gardens are beautiful, but within the garden are some wonderful things to do. At one large circular fountain, children rent small wooden sailboats with flags from different countries and set them to sail in the pool, There are no motors on them. These boats are beautifully designed to sail on their own. Long wooden poles are given to the children to push the boat along if necessary.
Our last stop was the Pantheon. Inside what was once an old church, it now houses the tombs of many famous people from France.A poster suggested a visit to the tower for a 360 degree view. I knew it was going to be 206 steps up, but I didn't know this meant a guided group march to the top. Thankfully there were two view points along the way to the top where the view over the city was amazing, We felt it was better than the view from the Eiffel Tower because here you had the tower in your view.
Tonight we took a cruise down the Seine right at dusk. Paris is so alive after dark. People sat along the river banks waving as we passed by and in one section, danced outside to live Latin music. The Eiffel Tower was all lit up and right on cue at 10:00, thousand of tiny lights on it came on sparkling like diamonds glistening in the sun. I could have watched it for hours. What a memorable way to end the day!