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  Current Location:   Lawton, Oklahoma. Website Last Revised on:   Samstag, 27 August 2011. Canasta Wins:   Hanne - 613   /   Delbert - 678  


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Hanne and I at the Eiffel Tower.
Hanne and I at the Eiffel Tower.

-- Paris --
( 6 - 8 April 2007 )
     We had a great time during our trip to Paris!  We boarded a Pentolino train at the Bahnhof in Idar-Oberstein at 11:00. After a scenic ride through Saarland, we made it to Saarbrücken around noontime.  We stretched our legs, got something to drink, and boarded the EC train to France shortly after 13:00.  With stops in Forbach & Metz, we arrived at the Paris - East station around 17:00.

     The only flaw to an otherwise perfect weekend was trying to board the Metro during evening rush hour.  Hundreds of people smashed together trying to buy tickets, can be a little unnerving.  Next time, we'll have coffee for a half hour and wait out the crowds.  We switched metro trains once and got off at the Convention station, which was only one block away from our hotel, The Avenir Hotel.  For 80€ per night, we got a small, but clean double room.  Two hours were spent unpacking and familiarizing ourselves with the local area, and then we set off toward the Eiffel Tower.

Things to see on our next trip to Paris:
The Moulin Rouge
Seine River Boat Cruise
The Louvre Museum (again)
The Orsay Museum
The Bastille
Versailles Palace
If you've never used a 'Rick Steves' book, you should.
Our perfect weekend was due almost entirely to Rick Steves' book.  If you want to see Europe as if you're a local and not a tourist, check out his website, Rick Steves' Europe.
     Even though the Eiffel Tower was only three kilometers from our hotel, we had to stop for food before we could continue.  We found an Italian restaurant that was cramped, but served good food.  The waiter was kind of strange though.  Once our bellies were full, we moved on.  We walked around the Ecole Militaire, across the Champ de Mars, and finally to the base of the Eiffel Tower itself.  To stand in line for tickets and then go up to the top of the tower would have taken about two hours, so we just walked underneath and then along the Seine River instead.  We enjoyed the rest of the evening walking around, and then went back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

     Saturday morning started as the previous evening had, by walking to the Eiffel Tower.  After selecting a suitable cafe and drinking cappuccinos, we took a tip from 'Rick Steves' Paris 2005', and hopped onto bus #69.  We got off the bus at the Tuileries Gardens and saw sculptures and fountains, as well as flowers, as we strolled along.  For lunch, we dined al-fresco in the Gardens.  The food was terrible, but the beer I purchased for 9€ was worth every cent.

     After lunch, we made our way to the Louvre.  I've wanted to visit this museum for as long as I can remember.  We had to see the 'Mona Lisa' just because it was there, and it wasn't as small as most people say.  It still wasn't very impressive though.  Other paintings caught our attention, and we enjoyed our remaining time away from the mass of people surrounding DaVinci's work.

     The cathedral Notre Dame was our next stop after the Louvre.  The architecture was stunning, as was the statue of Charlemagne in the courtyard.  From Notre Dame, we walked for awhile until we felt the urge to feed again.  Dinner at a restaurant wasn't much to speak of, but the dessert crepes we purchased from a sidewalk vendor were the best food we had tasted in Paris. 

The red and blue lines chart our path through Paris.
Map of Paris
Things that surprised us about Paris:
The people were nice.
The streets were clean.
The service was good.
People spoke English.
No one spoke German.
     While munching on our crepes, Hanne and I walked around the Tuilleries Gardens, which are locked during evening hours.  We came to the Obelisk of Luxor which was a breathtaking sight against the deep blue of the evening sky.  We continued along the Champ Elysees, which was bustling with a culturally diverse nightlife.  Our evening wound down as we reached the Arc de Triumph.  After walking over 20 kilometers, we decided to take the metro back to the Convention station and give our feet a break.

     At the hotel, we both talked about how we didn't want to leave yet.  We still had so much to see and do.  As we walked to the metro station the next morning, we took one last look at the Eiffel Tower, and then walked down to wait for the train.  We enjoyed our time in Paris, and already have a list of things we want to see next time.  But for now, all we have are the photos and our memories of our perfect weekend.


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