Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bonne Soir Mon Amour Paris...

Again can we exclaim - what a beautiful city. Over the last two days we managed to check out or at least go flying by on a bouncing bus (some photos may be somewhat suspect as a result)almost all the highlights within the city itself. Thankfully this time - we were branch incident free!! By the third time around we were asked to be the tour guides as we were quoting the dialogue through the tour . . . "and on the left you will see a 'supberb' flower market". This might actually be true as we didn't see a rose or carnation in site (these are certainly not our favorite flowers . . . !)and the hydrangeas and gerbera daisies were radiating a breadth of color.

The highlights from yesterday's day on the city were certainly breathtaking. The Eiffel Tower is amazing - 65,000 tons of paint, The Arc de Triumph is so intricately detailed and rises tall and proud, Louis Vuitton beckoned our name but alas our credit card limit isn't high enough to breathe in the entrance way, the Louvre is filled with so many interesting and famous pieces we could have spent all day, Notre Dame - now that has a beauty all its own with the incredible stained glass and reverant stature, the Opera radiated oppulance and it would be an amazing experience to attend a ballet there and in between were fabulous little streets filled with stunning architecture, rich designs and . . . . pigeons!! (Small confession - I am having a hard time refraining myself from kicking them out of my way!! Had to talk myself down from this ledge a couple of times - but they swoop and very well may crap on my head. It has been known to happen before. And when a girl is traumatized at an extremely young age by birds flying out of the water closet in the middle of the night I think fantasizing about kicking them is normal!! Besides they are everywhere 2-1 ratio of pigeons to Paris human residents I am sure.)

That being said, there is only so long that the sights can be taken in before our next love of shopping beckons to us. And when we hear that call...there's no choice but to answer it. I (Fran) needed to try & exchange some $, but couldn't pass up a stop at Mango along the way - one of our favourite stores over here. We managed to do a little damage there and then headed over to our other favourite store - H&M. Only to say that we were sadly disappointed by the lack of selection that was there. Who may be a blessing in disguise.

When the shopping was completed, we decided to head over to Monmartre - which has the lovely little Sacre Coeur church - where Victor Hugo is apparently burried. We had been there previously the night before and the scenery was absolutley incredible. Small little coblestone streets that twist and turn like a labyrinth throughout the city. Well, you would think that if we could find it in the dark that we would be able to find it during the day - but no. I'll tell you what we did find instead - the Parisian version of Forest Lawn times 10. The streets were crowded, dirty and smelly, There was also a large immigrant population there as well, which was defintely interesting to see, as we obviously weren't seeing that many of them in our other travels. So after spending about an hour there (which Jules says felt like 20 on death row - and believe me, someone was going to die because I either would have killed myself or someone else had I still had to walk around there) only to discover that we had come full circle to our starting point (at least we saw Sacre Coeur from a distance)we decided that it would not be worth getting knifed to look at it again. Sooo... back on the metro to head for smoother sailing.

We hit up one of the main streets trying to find the same area we had been to on our first night. Again it was a catastrophe trying to find it. After wandering around for yet another hour we finally settled on a little restaurant that served bruschettas (like a pizza but only made with bread instead of a pizza crust). Once that was done we headed across the street for a hazelnut banana crepe...Sooooo good!!!! We hopped the metro yet again and after making a stop at the boulangerie across the street for tomorrow's breakfast, we are back at the hotel to pack our things up and say a very sad good bye to Paris. Tomorrow morning comes early (need to be up by 4:30 am) and we are off to London again. This time we will be heading off to the British Museum (can't wait) and to see our lovely little Missy (super excited!!!).