My bus from Paris returned late last night, leaving me on a curb with a bag of souvenirs, a dead camera with hundreds of photos, and memories of what I can now legitimately call my favorite city on Earth. This past weekend was such a wonderful experience, and one that I cannot wait to repeat. There are not words (nor photos) enough to express the beauty of tiny, winding French avenues, the vastness of Notre Dame, or the enormity of the Eiffel Tower. I wish I could send each of you a delicious little caramel crepe from a streetside cafe, and a big fluffy croissant besides. Since I cannot, enjoy this series of Parisy posts. First off, the super-fast city sightseeing tour via bus...
Our tour started with a stop at Place de la Concorde, the public square designed in 1755. It is probably best known as the site which hosted the guillotine during the "Reign of Terror" in the summer of 1794. More than 1,000 executions took place here within a single month. However, the square is far from menacing now. It is dominated by the massive Obelisk, and to the east is the beautiful Tuileries Garden, where locals and tourists alike can be found taking a leisurely stroll.
Our last stop on this fast paced tour was a drive by of the Louvre. I was extremely grateful for this the next day when my camera died just before we arrived back at the museum. With nearly 35,000 objects on display the Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world. The building served as the royal palace until 1682 when King Louis XIV chose the Versailles Palace for his household and the Louvre was left to house the royal collection. The Louvre did not become the famed museum of today until after the French Revolution. The glass pyramid made famous by The DaVinci Code was completed in 1989.
Later we visited the Latin Quarter to see Notre Dame, enjoyed a fantastic French dinner, took a boat ride down the Seine to view the city illuminated by night, and ventured to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but those are all stories for another post.