Friday, May 6, 2011

Paris in the Springtime

This afternoon Gertrud and I will be departing Paris after a most wonderful week.  We have been here several times before but have never enjoyed it as much, probably because we didn't feel the pressure to see everything on this trip. Instead we took the time to relax (me, after the end of my work day) and to savor the city's ambiance and joie de vivre.  Paris in the Springtime has been a theme of writers, poets, painters and musicians for centuries, and with the flowers and trees now in bloom and the sidewalk cafes and restaurants full, we have certainly been inspired too.

Gertrud in a Paris cafe

Much of our enjoyment can be attributed to the location of the lovely boutique hotel we stayed in on Rue du Mont Thabor which is only short walks away from Place Vendome, the Opera, Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysees, Place de la Madeleine, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Orsay Palace, etc. On one warm evening we even walked to a restaurant near the Eiffel Tower for dinner which was only 45 minutes away.

Lobby of our hotel - Renaissance Place Vendome

On Saturday we saw Paris from the top of a double-decker bus, and on our only excursion outside Paris, we took a half-day tour to Giverny in Normandy to see Claude Monet's home and the gardens which provided the themes for many of his famous impressionist paintings. The gardens were as beautiful as we had expected

Monet's Garden
Monet's Garden

Note to our French friend, Joelle:  yes, we now agree with you that Paris is the world's most beautiful city, especially in the Spring.

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