A Weekend in Paris! – yes…I did the touristy stuff =P

I’ve never made it to Europe. Until now. =)

I arrived in Stuttgart, Germany late last week to spend sometime with my sister and her husband. At the same time our cousin and her family from Japan decided to visit as well! So once we were all assembled in Stuttgart, we boarded the Deutsche Bahn ICE (Inter-City Express) train to Paris. It got us there in 3.5 hours!

Paris for the weekend! Almost sounds like the title of a guide book or internet travel guide- =)

With such limited time, we tried to hit as many of the touristy locations for our Paris experience. The Musse de Louve, Arc de Triomphe, shopping avenue called Champs Elysees, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle – all in a day and a half. If anyone has any more information regarding these sites, please feel free to chime in. I am not that well versed in French history or culture, and most of what I learned is from a guide book and the signs posted around.

So we started off our journey to say ‘hi’ to Mona Lisa at the Musse de Lourve.

I was really impressed with the size of some of the paintings and vast diversity of work at the Lourve

Just walking around the Lourve was an experience as the building itself was pretty amazing

A texture from Napoleon III’s apartment exhibit

This can also be found in my house in Chicago- =)

The underside of the Lourve pyramid – it was raining outside, so I didn’t get to walk around the gardens

Next up: The Arc de Triomphe

We had some fun taking some photos in front of the Arc

The Eiffel Tower has a sparkling lights show at the top of the hour in the evening. It added the lights to celebrate the year 2000, and then took them down afterwards. But after a public outcry, they put them back up and they are now a permanent display. The top of the Eiffel tower wasn’t open that night, so we could only go up to the second highest platform.

To be honest, I think I was somewhat thankful that the top floor was closed. As soon as we stepped off the elevator, I felt my stomach turn. We were so high up and the wind as blowing…it took me about 10 minutes before I began to feel somewhat comfortable. Here are my cousin’s family overlooking Paris. In the background you can see the Arc on the left and Notre Dame on the right.

For all you photographers out there…handheld 1 second exposure. =)

The following morning we were surprised to find a street market right outside our hotel! I love markets and we took to the opportunity to see all the local foods being sold-

I’ve never seen so many varieties of olives

I bought this fresh squeezed apple juice…mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Can I venture to say that Paris has the best subway musicians?

Inside the Notre Dame

We went on a Sunday morning, so there was a worship service going on-

Our crepe maker for the morning-

The gorgeous stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle – I think I could stay here for hours looking at the Biblical stories portrayed.

The crazy tight staircase we had to take up and down in Sainte Chapelle

So that was Paris! – After two short days I think I was beginning to fall in love with the city, it’s history and culture. I do hope to make it back to spend more time and really pick up some of the local flavor that just can’t be found in a weekend trip.

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