Posted by: rngerlach | July 16, 2007

A Toast from Paris to the Naysayers

Many travellers that we have run into along the way have told us Paris cannot be done in only one day.  Dana and I had only one day in Paris, so we set out to prove them wrong.  We started at the St. Michel/Notre Dame Cathedral around noon time.  Circling the cathedral observing it from every angle along with the statue of Charlemagne, we next ventured west along the river.  Our next stop was at the world famous art museum in Paris, the Louvre.  Fortunately the line was not too long, we paid our 9€ and set foot for the massive Louvre museum at 1pm.  We got to see Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa among many other great works of art from Francisco de Goya, Monet, and Donatello.  My personal favorite parts were Napolean’s Apartments, which showed where the ruler used to reside and Hamurabi’s Code, a legendary Mesopotamian sculpture.  In all, the Louvre took us nearly 4 hours as we did not step foot outside until 5pm.  Anyone who has ever been to the Louvre knows that it could easily be an all day visit, but we had little time to waste with more to see.

Westward we continued along the river bank down the Avenue des Champs Elysees, which is about a 2 mile stretch, to the Arc de Triomphe Etiole.  The Avenue des Champs Elysees is the final leg to the finish line every year for the Tour de France.  Speaking of the Tour de France, Paris is currently preparing for that final leg of the race which takes place at the end of the month.  I also like to refer to the Avenue and the Arc de Triomphe as the location where my hero, Lance Armstrong, won 7 consecutive tours from 1999-2005.  I still think they should call it the Tour de Lance.  France would never let that slide however.

The clock striking 8pm and the sun beginning to set, we ventured towards our last stop, the Eiffel Tower.  We arrived at the tower and set up shop in the park next to the tower, Champs de Mars.  The cork was popped on the bottle of champagne we bought as we watched the sun set on the tower just to see it light up at night, which is what the naysayers said we should do.  It was quite a spectacle to see, the Tour Eiffel lit up at night.  However, next time I make that visit I hope it to be with a female companion.  No offense to my brother but Paris is the romance capital of the world so in both our minds we were wondering where that Juliet was for this sight.  We topped the night off by giving a toast to the naysayers and of course Lance Armstrong for defying the odds of his own set of naysayers 7 straight times.  Yes our accomplishment greatly pales in comparison to his feat, yet it was worth a toast.

Granted, Paris is a very large city and there is so much more to see but we covered all that we had wished to see.  To our surprise, the people were actually very nice to us.  Maybe because we had expected them to be just rude Frenchies or maybe because we are de-sensitized to rude people from our seven weeks of travels.  Either way, Paris is a beautiful city that everyone should see sometime with a lively culture and great cuisine that we did not get to sample because of our active itinerary.  Yet, let us give one more toast to Lance!

What is next?  We get ready to board the train to Amsterdam where we will live from the 16-20th, followed by Brugge, Belgium 20-21st then Brussels 22-23rd.  We then finish our 2 month journey in London on the 24th in preparation of flying out at 10am on the 25th to arrive in sunny San Diego at 4:30pm.  It is hard to fathom we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel on this incredible journey.  We look forward to seeing the Van Gogh Museum, Vondel Park, Rembrandt Park, the Red Light District, and the many coffee shops where we can relax, reflect on the journey and taste Amsterdam’s finest….. coffee that is!

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Responses

  1. I’m glad u had a great time in Paris! I don’t know why so many people always say the french are a**holes, but most of them are pretty cool actually. Have fun in Belgium… eat some waffles!

  2. Glad you got to hit up the cool spots in Paris and had a great experience with the people.. havent heard of many people that have good experiences.

    Man I wish I could be with you guys in Amsterdam – have a GREAT time. Make sure you find a smart shop and pick up some mushroom’s – expand your mind in Vondel, Rembrandt House, or at Von Gogh =)

    Make sure you stop by the Red Light District Bar (there is a coffee shop downstairs from the bar if your not sure) If you can, go in the early evening/late afternoon and grab a window seat with a pint of Heneiken!!

  3. haha… “The Dam” Your gonna have a great time.

  4. You have changed my mind about visiting Paris while I am there, I’m gonna give it a try, have an awesome remainder of your trip.


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