WHAT TO DO IN PARIS - A PERFECT DAY
THE PARIS WEEKEND - "START SPREADING THE NEWS !"
So what to do in Paris? What comprises a perfect day out, from the typical Paris weekend? Every temporary Parisian has a different tale to tell, but perhaps my own recent and personal experience will provide an example of what is on offer:-
"It was a late May morning, a Friday, and we had left our small but traditionally styled Montmartre hotel and arrived by metro near the Musee D`Orsay some thirty minutes before the museum opened. There was a little mist arising from the direction of the Seine, but the sun was already breaking through as we enjoyed our takeaway breakfast of freshly baked chocolate croissants and coffee on the terraces and seats outside. Our Paris weekend had got of to a great start - our Montmartre hotel was all we had hoped for and the new day was full of promise.
We joined the rapidly forming queue, quite near the front, and were soon in this fabulous Museum of Modern Art. Taking our time, we found ourselves standing opposite the amazing paintings that many of us know so well from the prints hanging in our homes - but these were the real deal - the colours of the Monet painting, his "Women with umbrella", were of a different order from those in the print on our bedroom wall. For me, coming face to face with Vincent Van Gogh's self portrait ( I mean within a totally unguarded and surreal few centimetres) was a highlight of the visit - the striking layered paint strokes and the troubled genius in those cool, blue, and priceless eyes:- Fab!
Off for a wander now in the sun as we took in the shops and the local "Sorbonne" atmosphere, we picked up some tomatoes, cheese, bread sticks, ham, a bottle of water and a bottle of "red" and headed for the local Parc d`Luxembourg. The "Parc bench" had dried out from last night rain (almost) and we sat like the students on our discarded and previously unnecessary rain jackets. This beautiful, large and formally set out park, with its fountains and tall poplar tree avenue, is popular with young and old alike and a great place to chill out for a while.
After a time - I think I dozed off for a few minutes - it was time for a little more local exploration and then back to the nearest metro station and here we consulted our transport and street maps in order to get back to our Montmartre hotel. Map reading is compulsory for the Paris visitor, but it is not hard and everyone (and their granny) gets the hang of it pretty quickly.
That night was a bit special, I had pre-booked an expensive meal with a window view on one of the best Seine river boats around but hey! we had saved a few Euros on breakfast and lunch, and this was Paris after all - why not? The wine kept coming, the food was superb, my beautiful wife was glowing and the band was belting out some timeless classics. Suddenly - and from just around a river bend - one of the original "Statues of Liberty" appeared, all lit up and standing tall on its river Seine bank base - cue the band breaking into - you`ve guessed it - "Start spreading the news" with everybody laughing or cheering or both....... magic!
The boat berthed near the foot of the Eiffel tower and we walked ( a little unsteadily) back across the river and up the grand steps to the "Trocadero" area to catch the last metro transport back to our Montmartre hotel. At the head of the steps we stopped and turned around and there, behind and filling the landscape, was the fully illuminated and magnificent "La Tour Eiffel" - a few minutes of justifiably moving and totally wide-eyed appreciation later, and it was off back to the hotel for a well earned sleep with dreams of anticipation for tomorrow."
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Start spreading the news - Top seats on a "Bateaux Parisienne" dinner cruise complete with oodles of fine wine with dancing and song from the onboard orchestra. An excellent menu and sumptuous cuisine compete with the passing Paris skyline to make this a night to remember - You will complete your journey in the shadow of the magnificent and illuminated Tour d`Eiffel - Walk across the nearest Seine bridge - climb the steps to the Trocadero and look back........Go on.......... You know she`s worth it!
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