Day 1 – Arriving in the late afternoon, setting up camp, and then taking the metro into the city at dusk was perfect. We arrived at at Eiffel Tower as the sun started to set and began our climb. We ascended the first 400 feet using the winding metal stairway, and then crammed into the crowed elevator for the next 900 feet to the summit for great panoramic views of the city. We celebrated with a glass of champagne, enjoying the incredible night views of the city before riding back down to the second story and descending the rest of the way downm by again using the deserted stairway, while others continued on the elevator (our legs still feel every step).
Day 2 – Who, but us, spend their second day in the world capital of art, fashion and fine food doing laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning?
Day 3 and 4 – We left Paris for a tractor pull? Not just any tractor though, the European Championships! While in Verdun, we saw the advertisements for the event, and knew we could not pass up the opportunity to return on the weekend. Driving 120 miles turned out to be well worth the time. Having always heard that the Europeans are serious about this sport, we had to find out for ourselves; we were not disappointed. in our opinion, the competition and overall quality of tractors was the best we have seen. We enjoyed the two day event. We camped with hundreds of other spectators, taking in the complete experience.
Here are a couple of my favorites.
Day 5 – Back to Paris, the incredible, vibrant city that is home to some of the world’s best art including the Mona Lisa at the famous, but somewhat overwhelming Louvre, Monet’s Water Lilies at L’Orangerie, and my favorite, the Thinker at the Rodin Museum.
Day 6 – Impressionist art has always been one of our favorites, so we decided to take a drive to Giverny, to the home and gardens of Claude Monet. I was afraid I would be disappointed, but instead I was quite charmed by the gardens, the house, and the surrounding areas. Getting to see the water lilies that were inspiration for Monet’s most famous paintings was amazing!
Day 7- A beautiful day walking and walking through this beautiful city. We window shopped in the trendy Montmartre district, toured the 700 year old Cathedral of Notre Dame, and finally walked under the street to the the magnificent Arc de Triomphe that Napoleon had commissioned to commemorate his victory in the 100 year war.
Day 8 – Time to continue our journey onward. We decided to first take a quick side-trip to the Palace of Versailles. This gilded palace of all palaces, is where the Treaty of Versailles was signed (one of the peace treaties signed at the end of World War I), where the the the opulence and extravagance of the French monarchy began with King Louis XIV and ended with King Louis XI and Marie Antoinette.