Saturday, March 03, 2007

Day 2: Paris

Day 2 began with us heading out across La Défense toward the RER station, so I got lots of shots of the area.

This is the Grande Arche, the most prominent landmark in La Défense. It lines up with the Arc de Triomphe if you look directly ahead of it.

A very colorful fountain in front of the Grande Arche.

Another example of La Défense's interesting architecture.

Anyways we set off for some of our hotel inspections, the first being the Dorint (soon to be Novotel) at the Charles de Gaulle airport. They had a lovely tropical lobby:

We had breakfast served to us here, where we found American staples like eggs and pancakes and sausage and bacon.

Actually, now that I remember, it took us FOREVER to get to this hotel because we used a shuttle from the airport to get there, and it took us forever to find the shuttle pick-up area. CDG is a total mess. Anyways. So when we finished with this hotel where we were served breakfast, it was time to head to the hotel that was serving us lunch. This was BACK at La Défense at the Sofitel Grande Arche.

(Click the link for the hotel and then look at my picture. Do you think they edited out that building behind it??? I do.)

We checked into this hotel for the night, and did the hotel inspection. (Our guide was certainly well-liked by the ladies of our group! He was a cutie from Canada, so he spoke perfect English. I was too shy to get a picture of him though.) :)

After the inspection and a quick lunch, we had some free time. We had planned to take our river cruise of the Seine, then maybe check out some sights like the Eiffel Tower and/or Notre Dame. However all we ended up doing was the river cruise, because after some navigational mishaps it took us TWO HOURS to find the correct boat dock. So we missed out on all that time.

On the way, I got this cool shot of the Eiffel Tower.

The river cruise was not so bad though. Here are some highlights:

The Seine, with riverboats much like the one we were on

The Louvre

Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris (never mind its name means "New Bridge")

Notre Dame

This is supposedly the most romantic bridge in Paris. I don't see it. I saw umpteen-hundred bridges on this cruise and this one didn't particularly stand out as special. Oh well, they told us to make a wish going underneath it and I did anyway. As much as I try to deny it, I *am* a hopeless romantic after all.

A cool castle-looking thing (Does anyone know what this is??)

Our cruise finished at the Eiffel Tower, and here are some shots I took:

This one is as the boat was docking...

This one is after we got off the boat and the sun was going down, and the lights came on. :)

That night we had dinner reservations at a restaurant near the Louvre called Palais Royal. On the way I got to take a pic of the Louvre pyramid (sorry for the blurriness, but when I turn off my flash, this usually results):

The restaurant was in a cool neighborhood, full of columns and archways like this:

And after yet another fabulous French meal and a good time, we headed back to the Sofitel Grande Arche which was all lit up for us (and the colors changed on it). It's the short middle building (well, shortER, I should say...)

And that concludes Day 2! Whew! Stay tuned for the pictures from Lyon!

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Blogger Dirty Gypsy said...

Your Eiffel Tower shots are cool, but that first one is just WICKED. :) I love it.

3/05/2007 8:26 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

So when I visited Paris, my best friend Malissa had been studying and living there for several months. We went with her friends down to the Seine with a couple huge bottles of wine and got drunk. They started mooning the tour boats. Imagine that.

3/05/2007 11:49 AM  

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