So, to continue the visit from where we left off last post, it was time to go to Paris! Sister Ruth and hubby Don were with us from Friday to Wednesday, 3 days here where we live in the Netherlands and then 3 days in Paris...before they then headed on their own for a week in Provence.
Monday, 25 July:
We took 3 different trains to get from Gorinchem to Paris:
first to Dordrecht, then Rotterdam, and then the fast train to Paris.
It would normally take us 5 hours to drive it. By train it took us 4,
but only 2.5 hours from nearby Rotterdam to Paris.
Did I ever mention how much I LOVE the European trains!
Once getting our Metro tickets, we found our République stop.
Tributes were still up for the 85 people killed in Nice on 14 July.
Our AirBNB apartment was around the corner a couple blocks away.
But it wasn't quite ready yet at noon, so off we went to eat lunch.
It was a good jump-start for the rest of our day.
We headed off to the River Seine.
(See the MICHIGAN boat? Good omen--top-left!)
What is it about the book stalls along the river!
It didn't take long to find The Louvre, the world's largest museum.
Or the Tuileries Garden nearby...including the obligatory ice cream.
An unexpected libation turned up when a sudden downpour hit.
Short and sweet. Just long enough.
And then it was back to the apartment for our what-we-wanted supper.
Plenty other impressions from that first day.
I even saw "RH" as Ruth Hart along the way. Another good omen. :)
Tuesday, 26 July:
After a leisurely breakfast, we were off to the Luxembourg Garden.
The Medici Fountain there was a must, of course.
And then back to the River Seine for the Notre Dame Cathedral.
It's one of the largest and best-known cathedrals in the world for a reason!
Because we were there at the Ile de la Cité, we crossed the bridge to the Ile Saint Louis
for lunch at one of Ruth and Don's favorite restaurants.
And then walked back to the Notre Dame.
We had no intention of going in, but even if we did, the lines were too long.
It was enough to see it up close and personal.
Then on to Montmartre, where we had a chance to sit and take in the ambiance again....
before seeing Paris from the point of view of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
And yes, we all did the up-and-down steps, coming and going.
The 3 of them did it all by maps, signs and Ruth's iPhone GPS.
I just watched and took pics!
Lots of pics.
And at the end of that day, another luscious what-we-wanted supper.
Wednesday, 27 July:
After breakfast, Ruth and Don went off to the Metro station to catch their train to Provence for another week of vacation (which, I can tell you now, they loved).
Astrid and I had another couple hours to "kill" while waiting for our own fast train back home. We spied a church on the map near our Gare du North station and visited it.
St. Vincent de Paul was built during 1824-44.
Lucky for us, we arrived 10 minutes before it closed at noon.
It was enough time to give us a feel for the place.
We then had time to eat a bit of lunch across from the train station,
before catching our train back to Rotterdam, then Dordrecht, and finally Gorinchem.
We arrived at our apartment 2.5 days after we had left it on Monday.
How's that for all the "usual suspects" in a short trip to Paris!
I still can't believe we did it...but we did!
THANKS, again, to Ruth and Don for being our companions all along the way.
We'll never forget it!