Euro Month :: City of Lights

paris in 48 hours + sightseeing

[trip style = sightseeing]

Standing atop the Eiffel Tower at sundown you witness a transformation. Trying to find landmarks in the urban sea of sandy grey buildings, you wait for the sun to fall and moon to illuminate the Parisian landscape. But in Paris, the moon---normally the grandest of nightlights---fades into the horizon in the twinkling City of Lights.

I had such high hopes for Paris. Having been there before--once solo, once with girlfriends---I couldn't wait to go with my husband/trusty travel partner. We could kiss under every bridge (and there are a lot) on a Seine River Cruise, toast the city with champagne on the top tier of the Eiffel Tower, wander the streets for hours to work off the chocolate macarons and people-watch from marble-topped tables at bistros. Unfortunately, our time in The City of Lights was anything but bright. Given our fall visit, it was dark, downpouring and dull.

Describing Paris like this makes me sick. The city, the people and the spoken language of love stir an excitement in me that makes me want to scream baguette and cheese please! Looking back, I think my expectations were too high. It was dark because it was October, it was raining chats et chiens because it was fall, and it was dull because I was probably sad about the rain and never found my groove. All this said, there were pockets of fabulosity. And really, being disappointed in Paris is akin to drinking drip coffee in Italy---it's lame. Looking ahead, I'm not sure when I'll have the opportunity to return, but I will, and my next trip will be croissant-filled, fashion-fabulous and chic.

Paris in the Fall

paris cafe

This scene is what I love about Paris, the gazillions of petits cafes elegantly serving coffee and croissants on every street corner.

eiffel tower at night

Tour Eiffel at night

eiffel tower

On the second deck, looking up

arc de triomphe

Arc de Triomphe at night. Tip: Get some great pics of yourself by standing above one of the massive lights shining up from the street toward the Arc.

george pampidou

After a little shopping, we head to the Georges Pompidou National Museum of Modern Art. Tip: Check out their gift store, the unique artifacts they've culled are half the fun.

pompidou carpet art

One of my favorite art installations at the gallery---a series of flying carpets.

Also at the gallery, wishing the mid-century modern furniture was mine.

leaving pompidou

Leaving the gallery; it's lunchtime, apparently I'm in need of a pick-me-up.

Day 2: walking along the grey pebble pathway--common in Paris parks--towards the Louvre. Even though the weather isn't at its best, the landscape redeems it.


The Louvre, randomly closed this day for a private function...not meant to be.

la samaritaine

{La Samaritaine: one of my favorite Paris destinations, sadly closed since '05 because the building was apparently unsafe. Shame, as the art deco interior was chic and charming. Rumor has it the store will re-open in 2011. If it does, put this historical building on your Paris to-do list. Tip: Assuming the store re-opens, hopefully it will retain its amazing open-air observation deck pointing out city landmarks near and far.

notre dame

Things are looking up with blue skies above Notre Dame.

notre dame stained glass

You don't normally see multi-story stained glass windows with an open pane. Cool effect inside Notre Dame.

seine river cruise

One of the many Seine River Cruises offering a casual tour or dinner service.

train from paris to venice

Au revoir Paris! My husband on the top bunk of a two-person sleeper room in the overnight train en route to Venice (more on that next Friday).

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