Paris, France: September 1 – September 11
Sunday, September 2: Our first full day in Paris. Woke up quite late. Had breakfast in and then ventured out to find a playground for the kids and mobile store for a local SIM card.
Found the playground. Not the mobile store. Lots of stores closed on Sunday around here. Ate baguette, cheese, tomatoes and wine for lunch. How Parisian!
Monday, September 3: Our Labor Day has not included any “traditional” elements like BBQs, boat rides, etc. Instead we started our day and our Paris adventure with the Louvre. We were planning on starting at THE Paris destination aka icon, The Eiffel Tower but today started out a little overcast so we decided to change plans and head indoors.
I had been to the Louvre before but have never seen the art through a childs’ eyes. It was neat.
We took the subway to the Concorde stop and walked through the Gardens to get to the Louvre — turned out to be a great spot for frisbee – both Henry and Elsa’s new love.
Funny thing happened in the Louvre the other day…Henry and I were walking through a gallery and we stopped in front of a portrait of a man. I said to Hen “Why does that man (the exact portrait below) look so familiar?” “Duh, Mom. That’s Thomas Aquinas. We learned about him the other day.” Yea, right. That’s one of the great things about homeschooling and traveling. Learn it then live it.
Some of the most famous or well-known residents of the Louvre include the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory (Nike), Venus de Milo and the Code of Hammurabi.
Tuesday, September 4: Got back into homeschooling again after our three day weekend. Our space is a little more cramped here in Paris than it was in London but we are managing fine. We have to be a little creative when it comes to where and how we do our lessons. But, creativity and flexibility is what we wanted when we decided to homeschool for the year so I can’t complain.
We took three separate subways to get to the Eiffel Tower this am. Thank goodness for the Paris Metro app that allows me to plug in where we are coming from and where we are going and it tells you which line, which direction and obviously, which stop. There were a few dicey moments, but we forged on and got to our destination and back! 🙂
We had to wait in a bit of a line to get onto the elevators taking us to the top of tower but it was so worth it. The tower is 331 meters tall with an outdoor observation deck at the top. It was a beautiful day and the view amazing with the whole city laid out before you!
Not sure what’s on the agenda for tomorrow but we’ll let you know.
Lots of love to everyone back home.
Wednesday, September 5: What a great day.
Left the house about 11 am and headed for the subway to head to Champs-Elysees to catch the double-decker bus tour. On our first trip, a man and boy boarded the train playing tambourine and accordion. I had to video because it sounded so European / so Parisian. Then, of course we had to drop some euros in the boys beret. 🙂
Boarded the bus on the Champs-Elysees and took it to the Trocadero. What an excellent spot to see the Eiffel Tower! Had a picnic lunch and then got back on the bus and took it to Notre Dame.
[Excerpt from Notre-Dame website] Notre-Dame de Paris is very old, over 800 years old!Appointed bishop of Paris in 1160, Maurice de Sullydecided to give the capital a cathedral worthy of France’s largest city. He wanted to build it in the style of the day, now known as the gothic style. King Louis VII, one of his classmates, encouraged the project. The Church, notable residents of the city, and the entire population participated in construction: some offered money, others offered their labour, while others offered their knowledge. Construction began in 1163, and Notre-Dame would be completed some 100 years later, in 1272. During this time, many craftsmen’s guilds (tailors, sculptors, carpenters, joiners, masons, and glassblowers) worked relentlessly under the supervision of seasoned architects. They all made an equal contribution to God and to Mary. Mary, Mother of God, to whom Maurice wanted to dedicated the entire cathedral, it was dedicated to her, Notre-Dame de Paris, Our Lady of Paris! At the cathedral, there are no fewer than 37 representations of the Virgin (sculptures, paintings, stained glass, and more). Since it was built, the cathedral has been one of the main symbols of Paris and of France. It has been stage to major religious and political events, which is why the historian Michelet said that Notre-Dame is a history book in its own right. We could not list all the major events here. We would need pages and pages! We will still mention the following facts: when the cathedral wasn’t even completed, in the late 13thcentury, the Parisians watched over the body of the King, Saint Louis, who died in Tunis; it is here that King Philip the Fair opened the first Estates General of the Kingdom of France in 1302; in 1572, it was here that King Henry IVmarried Marguerite de Valois, and where he converted to Catholicism in 1594; it is where Pope Pius VII crownedNapoleon I Emperor of the French in 1804; it was also at Notre-Dame that the Te Deum was sung at the end of the First and Second World Wars; Pope John Paul II came to the cathedral twice: in 1980 and in 1997 for World Youth Day. More recently, in 2005, tens of thousands of believers and followers came to Notre-Dame to pray when Pope John Paul II died and to wait for the nomination of the new head of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI.
Thursday,September 6: On our walk to the Metro this am, I thought I would grab a few shots of the neighborhood so you have a better idea of where we are staying. It’s a great neighborhood in Montremartre but not exactly as quiet as the Housetrip site said it was. Such is life living in the city. 🙂
Headed to the Eiffel Tour area so we could catch a Seine River Cruise. Took the one from 2-3 pm and fought an entire heard of other EU tourists who were (I swear) trying to push me over the edge and trip me so they could get a better seat. Seriously? Do good manners and just general decorum not translate? 🙂
Anyway, tour was great. Beautiful day here in Paris. Sunny, breezy and about 80 degrees. Granted, still not too hot for the attire i brought on this trip but I am making due and dreaming of cooler climates.
After a great day on the River Seine we had some gelato and let the kids ride a carousel across from the Tower. It was, as you might imagine, very picturesque. We came back to the apartment and relaxed for a while before we headed out to Montparsse for dinner and a trip up the tower to see the city at night. We ate at a great restaurant called Le Coupole. Elsa ate escargot, Charlie and I enjoyed Kier Royale before dinner and all in all, a great time was had by everyone. I must say that we all enjoyed the trip up the tower to see the view at night. Beautiful!