Paris in 48 Hours; Part Une

The closest I have ever been to Paris was in Las Vegas at the Hotel Paris.

{1134E0E5-F0E7-4B2E-97D9-28D8CFC64AAE}-DSC00160

When booking our return flight home from London, Hubby found out that British Airways offered a less expensive flight home with a stopover in Paris, so we decided to go for two days rather than not at all.

The flight is less than an hour from London. We hopped in a taxi to get to our hotel. It was raining but I was ready with an umbrella and comfortable boots. About ten minutes later I looked to the right and there it was-

IMAG0060

The Eiffel Tower!

It seemed so much shorter than I expected but still was exciting to see.

To make our trip easier, my friend Kathy, who is from France made us a terrific itinerary complete with photos, street names, and metro lines. She really nailed it!

She suggested we stay near the “Latin Quarter” which is an historic area with lots of beautiful architecture, quaint shops and close to Notre Dame. We stayed at the boutique Melia Colbert, 7 Rue del’Hotel 75005 Paris.

DSC01845

It was across the street from the cathedral and all of the staff was courteous and multi-lingual as was everyone we encountered.

This was the view from the room

DSC01760

We got there at 8 a.m., dropped off our bags and started our day of walking.

One block away was the main street . We stopped in a cafe to have “American” coffee, ( a shot of espresso in a coffee cup with a little pitcher of milk to dilute it) and croissants, (the best!)

Sitting in the cafe, we could see the Notre Dame Cathedral.

DSC01697

DSC01698

Architecturally, it is a spectacular example of Gothic style with wonderful detail. The inside was not as elaborate as I expected but still had beautiful examples of craftsmanship including the world famous stained glass windows.

DSC01699

Inside, as expected, were oversize paintings, statuary, chandeliers and relics

.DSC01700

DSC01714

DSC01715

DSC01717

Upon leaving the Cathedral, we came upon these magnificent gates.

DSC01724

They turned out to be the entrance to the complex of the Sainte-Chappelle, an unexpected but very interesting destination. As quoted on their website; http://saintechapelle.monuments-nationaux.fr/

“a masterpiece of Flamboyant Gothic architecture built by Saint Louis in the heart of the Palais de la Cité on the Ile de la Cité in Paris. Discover its unique stained glass windows rendering the air iridescent with light and colour, symbols of the Heavenly Jerusalem”

Such inspiration of color and Gothic motifs! Enter through a very old and narrow stairway..

DSC01735

and step back in time to this-

DSC01738

DSC01739

Look up to the ceilings hand painted with fleur de lis

DSC01732

DSC01733

Gothic columns and arches everywhere!

DSC01731

DSC01744

DSC01734

The same motifs continue throughout on the windows

DSC01740

floors..

DSC01741

and the exterior stone.

DSC01745

If I had stayed a Textile Designer, I would have had a whole collection made by now!

These are details of the hardware on the entry doors.

DSC01742

DSC01743

Next to the chapel is a museum of paintings from the life of Saint Louis.

DSC01747

DSC01748

DSC01749

DSC01750

DSC01752

DSC01753

DSC01754

Stained Glass

DSC01751

And relics

DSC01755

DSC01759

We walked back to the hotel to check in, had more coffee and croissants, then to the metro Line 1 and got off at the entrance to the Champs De Elysee. That night began a Christmas festival with tents lining both sides of the entire avenue.

DSC01764

A large Ferris Wheel was erected for the festivities and the night sky was all aglow.

DSC01762

This is my money shot of the Eiffel Tower rain, fog and all-

DSC01761

We hadn’t had dinner yet because we didn’t want to waste time in a restaurant.This was the perfect place to eat but to make a decision was not easy. We would walk the entire thing and then decide what to have.

First up was oysters, one of my favorites

DSC01767

Cheese and more cheese!

DSC01765

What is cheese without wine and champagne?

DSC01768

True smoked salmon

DSC01771

and grilled sausage…

DSC01772Traditional Christmas ornaments from around the world were also for sale  such as these Russian nesting dolls

DSC01773

What would France be without crepes?

DSC01775

or macaroons? They weren’t from Laduree but still looked yummy!

DSC01782

There really is a Chocolate Heaven!

DSC01776

The Santa of Liberty and Beer

DSC01774

A Human Snow Globe

DSC01777

While crossing the street I spotted this building which was an art gallery.

I could live here.

DSC01779

a skating rink was still under construction but was looking like fun

DSC01783

Dinner turned out to be the grilled sausage with sauteed onions on a baguette.

We got back onto the metro to the Hotel Deville and walked back to our hotel. Day one was already a memory. Tomorrow would be the Marche aux Puces, the world renowned flea/antique market and the town of. Montmarte.

It was a tiring but fun first day in Paris. That night I was going through my photos and starting to plan my blog and remembered this-

DSC01722

Seriously???

I almost forgot I was in Paris and felt like I was back in New York.

I flew all the way to Paris to see Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Louboutin  and St. Laurent…. NOT Michael Kors. He is everywhere. Europeans LOVE their Michael. Instead of Louis Vuitton, even the street vendors sell Michael Kors knock offs! Very ironic…

But I must have my say.

First of all, Michael, save the advertising for media, not beautiful buildings. Second, Michael, stick to fashion. We already have someone who drapes buildings in fabric.

Christo / Big Air Package

And if you are going to drape a building at least do the whole thing..

Wrapped Reichstag C Christo

Michael should hire Christos to do this to him-

images

Check back for 48 hours in Paris, part deux!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s