Day Six: Paris, J’adore

Today marked the halfway point of our trip.  We have been in Europe for five days, and will be here for five days more (well, as of this morning… as I write this, we have four full days left before returning home on Saturday).  It was time to head for Paris, something I have been looking forward to for months.  I’ve never been able to explain why Paris hold such a special place in my heart, or why I feel pulled there, but there’s just something about it.  Something special, and beautiful and wonderful.  I love it!

(Note: I am just going to do a gallery of photos at the end of this post, since I have so many that I want to show off!)

The day began early with breakfast at the hotel in Karlsruhe, and then we met with Evelyn who took us to the train station.  We found the trains with no problem, but then encountered the most infuriating people while trying to get to our seat.  It was as though they have never been around other humans before.  Most were blocking the train aisles and trying to fit their giant luggage into compartments that were entirely too small.  Therefore I admit that I started the journey a bit frustrated.

Once we were finally situated in our seats, we travelled perhaps half of our journey before finding out that we would need to move to another train, where the seats would no longer be assigned.  Thankfully we found seats together and continued the trip into Paris with no problem.  We also easily found the hotel, recommended by one of my co-workers, and settled in before heading out to see the city.

The Arc de Triomphe was within walking distance, so we went on foot, and ten traveled down the Champs Elysees before getting on the train to make it to the Eiffel Tower.  I was slightly disappointed to find a lot of construction going on near the Eiffel Tower, marring its normal majestic feel, but it was still amazing to be next to the Tower again.  I think I would be perfectly content to just sit by it all day and read.

However, as I only have two days in Paris, sitting and reading by the Eiffel Tower will need to wait until the next trip.  I wanted to see everything I possibly could, from the Louvre (just the outside, I’ve been inside a few times) to Notre Dame (though that we’re saving for tomorrow).  However, having been traveling and then walking, we were both hungry so we stopped at a small bistro to have some lunch.  I, of course, had my standard steak frites with bearnaise sauce and followed it up with chocolate mousse, and mom had some salmon with pasta.  Everything was wonderful and we left with new energy to see more of the city.

We decided to walk to the Louvre, where we spent some time in the Tuileries before heading back towards the tower to go on a Seine cruise.  Mom was tired, and I figured this was the perfect way to see a lot and let her relax a bit from walking and being in the sun a lot today.

As I write this, I realize that our day doesn’t sound like much, but it was quite nice and we did a lot.  We got back to the hotel about quarter to ten, and settled in for the evening as tomorrow we have a full day of sightseeing ahead of us, and I want to head up to Montmartre!

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