We crossed the Pont Royal and started at the Orsay Museum. It was built in an old train station and we loved the interior. This was our favorite museum for paintings, as it holds many of the famous works by Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh.
We had a little extra time to spare, so we crossed back over the Seine and went to the Orangerie Museum since it was also included in our Museum Pass. There isn't a whole lot there - the main attraction is Monet's Water Lilies murals, each of which takes up an entire wall (sadly no pictures allowed inside). We were in and out in less than 15 minutes. We tend to go through museums pretty quickly, but that was probably a record for us.
We walked a ways down the river and had to stop for a little photo shoot once we saw the Eiffel Tower! :)
Next up was the Army Museum, at Les Invalides. Obviously this was at Bo's request, but it was actually my favorite museum, too! Dad, it seems as though all those years of dragging me to war museums and battlefields are finally starting to wear off on me.. :)
There were so many cool war artifacts, so these are just a few of our favorites. We didn't even make it all the way through the whole thing. My foot was really killing me at this point, so I hung out at a cafe until Bo was ready to go. We both would definitely love to go back to this museum and spend more time there.
The Dôme is at the far end of Les Invalides, which contains Napoleon I's tomb, and is absolutely gorgeous.
We stopped in another cafe for a late lunch and a glass of wine. I really miss those cafes.
And finally, we walked over to the Eiffel Tower and spent all afternoon there. In addition to my love of bridges, I also love really tall buildings - and especially going to the top of them. Bo was a trooper for tagging along with me to the top. Even in the low tourist season on a Sunday afternoon, we waited in line for about 45 minutes just to get tickets, then another 20 to get up to the main level, and probably another 30 minutes to get to the top. Not to mention it was absolutely freezing with the winds (even Bo was cold, which rarely ever happens), but it was totally worth it. It was the clearest day of the week, and the views were incredible.
From the main level...
And from the top. We completely lucked out and got to the top just in time to watch the sunset. Loved it.
From there we took the metro over to the Champs-Élysées to find somewhere to eat dinner. As popular as it is, it's just not our style - very touristy and overpriced. We had debated staying at a Marriott a few blocks away from there, and this only validated that we made the right decision (for us, anyway). Most places were closed on Sunday evening so it wasn't too crowded, but we didn't have many options for dinner. We went to L'Etoile 1903, which overall was a pretty good meal....but our waitress hit the wrong amount and charged us 650 Euros instead of 65 - wow. For whatever reason they couldn't cancel the charge so they gave us cash to make up for the difference. We were pretty nervous since we hardly ever carry any cash! At least we didn't have to go the ATM again (even though we only had two days left...).
|wine, champagne, escargot, and the best cheese plate of the trip.|
Our last stop for the day was the Arc de Triomphe, which was just a few blocks away, so we walked over and used our Museum Passes for the last time. It was a hell of a climb up a narrow, spiral stairway, but we were rewarded with incredible views of the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower. Beautiful ending to an awesome day!
|from the top of the staircase - eeeek|