Sunday, February 01, 2015

A week in Paris - Day 3

On Wednesday we got off to a bit of a late start, but with good reason, we wanted to see Paris by night.
We left the hotel at about 10 and took the train to Montparnasse, we walked along the store-lined streets and stopped by a quaint little patisserie for croissants.
Our first stop for the day was the Catacombs, we fed the little birds the remaining crumbs of the croissants while we waited to go inside.
The Catacombs are situated 20m under the heart of Paris, they form a labyrinth housing the bones of approximately 6 million Parisians (including a few famous writers, architects and painters), which were transferred there gradually between the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries as graveyards were being closed because of the risk they posed to public health. Formerly the Catacombs were underground quarries working to supply the huge quantities of limestone required to build Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and city ramparts.

A few interesting facts about the Catacombs:
There are 213 steps during the tour (130 to go down and 83 to reach the exit), which covers a distance of 2 km. The average duration of the tour is 45 minutes and the constant temperature in the Catacombs is 14 degrees Celsius. The surface area of the ossuary is 11 000 square metres.

It was creepy but fascinating!
After the Catacombs we took a leisurely stroll through the streets of Paris, towards the Luxembourg Gardens, passing through the Fontaine de l'Observatoire.
The Luxembourg Gardens are impressive to say the least, I can only imagine how beautiful they are in summer when the trees are fully clothed with green leaves and the beds are full of colourful flowers.
The Gardens are substantial and as we walked through them we fantasised about what it would be like having a yard this size as children, all the mischief we could get up to riding bicycles, playing games and Riaan playing cricket.
Isn't it nice to dream a little...
We made our way to Saint Sulpice which was closed, as was Saint Germain des Prés. Unfortunately it seems that Paris undergoes a little facelift/maintenance in January.
We took a stroll along the Seine towards the Louvre, and crossed the Pont des Arts along the way, the sides of the bridge have been boarded up since it collapsed in mid 2014 due to the weight of all the love locks. As a result some of the fences are being removed and replaced with glass panels so that people cannot attach love locks to the bridge, the side railings however are still open, so we attached our love lock to the bridge and I tossed our key in the river. It really is a sweet romantic little thing to do in Paris and it was even more special since it was the 14th of January, exactly a month away from our 9 year anniversary!
 A young girl braving the cold in the name of art, doing a ballet photoshoot at the Louvre.
We paid a brief visit to the Louvre but we didn't stop by Mona, she had a lot of visitors that day and we were hungry, so instead we ventured into town to find ourselves a baguette OF COURSE!
Once we had our French lunch sorted we made our way to the Tulieries Gardens, sat down next to the Grand Bassin Rond and enjoyed our baguette with some cheese while we watched a French man feeding the birds bits of bread. Once our lunch was finished we walked through the gardens towards the Place de la Concorde.
From there we ventured up the Champs Elysees once again, but this time as the sun set. We stopped for dinner and then we were off to the Arc de Triomphe, again.
Paris is even prettier at night!
Oh and this traffic circle is the biggest I've seen ever since my life, and probably the most stressful to navigate. I got nervous just watching. So we left the madness of the traffic and made our way once again to the Eiffel Tower.
 Admiring the view, and passing time waiting for the sparkles!!
Another romantic thing to do is have a little bit of a smooch, right here, under the tower, it's a must, you know, when in Paris and all that jazz.
And there it is - the sparkle! It happens every hour and it is beautiful. Magical! Paris really lives up to it's name of the City of light!
And that was it, a wonderful end to a beautiful day in Paris.
You can read about the adventures of day one and two here!


  1. Beautiful pics kids so nice to be able to share it love mom