Volume 8, Issue 110; 19 Aug 2005; last modified 08 Oct 2010

Three days in Paris.

“Earth has no such folks—no folks such a city,
So great, or so grand, or so fine, or so pretty,”
    Said Louis Quatorze,
    “As this Paris of ours!”
R. H. Barham

After flying from London, our plan was to visit Hôtel des Invalides on the first afternoon, principally to see Napoleon’s tomb, and then check out the lines at the Eiffel Tower.

Predictably, the lines were long at the Tower, so we admired it from the ground and saved the top for another day.

Day two saw us visit The Louvre, where everyone goes to see the Mona Lisa.

It would take days, maybe weeks, to see all of the Louvre. Several sections were closed and I got a little lost, but we wandered past Nike several times, saw some of the Egyptian collection, and left by way of the original foundations which was pretty cool.

After the Louvre, we went to Notre Dame. Deb and the boys saw the inside while I stood in line for the tower steps.

It's more than 400 steps up to the Galerie des Chimères but it's absolutely worth the climb. Not only do you get marvelous views of Paris, but there are all those fabulous gargoyles.

Don't visit Notre Dame de Paris without a stop for ice cream at Berthillon. It may very well have been absolutely the best chocolate ice cream I have ever eaten.

On the last day, we dashed to the Eiffel Tower early in the morning to avoid the lines. We didn't avoid them, quite, but we did get to the top of the tower within about 40 minutes or so. The views are spectacular.

But I'm not sure I'd recommend the highest platform if you suffer from vertigo. It's a long way down.

After the Tower, we took the train to Versailles. With only one day to explore outside of Paris, it was a toss up between Versailles and Chartres. We figured the boys might be getting a little tired of enormous gothic churches, so we went with Versailles.

Rain threatened, and we've been walking for days by this point, so the gardens, though inviting, were left for another day.

For more pictures, see the Paris set on Flickr.

Next stop, Rome.

Are you going to Paris soon? Would you like some Métro tickets? Through an accident of arithmetic or language, I find myself with eight extra. I have no doubt I'll return to Paris someday, but not in the immediate future. Send me email and I'll be happy to drop them in the mail to you.