What fun can be had in Paris in just a few days. A special thanks to Judith Grant for her wonderful photos of Paris.
Day 1: Thu 6 July, 2023
A fast train from Amsterdam brought us, my sister, who had never been to Paris and myself, to Gare de Nord in 3 hours. It was a quick 10 minute walk to the hotel, drop off the bags and off to explore.
First stop, Opera.
There were many expensive shops inside this domed wonder and yet nothing appealed – we were off to look at more of Paris.
After a look around this area including a gaze at the Old Opera House we headed back to the hotel. We had something small to eat and a rest. Paris was 28c and felt hotter.
My sister, Judith felt it was too nice an evening to waste in an hotel room so I suggested to walk to Montmartre. (18 mins away). I did mention that ‘mont’ means hill and it would be an upward climb but enthusiasm won over altitude and off we set.
It was a beautiful evening and lots of people were about. To save time and energy we took the funicular to the top of the hill and Judith got to see majestic Paris before her.
There is so much to see in Montmartre and rather overwhelming if you have never been there before. I choose some quieter streets and gentle slopes to take us down the hill to a special surprise for Judith.
And then the big surprise…
So that was the first half day in Paris.
Day 2: Fri 7 July, 2023
The sun was up and so were we – Versailles was waiting. We took the Metro and then RER C to get out there. (Euro 4.90), the trip was so smooth and we arrived sooner than we expected so we took the opportunity to explore the village of Versailles. To my delight we found marketplace full of fresh products.
The market was packed and only was a taster of what was to come as we rocked up to Versailles Palace and gardens – where did all the people come from?
It was a very strange phenomena that all those hundreds went through the gates and yet spread out so much that we somehow all fitted. Versailles and gardens are huge.
There were many wonderfully decorated rooms, lots of paintings and beautiful objects so only a few pictures to get an idea of the place, I promise.
Did I say it was hot? It was hot and we got exhausted, so it was time to return to central Paris and a boat ride on the Seine. I have never done the boat ride so I was interested as to how it would be. Interesting seeing the familiar sites from the Seine .
One full day in Paris and time for a sleep.
Day 3: Sat 8 July, 2023
Today the temperature was expected to be 31c and tomorrow rain, so we thought we should do our best to see some more highlights. First stop Le Louvre.
We walked on to Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter. There is so much construction around Notre Dame it was no longer the place I had visited and loved – maybe next time I visit it will have that special something.
Not on the schedule but I managed to persuade my sister to visit Saint Chappelle, a place full of colour and light for me. I think when she climbed those twisted stairs and walked into the upper room I heard her gash at the glory of these windows. She was even more delighted when I led her to the panel dedicated to Judith, her namesake.
Next stop was Saint Julian, one of my favourite places along the Seine. It is often overlooked by tourists and so is a haven of peace.
I really wanted to take Judith across the Seine to the Marais and she was very tolerant as I walked her to the George Pompidou Centre, then the Jewish area, Place de Vosges and another favourite place of mine, the Sully Garden. Thankfully we sat in the Sully small green space and had some snacks. Lastly it was Bastille and the story of its horrors.
Enough for the day, back to base for a rest and then dinner at the bistro on the corner.
Day 4: Sun 9 July, 2023
Today I promised we would make sure Judith saw all the remaining iconic places of Paris so a Mobilis card (E8.45) for unlimited Metro travel for one day. In our one day we managed to visit Arc de Triumph, Eiffel Tower, Luxembourg Gardens, Latin Quarter, Notre Dame, Louvre and Montmartre. The weather forecast was for thunderstorms – we got a sprinkle of drops and that was it.
Another happy and full day over.