Welcome to our blog, which is mostly about travel.
I wish I had something interesting going on right now to test the blog function, but I don't. So my first blog post is going to be a little trip down memory lane...with that "lane" being the many scenic streets of Paris. This is just to test how this may work for a trip report, so don't expect great prose--just a bunch of photos and some text that explains a crazy walk that few visitors to Paris would ever consider but that we live for.
Background: We took a quick three-day trip to Paris in November 2016 to celebrate our anniversary. We have been to Paris a number of times before, so this trip was not about visiting the big sites but rather soaking in the atmosphere and eating well. On our second day, the skies cleared and eventually turned a brilliant blue--even if the temps were in the 40s. So we bundled up and set out on foot. Our only definitive destination was one not part of any of our previous trips: the Canal St. Martin. From there, we improvised. We walked. And walked. To the tune of more than a dozen miles and nearly 30,000 steps. And it was great.
(hover over photos for captions)
From our hotel (123 Sebastopol, which we loved by the way), we started out across Republique.
Place de la RépubliqueWith dog, on phone
Then we headed up along the Canal St. Martin, with almost no company along the way. By this point of the trip, we're starting to notice that tourism appears to be down in the city. Despite it being late fall, the trees still had some leaves.
Canal St. Martin Canal St. Martin
Eventually, we peeled off and took the Metro to Montmartre, where we hiked up the hill, stopped to listen to a street musician playing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" the day after Cohen had passed away (poignant), interrupted someone's bachelorette party, took a look inside the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre (I've been inside before, but Chris had not). One other notable change around Paris is the security required to enter sites such as this.
What goes up, must go down. So down the hill we went...through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, checking out the interesting windows along the way.
No step for a stepper
At this point, we were improvising--with a general sense that we were heading towards the Opera house. Our intuition proved correct, and we eventually emerged from behind the Opera and took a few photos. We never could get that bus to leave, though.
Eglise de la Trinité
Now we were approaching familiar territory--through the Place Vendome and toward the Tuileries (no photo, but we passed Mario Batali on Rue de Castiglione, orange Crocs and all).
Get off those phones and enjoy where you are! World's smartest mallard (on the pond at the Tuileries) I could stay here all afternoon
From here, we crossed the river and then stop for lunch (beverages and a plate of frites) before continuing on toward the Eiffel Tower. We didn't go up--been there, done that. And the lines were really long (every tourist in Paris must have been here at that moment) just in case we were tempted. We did walk under it--and for the privilege of doing so, we had to go through security again.
Our legs were getting a little tired now (you think!), so we once again took to the Metro (we purchased a carnet, which was perfect for our three days in Paris) and headed a bit east. Our next destination was the Luxembourg Gardens, perhaps my favorite place in Paris and the spot I aim to visit every time I'm there. I particularly love it in the fall. We watched the kids pilot boats across the lake in front of the palace.
It is always sad to leave the Luxembourg Gardens. But the afternoon is wearing on, and our next goal was to take photos of the great golden hour light on Notre Dame.
And here's the prize:
Not to be outdone, we also captured golden hour on one of our other favorite places in Paris: Ile Saint-Louis (we stayed on the island the last time we visited here, in 2000). Love golden hour and long winter shadows!
And as the sun started to set, we headed back to 123 Sebastopol to reward ourselves for a great day of walking. It wasn't chock-full of sites, but it was the Paris we wanted on this particular trip and this particular day. And we'd do it all over again!
For the record, here is our route.
This has been fun. Maybe I will do another post about our three really good dinners in Paris.