Departing the d'Orsay we again caught the Big Bus and headed toward the Eiffel Tower. Our route on the Big Bus took us past the Arc de Triomphe. We decided a drive-by was sufficient as we had a lot more to see.
After lunch it was time for the Eiffel Tower! We were going to the TOP. Another long line but again it progressed rather quickly. We were prodded along like cattle,(with extra shoving from one of the Chinese visitors behind us who just kept pushing and couldn't control herself), but once we got into the actual structure, it wasn't so bad. We rode the first elevator that glides up the side on a diagonal. We reached the second floor, had a look around and got on the elevator to the top that goes straight up the middle. It goes up, and up, and up, and up and ...... I'm kind of leary of heights....
After a good look-a-bout, we took the elevator back to the second floor and changed to the diagonal elevator to get to the ground. Our next stop was a boat tour on the Seine. We had purchased the boat tour along with our Big Bus tickets and we needed to go now or miss out. So, we headed across the street from the Eiffel Tower to the boat launch. No line here! We quickly got in queue to board the boat, only to discover we were at the wrong boat! A quick walk to the other side of the bridge and another short queue, but we still had to wait about 20 minutes. Oh well......By the time we got on the boat and took off it was nearly dark. Actually, that turned out just fine as we had seen most of the sights during the day and it was delightful to see them after dark all lit up. The boat tour lasted one hour and we learned a lot of history about the bridges and various structures.
The next morning we again dined in our suite for breakfast and bundled up. Today was museum day and we headed to the granddaddy of them all, the Louvre. It was only a short walk from our hotel. We checked our coats, grabbed a museum map and made our way inside. It is massive! We entered under the pyramid (which was VERY controversial in it's day) and then just gawked. It is awesome in every sense of the word. Rather overwhelming too! We decided to make a plan because you simply cannot see it all. I really wanted to see the Mona Lisa because it had been on loan when I was last in Paris so we made a beeline for that.
I also wanted to see the Napoleon Apartments which I had never seen to we made our way through the various wings to the Apartments. It was worth the long walk.
Next on our agenda was l'Orangerie des Tuileries. One of my very favorites! A nice stroll from the Louvre along the Tuileries gardens gave us time to recoup from the crowds. The weather held steady and didn't rain on us. Although, we got this view of the Louvre.
The Musee National de l'Orangerie des Tuileries is so wonderful. It was a refreshing change from the massive d'Orsay and Louvre. It is small and intimate and contains some of the most famous Impressionist art in the world. The entire first floor is dedicated to Claude Monet and the Water Lily series. It overwhelms the senses. One simply has to take a sit down and a long look and let the beauty flow over you.
When we started this adventure, we decided a nice layover after Egypt would be nice before going home. We could choose from a number of places, Dubai, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and others. I'm so glad Eric chose Paris! I'm pretty sure I can talk him into doing another trip there :-)
We had a nice evening in our hotel suite, packed up our bags and got ready for an early morning. The next day we were up around 4 am, ick, ick, ick! Our taxi was waiting at the door for us and there was virtually no traffic as we made our way to the airport. Through security we found our gate and waited for the plane.
The flight home, well, to Atlanta, was long and uneventful. I tried to sleep for most of the way. At Atlanta, we only had a short time before our flight to Las Vegas. We were slightly delayed due to changing airplanes and our seats were changed. Pfffttttt.......
We boarded the plane and I had a window seat and Eric had the aisle. There was a woman sitting in the middle seat. I asked her if she minded moving so Eric and I could sit together. No problem she said! Great. So I asked if she wanted the window or aisle. She said window. Great. I waited, and waited and waited. Finally she asked what she should do. I said she should just move over a seat! Hahahahahaha, guess she was fatigued (or stupid). Anyway, she moved over, Eric and I got to sit next to each other and again I tried to sleep. I was tired of traveling and it was so nice to touch down at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. We caught a shuttle to the hotel where we had stashed the car and then drove the 130 miles home.
It was dark before we reached the house and it was bliss to drive into our yard. Oh what? The garage door wouldn't open? Heck, I don't need this business. We tried the opener on the other garage door and it opened so we went in the house that way. The darn opener chain on the large garage door had come undone with a snapped off sprocket, (an easy fix after the repairman came the next day). Regardless, we got into the house, dumped our luggage and made for bed.
Being home after our Egypt Cross Challenge adventure and our Paris layover was so very nice. There really is no place like home. I so enjoyed our travels and all the things we saw, all the wonderful folks we met and all the adventures we had, but I was glad to be home.
Thanks so very much for following along with this adventure. I'll be posting an Epilogue soon as there are a number of things I'd like to share with all of you. Until then....