Thirty minutes before closing time at the Louvre, we began our exit. The exit paths are clearly marked, but the whole process of actually getting to the door took almost the entire thirty minutes. The museum is that huge. We stopped briefly at the museum shop before it closed, and then easily found a taxi back to the hotel.
|Here I am at the Louvre in my goofy white tennis shoes. Embarrassing. French women would not be caught dead in them, but my ouch-y ankle wasn't happy in my sandals with all that walking.|
We arrived at our hotel tired and thirsty. We decided not to risk the faucet water and the only bottled water available in the hotel cost 12 Euros via room service, plus tip, of course. So we chose to hunt around and try to locate a shop that sold water. As soon as we stepped outside it began to rain lightly and we’d left our umbrellas up in the hotel room. We were so thirsty we chose to forge ahead in the rain, and Paige got a bit ahead of me down the road. A man on the street approached her and asked her if she spoke French and when she answered, “un peu”(a little) he began to berate her harshly. He said she had no business being in the country if she didn’t speak the language. When I caught up with Paige the man took off, and after that Paige stayed by my side in France.
The views on the taxi rides were tremendous. On the way to the Louvre, I got goose bumps when I caught my first sight of the Eiffel Tour.
|The Eiffel Tower (public domain photo)|
Then, on our way back to the hotel, we got to drive down a part of the Champs Elysees for the first time, and then around the Arc de Triomphe. It was the first of several times, and I loved it each time! During rush hour, the traffic around the circle is congested and crazy. There are no lane markings and it’s exciting to see how drivers maneuver around. It’s better than an amusement park ride--I loved the view from the back seat.
|Crazy traffic around the Arc de Triomphe. It gets much worse than this during rush hour .|
(photo credit, Broken Sphere 20005).
I think I could drive in Paris (never, ever in London) but I would not attempt the Arc de Triomphe roundabout, except in the middle of the night when there’s no traffic.
|We got room service from the Makassar Restaurant downstairs on our first night. Our hotel is far right. |
(photo, Marriott website)
For dinner our first night in Paris, we ordered room service. Doesn't sound too exciting, I know, but we were weary and decided to stay in, have a peaceful dinner and drink our water that we had lugged back in the rain from the small grocery shop where it cost 1.5 euros per bottle (same brand the hotel sold for 12 euros each).
The next day in Paris we started out at the spectacular Musee d’Orsay.