My aunt had never been to Paris, so we decided to maximize our time there by hiring a car to drive us from the port in Le Havre to the “city of love”. We met our driver outside the port terminal at 8:30am, and embarked on the two and a half hour drive. I had spent the night before at a crew Halloween party, so I napped for most of the ride.
Upon reaching Paris, our driver (I can’t remember his name, so I’ll call him Francoise) started taking us around the city to see some of the famous monuments. Our first stop was the Arc du Triumph. I’ve seen similar arches in New York, Lisbon, and Bucharest, but this one is the largest and most impressive. People were able to go up to the top of the arch, but we decided we’d rather see more than wait in line.
Our next stop was the Church of Madeleine. The exterior columns stretching down the side of the building were beautiful, as was the carving on the front of the building. If I remembered any of my vocabulary from art history, I’d be able to describe the church in much more detail. As it is, I’m not doing it justice! It seems I’m suffering from early memory loss…
We continued on to the Academie Nationale de Musique. The gigantic building had carved stone on all sides and gold angels on top. Pink, blue, and gold details popped out against the stone.
We moved on to the Louvre. Francoise pointed out the difference in the color of the walls outside the plaza versus inside. The inside walls have been cleaned, but the outside ones have not. We were able to spend some time walking around and taking photos at the museum. I’ve seen the Louvre in so many movies and photos, so it was exciting to see it in real life! I need to go back to Paris and spend a good four days exploring all the art inside. Francoise confessed that he’s never been inside, as he more of a contemporary art fan.
The last stop on our driving tour was the Notre Dame Cathedral. We stopped just long enough for photos before getting back in the car. Francoise got a bit lost on the way to our drop off point, so by the time we got out of the car again, I was starving! We were dropped off on the Champs Elysses for 3 hours of free time. My mom, aunt, and I headed straight for food!
After a glass of white wine and a delicious piece of quiche lorraine, I was ready for more exploring! We set off for the Eiffel Tower. It was about a 20-minute walk from the restaurant to the tower. My aunt, seeing it for the first time, was ecstatic. We took plenty of photos, and she even took a few selfies!
We walked back towards Champs Elysses, and had just enough time to stop for some wine before meeting Francoise again. I was unable to sleep on the ride back to the ship, but enjoyed talking with my mom and looking at the idyllic French countryside. Francoise pointed out his hometown as we got closer to Le Havre.
When we got back to the ship, I had to get ready for a farewell performance. I was sad to be saying goodbye to my family the next day, but was happy after a great week with them, and a practically perfect day in Paris!