Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Paris Day 1

So I'm going to do this like a bit of a recap, a bit of a travel guide, and a bit of a review of the places we visited.  Is this home renovation related? No...but since we were gone for a week I don't have any of that stuff to share with you. :)  So Paris is what you get!

We arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport at about 7:30am and took the B Line RER Train to the center of Paris and got off near our hotel.  More on the RER and Metro later, but this is an excellent way to get around Paris, much cheaper than a taxi and if a public transport novice like me can navigate it, anyone can.

Riding the RER

Riding the RER

We stayed at the Holiday Inn - Notre Dame in the area of Saint Germain.  Our hotel room wasn't ready yet so we were able to leave our bags and go wander about the city.

It was pretty early on a Sunday morning, so it seemed that Paris was still slowly waking up.

Paris Street

A quiet Paris street

By the Seine River

By the Seine River

Two of many strange sculptures watching over Paris

Locks on Pont des Art

Our discovery of the "love locks" on the Pont des Art

View of the Seine

A beautiful view of the Seine

And my first sighting of the Eiffel Tower!

The locks on the Seine bridge were all marked with initials and dates of couples that had decided to leave a token of their love behind.  Some had even been engraved! Those people had been prepared.  We decided that we wanted to leave our mark too and would do so later in the week.

Then we then wandered into the courtyard of one of the most famous and beautiful buildings worldwide, the Louvre.

The Louvre

We of course were just passing through at this point but I could resist snapping a quick picture of one of the smaller pyramids.

Walking through one of the many shopping districts there were many beautiful window displays full of color.

The downsides however, to this little trek were that it was getting hot, I was tired, not dressed for it to be getting hot and was quickly getting grumpy.  This is probably my last tolerant smile before I was done and ready to go wait in the lobby and give the front desk evil looks until our hotel room was ready.

We went back and thankfully our room was ready!  The room was cute and very cozy.
Holiday Inn Notre Dame

(Disclaimer: I was too tired to take a pic when we first arrived so this is after it's been "lived in" a little.  It was much cleaner and more crisp when we first got there.)

And by cozy I mean small.  But that's the norm for European hotel rooms, and I mean really with architecture like this...

...I'm not there for the hotel room.

After a rest we went back out to explore the Paris nightlife.

The Fontaine Saint Michel by our hotel.

Fontaine Saint Michel

Where we saw this entrepreneurial young group of men dancing for money

The quiet Paris streets all lit up!

Saint Germaine

A beautiful view of Notre Dame from the Seine with a lovely group of guys serenading us with classics from...the Backstreet Boys!

Notre Dame at Night

For our first day in Paris, it was pretty awesome.

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