la Cite de Paris

This post would not be complete without mention of the Mighty Hawks who took out the 2013 AGL Grand Final! We woke very early on Saturday (5.30am) to watch the online scores as they appeared and it was with great joy (for me anyway, Jim still supports the Brisbane Lions) that we boarded the flight to Paris. We can recommend Easyjet; not only was it a good flight but we arrived in Paris much earlier than scheduled.

Since our arrival we have had a fairly full calendar.

Sunday we purchased a two-day pass on the Paris l'Open hop-on, hop-off bus, as we did two years ago. This allowed us to walk kilometres and then catch the bus back when we were too exhausted to walk any further. We also took a couple of loops on the bus to reconnect with this wonderful city and saw la Tour Eiffel, les Champs elysees and l'Arc de triomphe.

Sunday highlights were the Pantheon and its crypts of famous people including writers Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas. We wandered down through the Mouffetard markets with their fresh food shops and second-hand stalls. On Sundays there is singing and dancing in the streets - a wonderful atmosphere.

At Jardin des plantes we spent hours walking through le Grande galerie de l'evolution, which as it suggests, provides a journey through the evolution of organisms to human life. The animal exhibits are spectacular and the complex comprises several floors of displays. That night we found an old favourite brasserie nearby, in Triadou Haussman, before collapsing into bed.

On Monday we took the bus in a different direction, passing le Sorbonne and le Jardin du Luxembourg. We walked for kilometres again and discovered le Bonne marche, the world's first department store and the very famous cafĂ© les Deux magots that Hemingway and others frequented back when, and where we had an expensive coffee and beer but enjoyed the 'people watching'.

We then toured le Musee du moyan arts (Museum of the Middle Ages) which was full of fabulous tapestries and gold and jewel encrusted ceremonial reliquaries as well as sculptures, shields and weapons. On our way back we bought a bottle of Chateau Boquettes (red) and had toast for dinner!

Yesterday we toured the magnificent Opera Garnier including the grand staircase and enormous upper meeting room with its gold embossed ceiling. We even went into one of the private booths to get a view of the stage as the local well-to-dos, do. Then we walked the streets around the Opera District and of course visited the Galleries Lafayette for a spot of window shopping.

Today we caught the metro to the Catacombes - a truly remarkable experience not to be missed. Within the walls (literally) are bones of some 6 million Parisiennes that were entombed in an old quarry up until 1860. We walked for two kilometres, 20 metres below street level and then furthered our visits to the dead by locating Deyrolle, a store that specialises in taxidermie - of animals, birds and insects. It was amazing to walk amongst lions and grizzly bears, a giraffe and even wallabies. What a unique store.

We are back at the unit now and planning a quiet night in, as we have a very full day tomorrow. The weather is much warmer than we would prefer (24 degrees tomorrow) for walking and this has meant fairly regular stops at cafes along the way, not that we mind. I am using my French to get us around the Metro, read signs and order in cafes. What fun!


  1. You two are certainly visiting some interesting places in Paris! And the photos are wonderful!

    Enjoying your account Penny,
    Love Jo:)

  2. Am soo enjoying your Blog and photos..... :-)

    1. Hi Nan, so glad you're enjoying our journey with us. I've already taken several hundred photos - just as well I brought the mini external hard drive! More in a few days. Love to you both. Xx


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