We made a fairly quick drive from Lespignan to Orleans, about an hour south of Paris and checked into the micro-hotel room (seriously, the place was so tiny that there was no space between the bed and the wall to pass one-another; the room fit three only because of an upper bunk) then took off for the city center. People who know about Orleans will know that it's the city that was liberated by Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years' War. Yeah, I didn't know either.
That evening, we made our plans for the next day in Paris. I anticipated it with excitement and a little sadness that our journey would be done. Though, I admit, it would be good to get home and be in one place for a few weeks.
We arrived early the next day at our hotel just outside Paris, from which we took public transit into the city. Destination: Eiffel Tower. We climbed the 360 stairs to the first viewing deck, and after a look around, climbed another 360 stairs second deck. The day was sunny, though a bit hazy, yet we had views of so many landmarks of the city. Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame, the Louvre. We could map our course from the deck. We took in the views in all directions before finally heading for the stairs to return to ground level.
|Commemorating a high wire walk Philippe Petit made to this point...*|
|...starting way down there! (We'll walk there soon.)|
|With the Arc de Triomphe beyond my left shoulder.**|
Many of the museums were closed that day, a Monday, which was probably for the best because with so much to see on a sunny day, I would have been torn between being outdoors and spending hours in the Louvre or the Musée d'Orsay
|The Louvre at sunset.|
At sunset, we walked the grounds of the Louvre, then made our way across a couple bridges to reach Notre-Dame where a musician was playing and singing for the gathered crowd. Barges filled with tourists and revelers plied the Seine. The tourists snapped photos of us and we snapped photos of them. We stopped by Shakespeare and Co. and browsed through the shelves of the tiny but busy bookshop. With hunger setting in, Jon encouraged us to stop at a small cafe we had walked past earlier.
|Quay 21. Taken by the owner.|
* taken by Jon
**taken by Janis