Eddie and I got home on Saturday afternoon. As usual, after a fabulous holiday, the ending was bittersweet; sad to see the adventure end, and happy to get back to our doggies, our home and our routine. Handling jet lag is not easy for me so it has taken four days to get through the overwhelming tiredness that had taken over my body and mind. I’m happy to report that I woke this morning feeling energetic and clear-headed.
I have many more stories to tell about our trip so you’ll be hearing about, and seeing these stories interspersed in posts for quite some time. Ed and I finished our holiday in Paris, The City of Light. We were there for less than 24 hours so we experienced a very small portion of the magic that Paris holds, and we enjoyed every minute of it!
Paris is called the City of Light because it was the birthplace of the Age of Enlightenment and famous as a center of education and ideas throughout Europe, drawing artists, writers, sculptors and intellectuals. It continues to hold its reputation as the City of Light because of the many lights that illuminate the monuments, museums, bridges and streets.
We stayed at a charming and comfy hotel on the Ile Saint Louis and enjoyed exploring the streets on the Left Bank. La Rive Gauche is on the southern bank of the Seine and generally refers to an earlier era in Paris when this area attracted artists, writers and philosophers. The phrase implies a sense of Bohemianism and creativity.
We didn’t get to our hotel until late in the afternoon, so after checking in, we tossed our suitcases into the room and headed out to take in as much of Paris as possible in our short stay. After strolling the streets for a while we stopped at a cafe located along the Seine to have a glass of rose and the most delicious onion tart. It was a hot day (apparently Paris broke records for high temperatures that weekend) and the streets were filled with interesting people, so we enjoyed the people-watching as much as the food and wine.
The neighborhood in which we stayed was lively, consisting of small streets, busy shops and many cafes. These photos were taken in the two blocks on either side of our hotel – a small sampling of the many interesting and colorful shops along the avenue. The last picture was taken in a little shop that sold only confit du canard (duck confit), obviously a popular menu item in France. Just like cassoulet (which I will be writing about in a later post), each area has their own special way to prepare it.
After leaving the cafe, we took the long way back to our hotel to get showered and ready for our night out. We chose the less busy streets to get a feel for what it might be like to live along the quieter side of the Seine. There was so much to take in and I’m happy I looked up just in time to see this French gentleman petting the pigeons.
If I were to live in Paris I can imagine myself living in this beautiful building situated along the banks of the Seine. The thing is I have no desire to live in this amazing city, but I would like to spend more time there. The three times I have been in Paris have been short stays, so I have had only the smallest taste of La Ville Lumiere.
We dined that evening at one of the many bistros in the Latin Quarter, which is so named because originally latin was widely spoken by students who lived and studied there. The Sorbonne and other institutions of higher education, as well as many museums, are located in this area of Paris.
The walk back to our hotel on a beautiful warm night in Paris was the perfect ending to our adventure in France. The next morning we woke early, had petite dejeuner at our hotel, got into a taxi to start our journey home.