So enough about the Hotel! That night we asked the conceirge where we should go for dinner and he printed out nice walking directions to somewhere close - about 20 - 30 minutes walking. As we headed out - I saw that it said Tour Montparnasse. Could this be? I was SOOOOO excited! Although a lot of people don't go to the Tour Montparnasse, and it isn't on the Top 10 things to do in Paris list - I had read about the view and one of Nathan's colleagues had just been and said it was amazing! Yippee - I love it when a plan comes together!:)
The view does NOT dissappoint either! I personally think it was the best view of the "City of Lights" we had - including from the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre (which is the one everybody talks about). Try to go at night and be there "on the hour" so you can see the light show of the Eiffel Tower - it looked really cool from the top observation deck!
However, I don't recommend trying to eat up there. The food was just "snack" food, so we headed down to the main street again and just found a cute little restaurant. We didn't have any recommendations, so we were praying that we picked a good one.... and we DID!
Kate's french onion soup - a.k.a. "the crock pot of yummmmmm":)
Paris Night 1 gets a 10 out of 10!!!Monday:
We finally got back to the hotel after Midnight on Sunday, and the Whitneys were dead tired (righfully so after the travel day they had), so we made a plan to get a "late" start at around 10:30 am. This "late" standard is from the Nathan Becker book of traveling, just so you know - he get's this from his Mother - he can't help it (love you Bonnie!):) But since we didn't have a time difference (best part about living in Europe:)) we got up on Monday morning and did a little sightseeing close to the hotel before the rendezvous time.
Of course we had to start our day with some French pastry (as we did every day we were there - mmmmm) and then we headed over to the Jardin Du Luxembourg which were close by. The weather was SO beautiful and it was a great start to the day. We also saw the Pantheon since it was close to the gardens, but really not that much to see (did I say that? - sorry French people).
Palais Du Luxembourg
I had to include this picture because the ugly monstrosity in the background to the left is the Tour Montparnasse. It doesn't look great from the ground, very out of place looking, but the view from the top was magnificent!
Then we headed to the Notre Dame with Kate and Tim - what a beautiful, massive church! Nathan and I were taking a self portrait when we turned around and saw Tim getting "gypsed":) They sure know how to pick the sucker in the group as Tim was a few Euros lighter when we left:) We wanted to climb up to the top, but the line was forever long and we didn't think we would make it before our tour started at 1pm.
This shot was taken right before the "gypsy incident":)
The back side of Notre Dame. Great self portrait of Kate and I - don't ya think? I can't believe I actually got us and the top of the church:)!
We took the Sandeman's New Paris Tour at 1 pm. We all had a great time on this free 3.5 hour walking tour and highty recommend it! Our guide, Gabi, was very entertaining and knew great facts and tidbits about French History and Paris that we never would have gotten by ourselves.
We had such a great time on the Paris Walking Tour that we also took the Sandeman's Montmartre Tour that night. Now I know this sounds like a lot of touring, but we weren't on a bus with another 100 tourists or anything - I guess you just have to go on one of these walking tours to experience it. It really was great. I think we all fell in love with Montmartre. It was definitely my favorite part of Paris. If (I mean WHEN) we go back to Paris, I would love to spend more time up there! It had such a cool vibe to it! Besides all the cabarets (this is where Moulin Rouge is located), this area has a great history of starving artists. This is actually where a lot of painters - including Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, and Monet - lived back in the day before they were famous. It was great to just walk around, soak in the feeling, and look around at all the street vendors and shops.
"Hey Sista, go sista, soul sista"
Moulin Rouge baby!
(Did you know Moulin Rouge means Red Windmill? I was totally going for something else....)
I was trying to capture the essence of Montmartre, but apparently I'm not that good of a photographer (shocker). You'll just have to take my word for it or better yet - get your butt over there!
The Basilique Du Sacre-Coeur (Church of the Sacred Heart) from the backside. So beautiful!
After dinner we found "Tim's" Hotel - maybe this is where we should stay next time?!:)
AMAZING first day in Paris! Now I know why people love this city so much!