Today we went to the Louvre to say that we’ve been to the Louvre. Met Mona. Saw a few more things I recognized from Art History in high school. Got lost. Found Egyptian scrolls. The norm, I guess, for most art un-enthusiasts at the Louvre.
We spent a while in the room – napping and getting ready to go home – before heading out for a last-minute night tour with Sabine. The tour, to our amazement, doesn’t start until 10:00 at night – but even at that point, it’s still not dark in Paris. Is this the city of lights because the sun never sets? Eventually, during our tour, night slowly creeps over the city.
I really like Sabine, which is saying a lot: she is literally the only person I’ve found that I like in Paris. She’s become our little French tour guide, grandmother, and confidante.
She tells us that she’d like to show us a little more of Paris than we were able to see yesterday. After a quick drive by Notre Dame, she takes us to the Left Bank and the Isle San Louis. We pass through little streets that are thriving with life – full of beautiful boutiques, sidewalk cafes, and local restaurants (pastry and bread shops, in particular). This is the Paris I had imagined. I realize now that, since we are staying in a more touristy area, we do not have the same access to everyday French life like I did during my time on the Riviera. This has been a disappointment to me, as that is the part I loved the most: acclimating to my surroundings and enjoying the local restaurants and shops. I feel a twinge of regret and know that if I ever do come back to Paris, going back to areas such as this will be my top priority.
Upon realizing how charmed we are with this side of the city, Sabine shows us several other smaller streets buzzing with life, one in the Latin Quarter and a couple others on the way to see the Eiffel Tower. The famed tower apparently “twinkles” once an hour during the night. I’m not sure to what extent this twinkling occurs – it seems the kind of description that needs to be experienced within the context. When we do arrive at the tower to catch the twinkling, we realize the extent: it sparkles, shimmering from every angle. It is so cool. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but I hope it shows a little bit of the shimmer.
I’m so glad we went on this night tour with Sabine, as it did show us other sides of Paris that we hadn’t seen the day before. If I had to do it all over again, I definitely wouldn’t choose a Sunday to be my main day to visit. Now I’d know the areas to visit, as well, instead of staying just in the tourist part of town. You live and learn, and this is the reason I travel to these places, so that I might be able to experience them firsthand and pass on my advice in future recommendations.
With that all being said, I’m currently writing this post on the way back from the Atlanta airport and it is good to be home. Twelve days is a long trip, especially for my family cooped up in the same room together (we got along well for the most part 🙂 ). I’m just ready to sleep in my own bed, which won’t happen for another few hours… gotta stay up to beat jet lag.
Hope you’ve all enjoyed reading these posts, I promise to continue to update during future travels, like my trip to Vegas in August for the Virtuoso Travel Mart Conference. If anyone wants to sponsor my next trip so that I may continue this travel blog, that is welcomed and appreciated. Just kidding 🙂