After a quiet and cool night, leisurely breakfast, and trip to Castorama by hosts for faulty bathroom radiator exchange, Las Chicas and Troy drive to Paris. One doesn’t drive INTO Paris, so we park near the Metro and ride the subway into the heart of the city.
We emerge from the underground and onto the Place de la Concorde, known for its views of the Eiffel Tower, the Luxor Obelisk, the Fountains of Rivers and Seas.
Mary doesn’t need to be reminded by Troy that this photogenic Place is featured in the finishing circuits of the Tour de France every year. But he does provide information Las Chicas had forgotten, that this is the Place where thousands were executed by guillotine, including Marie Antoinette. “I think it was where those motorcyles are,” Troy points to a nondescript piece of concrete. Mary and Lisa pose for the first of many Eiffel Tower photos, and Mary notes the many people on Velib bikes (Paris bike share).
Las Chicas take a quick glance at the Tuileries Gardens and the hundreds of ubiquitous green chairs that fill Parisian public parks. The intrepid trio heads to the Musée de l’Orangerie, to see Monet’s Nympheas (water lilies) that encircle two oval rooms. We also take in the art of Matisse, Modigliani, Rousseau, Renoir and other impressionist painters.
(photo from Musée de l’Orangerie website—the legality of taking photos in the gallery seemed unclear to us)
Tourists of many nations enjoy Monet and the impressionist crowd. Troy mentions that the pond where Monet painted the water lilies and his studio are open to visitors, and near his village! Another reason for a return trip to France.
Back on the Metro, we head to the Eiffel Tower. We take numerous photos as we get closer and closer.
Instead of smashing into the sardine can of an elevator to the top, we take the stairs to the second level. Troy provides Lisa and Mary with an aerial tour of the city–landmarks, and neighborhoods where he used to live.
Eiffel Tower iron:
More photos of Mary and Troy and Mary and Lisa on the second platform of the Eiffel Tower:
Mary hears an announcer saying something from the Trocodaro below “. . . . and gold medalist . . .” Upon further investigation, Troy says, “Hey, it’s an archery contest!” We can see the targets on the video screens and sort of make out the archers themselves shooting across the ponds (fountains turned off today) at the targets.
The archers shoot from the lower blue platform to the targets on the other blue platform. In this photo, you can see the targets shown on video screens on the outside of the green lawn areas. The white tents are no doubt the official meeting tents, changing tents, snack tents, zen tents, and calming tea tents for world class archers. The financial district of Paris is visible in the distance. (this is a good time to click on the photo below to enlarge it)
Later, when we walk by the Trocadero, and the crowd is leaving, a sign tells us we have witnessed the World Championships!
One more photo from this side of the Tower:
Las Chicas have traveled to places and returned with not one single photo of them together. Not this time!
On our way to a café, we pass by an Egyptian demonstration. The Trocadero is a popular place for telling one’s message to the world, or at least to the Eiffel viewing tourists.
We enjoy restorative beverages and mousse au chocolat and ice cream at Café le Malakoff. Back on the metro, and back to the car, for a sunset drive through the beautiful French countryside. After Troy struggles through the traffic jam of suburban Paris, naturally.
Las Chicas end their day with another delicious dinner at home with our friends in Maule.
Coming soon, Day 3 and more Paris sights.
© 2013 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.