Paris and Periphery

from Zazzle World_Wonders

Memories of Paris

I was feeling nostalgic about Paris, so I thought I’d share tales from an earlier trip in 2004.

My first trip to Paris in 1993 was part of a one-month around-the-world celebration (my second trip around the world, actually) with a girl friend after earning my degree.  Our entire route took us from L.A. across the U.S. and the Atlantic to London. Then we sailed across the channel to France and the Eurail took us from Paris to Amsterdam, south to Barcelona, along the Mediterranean and then up to Venice, Florence and Rome.  From there we flew to Sri Lanka (had to see the family!) and on to Thailand.  Then across the Pacific back home to Los Angeles. 

 That first trip to Paris was about seeing as much as possible in 3 or 4 days, and we made the most of it.  Our youth hostel was in a central location, so we easily saw the following must-sees:
• The Eiffel Tower 
• The Louvre Museum (loved it)
• Musee D’Orsay (loved it even more) 
• Notre Dame
• Père Lachaise Cemetery (gorgeous)
• Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe
• The Palace of Versailles

My second trip was a chance to travel with my Mom and brother.  We did most of the above, and added a visit to the Sacré-Coeur (featured in the film Amélie) and a cruise on the Seine.

So the third time I went to Paris, it was with my husband who had also been there before, and we decided to see it a bit differently. First, his company made reservations for us in La Defénse, an area of Paris I hadn’t visited before.  We landed late in the day, and wanted to squeeze in as much as we could before jet lag set sucked us into unconsciousness.  So we wandered through the mostly modern business area, which features sculptures like this giant thumb (in 2004, it did anyway). 

All Thumbs Up!

(What inspires a person to create a sculpture of a giant thumb?  A fondness for hitchhiking?  A general “thumbs-up” feeling about life?)

We wandered down the Champs Élysées, stopping for hot chocolate and a chocolate tartlette (what’d you call me?)…and I think we may have passed the George V featured in the Meg Ryan movie French Kiss, but that could be a jetlag-induced manufactured memory.

Then over to the Seine, where we could see the Eiffel Tower,  but  it was soon time to let the jet lag have its way with us.

Seine, barely sane

The next day, we roamed the city on one of those handy tourist buses that lets you get on and off throughout the day, but spent our most of our time around Notre Dame and the Île de la Cité.  I had seen the exterior of Notre Dame before, but had never been inside or all around it. 

Rose window - pretty, no?

Gargoyle, shmargoyles. That’s a dog and bird! Love that.Little green men (& women & an angel)

Flowers on the Ile

A Sri Lankan man was speaking Sinhalese into his cell phone here. We eavesdropped!

 The next day we rented a car and drove on the Blvd. Périphérique (a highway that goes around the periphery of Paris which had us going in circles much of the  time…) out of Paris to Claude Monet’s House in Giverny and the Palace of Versaille in…y’know…Versailles.

Monet had a lovely house! The Water Lily Bridge

Monet's Water Lily Bridge

Yes, I’d been to Versailles twice before, but I love it and plan to live in it one day.  (Have you seen the Sofia Coppola movie Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst?  If not, DO!  It was made in 2006 but the soundtrack has 80’s music from Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, New Order and other very cool stuff. Sorry, the former-KROQ intern in me is coming out.)

Versailles entrance

Plus the gardens were in bloom like I’d never seen before…

Versailles little side garden

And my hubby rowed me in a boat on the Grand Canal!  Yay! 

Row, row, row my boat!

We made it back to Paris in time (despite traffic and the confusion of the Périphérique) for a *romantic* dinner cruise on the Seine. It was beautiful and the food was delicious, but we took video instead of photos, and I have no idea where that is now, 6 years later.  (And even if I did, I probably wouldn’t share it with you. Sorry, but it’s true.) So that’s all ya get!

I’ve mentioned the movies French Kiss, Amélie and Marie Antoinette – what are your favorite movies that take place in Paris and its Periphery? 

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 2 Chicks Planning a Trip – Part 2 « WOWexcursions

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