As this had been my husband’s first visit, I left it up to him to decide what he wished to do. Most of it involved weapons and unfortunately we never made it to École Militaire. There is a fascinating history behind this school turned museum, one being is this was where Napoleon trained, but I have yet to venture inside. I guess that means I must take another trip and make sure it is not missed again.
Our stop at Notre Dame didn’t really allowed us the time to stand in line and view the inside as it should be (only thirty minutes) so after a quick photo op we opted for a café across the street to warm up with a quick beverage ;).
Day two found us at the Louvre. No matter how many times I visit, the place simply overwhelms me. So much art in what used to be a Palace, and it is impossible to see in one visit. Two other couples joined my husband and I and of this group, three had been here before so we led the tour to a few highlights such as the Mona Lisa, Venus De Milo and whatever else they wished to see. For me, I discovered a room I had not seen before. It was filled with some of the most beautiful sculptures I had ever seen, which were included in the room that held “Cupid and Psyche”. I took a ton of photos of the different statues as they will be my inspiration for a story due out next year.
This day in Paris was much better than the one before. After we left the Louvre we went in search of a specific bridge. Yes, I said bridge. I lost count of how many were built over the Seine but this one, my friend explained is the “Lock Bridge”. I hadn't heard of a lock bridge and I am probably alone in this and apparently several cities have lock bridges. The official name of the one in Paris is Pont de Arts located close to the Louvre. Couples write their name on a lock, attach it to the bridge and then toss the key into the Seine. The only way that love can be broken is to retrieve the key and remove the lock. The romance author in me loved learning about these locks and a number of stories popped up in my mind. I think a contemporary romance author was born because I have several stories ideas I want to write that center around a love lock. I can’t wait to get started on them, but first I have to finish the series I have started.
On a funny note, one of the men in the group noticed a few padlocks (like you would find on a school locker) and decided that whoever put that lock there wasn’t nearly as serious about love as the others.
Our afternoon continue to a place I had always wanted to visit but had never been given the opportunity – the Concierge. It was once a Royal Palace but in the days of the Revolution, the Palace of Justice. It was here that those awaited execution by the guillotine. We took a tour of the rooms where people were registered when they came in, where the stopped on the way out to have all their hair cut, and the different types of cells. Those who had no money had only straw, whereas those who could afford it, were given a cot with bedding. They have also preserved the room where Marie Antoinette was once held. What is interesting is that this place still houses the Paris Police.
Behind the Concierge and, I believe, part of the building was Sainte Chappelle. This is a beautiful old cathedral and the stained glassed windows are simply breathtaking. That afternoon we traveled up to Montmartre. There were several artists set up at the center of the square selling their paintings as well as drawing portraits. After dinner we walked back down the hill and almost stopped into the Moulin Rouge. On all my other trips we had been with high school students so going into this establishment was out of the question. We were all adults, but some balked at the entry fee, which I can’t remember what it was, so we returned to our hotel.
Our last day in Paris was spent first at Versailles. If I haven’t mentioned this before, this is one of my most favorite places on earth. I have yet to visit here and been given enough time view every garden and building. One day I will return and on that visit I already have three must sees as they have been missed.
1) Ecole Militaire
2) ALL of Versailles
3) A Chocolate Walking Tour (though I did eat plenty of chocolate in France)
Our day ended in Paris with a visit to Tuileries Gardens. The day was beautiful and it was nice to sit and relax and just take in the sights and sounds of Paris.
Have you ever visited Paris? What are your favorite spots?