On Wednesday in France, Susan Wright and Kathy Vick from the USA Bueno Cup team arrived in Paris at about the same time…at which time they realized both had sent me their arrival information…but not to each other!Fortunately Kathy was in the baggage claim area and literally ran into Susan. After a long taxi ride (traffic, Paris, rush hour…) the taxi driver dropped them off at the end of the street since a truck was blocking it. Susan was very relieved when the code to the keypad worked. They got settled in our very small apartment (a loft bed, a basement bathroom and a fold out single bed…a very compact place with barely enough floor space for our bags.
We went off touring, starting with the Arche de Triomphe. We decided to climb up to the top from which we had a good view of Paris and you can really see how all the main boulevards spoke out from the Arche. We could see the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, and of course the Champs Elysees. We wandered down this grand boulevard then walked to the Eiffel Tower where we met up with Susan’s daughter, Jaime, grandson Dominic and Jaime’s friend Roxanne who were In Paris for a few days. The tour of the Eiffel tower was interesting. It was built for a Worlds Fair back when that was a big thing, and you can see a lot from the second level. the top level was pretty much too crowded to see much, plus there were a lot of bars in front of the viewing area. We also learned that in Paris there’s a rule that no building now can be more than seven stories high, made after the Montparnasse Tower was built, as the City government decided it was too ugly for Paris! Since the tour was during the French Open, there was a big tennis ball saying “Roland Garros” hanging from the middle of the tower and on one space below the tower we could see the back of a big screen with hundreds of people in front watching Nole and Rafa at the French Open.
After the tower tour we went our separate ways, as it was late for Dominic. Kathy, Susan and I decided on crepes for dinner down by the Seine, and sat on the railing and enjoyed watching the people walk by. The crepes(egg and cheese) were very good. Then we took some photos of us the Eiffel Tower, and an hour long boat ride along the Seine, which we all enjoyed, even though Kathy and Susan spent some of it napping. We were walking back to the Metro and decided to wait for the 10pm light show on the Eiffel Tower which was really nice.
It was a short night as we needed to leave around 8 to meet Susan’s family at Versailles. We were a little late starting but made much later when the train was blocked one stop before Versailles by a strike we think. Another passenger from the USA, a Chinese national from Bejing, Yun, asked if we wanted to share an Uber car to get us to Versailles, so we did, and we invited Yun to hang with us during the day. We got there so late that Jaime, Dominic and Roxanne were done touring the inside. Versailles was very crowded (lots and lots of school groups in addition to tourists), but it’s still amazing. The detail of the ceilings and crown molding, the chandeliers, fabrics and the size of the rooms. We also walked much of the gardens which are gorgeous and extensive, and visited two other residences, the Grand & Petit Trianon. It was less crowded on the grounds, or felt like it and we made a day our of the trip. We had dinner at a French cafe and got ready for our trip to La Baule the next day.
Paris is really interesting. I’d have liked to have gone by the Louvre & Notre Dame (though we did go by it on the boat) but a day and a half isn’t enough to see everything!
Au revoir, a bientot.