Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cat in Paris; April 23 - 25

I really wanted my sister, Cat, to get the most out of her trip to Europe and thought we should visit one more place besides Rome and Zurich. With a little inspiration from an Eiffel Tower statue I gave my sister back in 2000, she decided it was time to see the real thing. So I planned a day and a half whirlwind tour of Paris for us.

We arrived late in the evening by bullet train from Zurich and didn't get our trip really started until the following morning. Our sightseeing began at the Arc de Triomphe, allowing my sister her first view of the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris. We made our way down to the Musée de l'Orangerie to view Claude Monet's eight Water Lilies murals. The series is amazing in person. My sister was taken aback by them. She had seen them in books before but wasn't expecting them to be so large.
View of the city from Arc de Triomphe
Thanks New York Times for the photo of Monet's Water Lilies paintings

We joined a free walking tour outside of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the surrounding neighborhood. Overall the tour was blah but we did walk away with one golden nugget of information -  that the real Sweeney Todd murders took place a stone's throw from the Cathedral.
Cat and I

We did a little window shopping at Galeries Lafayette and various other malls hoping to find a bride's maid dress for our cousin's upcoming wedding. No luck finding a dress but we later found a nice place to rest our feet and people watch at Sacré Coeur Church in the Montmartre neighborhood. We must have sat there for nearly and hour watching the street performers. I think my wallet enjoyed that over buying a dress in Galeries Lafayette.
One last look at Sacré Coeur Church before heading on.

It rained off and on throughout our Paris trip, conveniently more of the "on" happening during a meal. After dinner and a short rain shower we finish up our evening with watching the Eiffel Tower light up.
15 minute sparkles on the hour.

We started our next morning planning for our departure, we stored our luggage at the train station for a quick getaway and headed back into the city for the main reason we came to Paris, the Eiffel Tower. We paid a little extra for a reserved time for the Eiffel tower - and it was worth every cent. The reservation line was empty and we had a straight shot to the elevator. Otherwise we may have stood in an hour long line in the drizzle.
Sister time at the top of the tower.

After coming down from the tower my sister just gazed up at it. I asked her what she thought and all I got out of her was that it was a lot bigger then she had imagined. We grabbed a crepe on the street and soaked in the view of the Tower a little longer before making our way back to the Gare de Lyon Train Station and back towards Zurich.

I hope my sister enjoyed Paris enough to come back. I'd love to spend more time there doing more of my favorite Paris activity - a lot of aimlessly walking around and eating.