Tuesday, February 20

October in Paris

27 October 2005

Half-term break arrived for all of the students at our house and we thought we’d take advantage of the time off to enjoy an extended weekend somewhere else. We caught the Thalys train from The Hague and set off for an adventure in Paris! The three hour journey took us through some amazing countryside. First, views of Holland, then Belgium, and then France. We arrived in Paris around 3:00 in the afternoon, dropped our bags off at the hotel and hit the ground running. With only three days in the city we wanted to be able to see as much as we possibly could. We walked and walked and walked that first day covering the ground between the Tour Eiffel and Arc de Triomphe with much finesse. Then strolling down the Champs-Elysees, we stopped for a very luxurious Parisian dining experience at Quick Burger. Following that cuisine delight we took off on our final trek of the evening to Cathedrale de Notre-Dame. I really can't explain what a wonder it was to see, other than to admit that I burst into tears at the sight of it. (It wasn’t the last time I would do such a thing over the course of our stay in Paris)
Next morning we attended Mass at Notre-Dame (loved it) and then spent a few hours at the Louvre. We lingered at the Venus de Milo and then lingered longer at the Mona Lisa.We ended our day with a stroll under the Eiffel Tower sparkling and glowing with the night lights illuminated.

Day three took us to the top of the Eiffel Tower, where as expected the views are inspiring! After the tour, a nap for Andrew on the lawn beneath the tower. Later we took a short walk to Napoleon’s burial place, Hotel de Invalides, and a much longer hike up the hill to Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. At the hotel that evening we put up our feet and gave them a well deserved rest!

Our last day in Paris, we spent the morning in Pere-Lachaise Cemetery and tracked through that incredible piece of history, enjoying the monuments and structures from many centuries. The claim to fame of the cemetery is the myriad famous folk who have chosen it as final resting place. Personal favorite stop for me was the grave site of Isadora Duncan. We also felt it crucial while there to visit Jim Morrison’s final resting place. And by accident we found Chopin’s grave, but the kids were not duly impressed. This was the cue to end the excursion. But, we had a train to catch anyway! We gathered our luggage and our memories and caught a train where at the end of the tracks would be home.

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