Western Europe April 2018 travel blog


Opera House

On the Seine

On the Seine

We set off early....before 10a....to walk to Rue de Pyramides to locate the tour office where we were to meet the tour bus for our tour. Seems simple but after crossing the Seine using Pont des Arts and strolling through the grounds of the Louvre, stopping to take pics of the pyramids and the triumphal arch we found ourselves lost. Where was Pyramides? After several wrong attempts to locate it and finding our instructions too confusing, we hailed a cab. When he saw the address he laughed. He drove through the Louvre, turned left a block and stopped. We laughed too. But he doubled the price! Little compensation tho'. We went for a cafe and watched the world amble by.

We took a walk up the street and found the opera house....a beautiful old domed building. We'd come back later for a tour. Now it was time for our bus tour.

Back at the office we checked in and boarded the bus. First it took us past the Opera House then back to the Seine by the Natioal Palace and the Louve. We went past Notre Dame and on to Ile de Cite to see where Empress Josephine spent her last days. Next was Rue de St Germaine and all its high end shops. We passed the Tuilleries, the Jardin de Luxemburg and crossed back across thw river to drive the Champs Elysee, see the Arc de Triomphe and approach the Eiffel Tower. Some of us lucky people got off the bus here.

We were shown where Quai Eiffel Tour was, #3 boat dock and taken across to the Eiffel Tower. The group was separated into those going up in the tower and those having lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel. Lunch was a picnic lunch...3 courses and definitely not the kind of picnics I'm used to with silverware, wine glasses and hot food..but delicious. It was after 3p before we finished.

We explored the first floor, peeped over the edge at the glass floor and the ground waaaay down below. We walked the seemingly never-ending stairs to the second level being assured we only had 4 sets of steps left and still more appeared. The view is amazing....and so worth the sore feet and legs. Going down met the elevator...with glass sides. It angled down the inside of the north leg...rather fast. Sent chills up my spine! Gord laughed.

It was 4p when we made our way back to the Quai Eiffel and narrowly missed the boat at #3. We caught the 4.30p and cruised under 22 bridges past Ile de Cite and Ile St Louis with their historic buildings. We saw a very narrow St. Michel canal with locks and a boat leaving the Seine. We picked out the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral, the Institue de France, the Sorbonne. All too soon it was 5.30p and we were drifting into the wharf with the Eiffel Tower overseeing our landing.

We caught a cab back to St. Andre district on the edge of the Latin Quarter. The cab driver was a character. He spoke good English as he teased.

After a short nap, we walked to Promos, a nearby restaurant. There we met Stuart and Linda a Virginian couple. He is a retired lawyer and she has a horse farm and large garden. She boards cattle giving some names...like Richard Duncan a highland bull. Dinner was enjoyed as we exchanged travel stories, tips and occasionally talked politics.

After we went for a walk and a nightcap. Tomorrow will come early.

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