A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life. –Thomas Jefferson.
The Joneses DO love Paris. Having witnessed and lived through the tragedy of 9/11 in New York City, we know how an act of terror can tremble the soul of a city. Sure, New Yorkers and Parisians put on a brave face and try to keep the same determined, fast, city pace…but we all know that it’s never the same. One of the reasons we wanted to revisit Paris, besides being in the most beautiful place in the world, was to share a little support and say, “hey, we know what it’s like to be shocked to your core and try to move on”…so heads up and don’t let them take away your love of your city and the beauty from this special place.
All of that serious stuff aside, we are happy to report that we had an absolutely FLAWLESS trip from New York to Paris. Despite going through a very expensive and annoying amount of red tape to get our Global Entry/TSA pre-check ID’s….we didn’t even need them. The security line at Newark Airport was non-existent. We were the first ones in line. Despite domestic flights being cancelled and delayed left and right because of bad weather, we took off on time and actually arrived in Paris 45 minutes early! Our chauffeur was there to great us, and promptly dropped us off at our apartment.
Quick side note, New York has it all…but Paris is just chic. When you get to Charles de Gaulle Aiport, you are quickly reminded that you are in the most stylish city in the world! Notice the men’s restroom…even there you won’t find the mundane.
Our place in Paris is very unique and quite amazing. It is in a very old building….built in the early 1600’s. We are on the 6th floor, and the stairs are old, wood, twisting & winding, and basically steep torture devices. Carrying up three pieces of heavy luggage was definitely a work out, but look at from a positive prospective, climbing these stairs every day should allow us an extra pastry or piece of chocolate.
The apartment is located on the left bank (rive gauche) of the Seine River. We are in Latin Quarter…known for the area of Paris where the Universities and places of higher learning have always been located (and where everyone spoke Latin back in the day, thus its name). It’s a very lively neighborhood,…a bit more touristy than the Bastille neighborhood we stayed in last time. But the apartment is very chic and our private roof top terrace is worth every penny. The views are AMAZING.
Today, being the first full day of our trip, we were obviously a bit jet-lagged, and it takes a minute to get reacquainted with the layout of the City…the language, etc. We decided to take Day 1 a bit slow. We dropped off our bags and then headed for lunch. Just simple, French food, but at a nice cafe facing a lively boulevard with great people watching.
After lunch, we found ourselves quite near the Church of St. Sulpice, one of the places we missed on our last visit. It is famous for its pipe organ…but today was a Saturday and there was no performance. It’s a beautiful church, and we learned that it is only 2nd in size to Notre Dame not far away. But it is a much younger church, constructed in 1646….not in the Gothic or Baroque style commonly seen in the churches on my blog. Many of the windows were clear glass (no fanciful stained glass) and the layout of the church much more Renaissance revival–Greek and Roman motifs. The facade is quite stunning with the two towers and the double bays…doric columns below and ionic above.
After our visit to St. Sulpice, we decided to head over to the Luxembourg Gardens. We’d been before, but it was a beautiful afternoon, and it’s a lovely spot to take a stroll. The gardens were originally created in around 1612 as part of Marie de Medici’s Luxembourg Palace.
Afterwards, we strolled through the streets of our neighborhood and decided to eat at home on our lovely roof terrace. Of course, we had to pick up some treats for dessert and do a little window shopping. But soon, we were on top of the roof, overlooking lovely Paris, having a glass of wine and enjoying the first night of what looks to be a wonderful two weeks in France.