Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Paris: The one that got away

I hate to start off a post by whining, but I'm still processing this and need to get it out. Three days ago, I had train tickets in my shopping cart on the Deutsche Bahn website that were going to get us from Paris to Heidelberg for 147 euro total. Unfortunately, the stupid website wouldn't accept either of my American credit cards (I never have a problem in person overseas, but for some reason websites and automats can be persnickety). Today we stopped by Gare d'Lyon to get the tickets for Thursday and coughed up 350 euro for the same tickets. I don't know if the increase is because we are closer to our travel date or because we were buying the tickets at the train station. Oh, well, at least we have the tickets in hand now. I figure that part of the cost is offset by the commercial bus tour we opted not to do today.

So what DID we do today?

We enjoyed a simple breakfast at the hotel (baguettes with butter, jam, Nutella, etc. and fruit salad, with orange juice and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate to drink).

We asked the hotel owner about the hop on/hop off bus tours, and he advised us that they were a waste of money. Instead, he said, take the 63 bus and get off at Trocadero. From there we could choose from several walking itineraries. So we set off for the bus, stopping along the way so that Annabelle could buy a book of 10 tickets (un carnet--10 tickets for 12 euro) for us.

The bus did indeed take us past some great downtown scenery. We exited at Trocadero and began making our way to the Eiffel Tower. A few steps from the bus stop, we passed a chalk art display that brought out the inner princess of girls of all ages:

We began our tower picture-taking at the Palais de Chaillot:

From there we crossed the Pont d'Iena bridge, passing by a couple of cool carousels and some fancy horse statues:

Once at the tower, we took a pass on going up inside because of the long line and instead walked across the Parc du Champ de Mars towards the Ecole Militaire, stopping long enough to take a group picture (that I can't put my finger on at the moment) and a couple of rodent pictures:

We stopped for lunch at a cafe and then continued on to Invalides:

After that we stopped by the Musée Rodin, where Annabelle recreated an oldie but goodie:

and where we saw some other great thinkers:

We hopped on the metro at Varenne and rode up to Charles de Gaulle—Étoile to take a quick look at the Arc de Triomphe:

We did some shopping along the Champs-Élysées. I'm getting my next pair of glasses here:

When we got tired of walking, we took the metro to the Gare d'Lyon to get the afore-mentioned tickets. We opted to come back to the hotel via taxi, which gave us a chance to see some new sights along the way. We've been spending the past couple of hours taking a much-needed rest, but we will be heading out soon to meet friends for dinner.

No comments: