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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 10
Israel, Paris


Carol and David and the ancient wall surrounding Old Jerusalem  

Day 20


We slept great for many hours. We have been so exhausted from all of the adventures in Israel that we fell into bed last night around 9:30pm and didn’t wake up until 8:30am on Monday. The bed was soft and comfortable and there was a cool, crisp breeze coming in through our open window through the night. We woke to the strains of children singing French songs accompanied by a piano at a nearby school.


Today is chilly and grey but the sun promises to peek through at times. Out into the busy streets of Paris on a moody Monday morning, we enjoyed le petite dejeuner on Rue Monge.


We then rode the Metro to Le Palais Garnier, the Opera Nationale de Paris. We toured the ornate theatre, the 13th to house the Paris Opera since it was founded in 1664 by Louis XIV. This grand building was built on the orders of Napoleon III as part of the great Parisian reconstruction carried out by Baron Haussmann. The project was put out to competition and was won by Charles Garnier, an unknown 35-year-old architect. The work lasted for 15 years, from 1860 to 1875, and was inaugurated on January 15, 1875. The marble Golden Staircase is one of the most famous features of the Palais. Garnier intended the Grand Foyer to resemble the gallery of a classical chateau. Mirrors and windows accentuate its vast dimensions. The red and gold auditorium, lit by the immense chandelier hanging below Marc Chagall’s brightly colored ceiling, has 1900 red velvet seats.

Carol and David in front of Le Palais Garnier, the Opera Nationale de Paris
The Opera's Golden Staircase
One of the ornate salons at the Opera
Marc Chagall’s beautiful chadelier at the Opera
Le Palais Garnier, the Opera Nationale de Paris

Next we walked north to the Galleries Lafayette where we window-shopped, then walked southeast several blocks to Rue Montorgueil, near Les Halles, where we sat and enjoyed lunch and people-watching at a shady café at 1:30pm.

David with the glorious Gothic Lady, Notre Dame, in the background

We spent the next several hours slowly wandering from café to café, exploring new as well as familiar streets. We strolled past Les Halles to the Pompidou Center, then across the Seine to Notre Dame where a bread and wine festival was in progress, then through the Latin Quarter, then up to Rue St. Germain des Pres, then east to Rue Monge, then up the hill at Rue Cardinal Lemoine near the Pantheon to the hotel, where we spied Madame La Floche checking on her beautiful gardens. We also spied the lovely Marie at her large wooden desk in the office. The sky has turned grey once again and the weather is wonderfully cool.

Carol and David at the lovely Hotel des Grande Ecoles
Carol resting at Le Hotel des Grande Ecoles, studying the map for more adventures in Paris

Showered and rested, then at 7pm we wandered out into the cool of the Paris evening to sample Her wares. We walked quite a distance from the hotel to Montparnasse and rode the express elevator up the Tour Montparnasse for the best view in all of Paris. We enjoyed the sights from the observation deck for an hour, then took the Metro to Odeon where we strolled the alleyways until we came to Rue St. Michelle and at 9:30pm sat at a café for dinner of herring, salmon and mousse au chocolat.

The towering Tour Montparnasse
The Montparnasse cemetery from the tall Tour Montaparnasse
Two beautiful sights from the top of Tour Montparnasse
Notre Dame from le Tour Montparnasse
Les Invalides as seen from the top of le Tour Montparnasse
Le Tour Eiffel as seen from le Tour Montparnasse

It is 10pm and the sky is still sunlit. We have noticed on our trips to Paris that it stays lighter much later than in the more southern latitude of Tucson.

Relaxing at dinner at a cafe at Rue St. Michelle at 9:30pm

After our very delicious dinner we chatted with a woman from Canada who was seated nearby, then walked east through the Latin Quarter, then north past Rue Des Ecoles up to the Pantheon, then east to Rue Mouffetard and then down Rue Cardinal Lemoine to the hotel. We must have walked 12 to 15 miles today.


At the hotel at 11:30pm we gave our tired feet a rest and threw open the windows above the garden and fell fast asleep as the cool breeze rustled the leaves in the tall trees.


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