We landed in Paris around 7AM after our overnight flight, looking forward to our 21-day trip through Paris, Normandy, Champagne, and the Loire. After transferring to our St. Germaine apartment to drop off our luggage, we headed out into a sunny, cool spring day to walk the central part of Paris. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
The location of our apartment was one block off of the Seine between the Musee D’Orsay and Notre Dame Cathedral. After crossing the Seine we made our way to the Tuileries Gardens located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde. The gardens were named after Catherine de Medici’s Tuileries Palace, the previous occupant of the current garden site.
Our arrival day coincided with a national holiday, Ascension Day, and as we strolled through the Tuileries the song of the birds inhabiting the park overwhelmed any sound of motor vehicles on the nearby streets. As we slowly wandered through the park, stopping for lunch at an outdoor restaurant, we enjoyed the spring blossoms still hanging onto the limbs of nearby trees.
Fortified, we began to head in the direction of the tallest occupant of the Tuileries, the Roue de Paris (a 200’ high Ferris wheel). During prior trips we had passed this Paris landmark but lacked the time in our itinerary to not only enjoy the Tuileries but to also ride the Ferris wheel. Due to the holiday most of the Parisians were home or away from the city and tourist season had not yet started. We were in luck! There was a line of only four people waiting to view Paris from this unique vantage point.
As our turn quickly arrived, we entered the steel cage while the attendant ensured we were securely ensconced. As we slowly made our way to the peak of the Roue de Paris, we began to get glimpses of central Paris on a perfectly clear day when there were very few cars on the road. As we reached the zenith of our journey we were rewarded with spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, Place de la Concorde, and the Champs Elysees. We had never experienced Paris on such a sunny clear day when there were little to no cars or pedestrians – it was an unforgettable moment.
Later that afternoon, as the clouds began to roll into Paris, we made our way to Cafe de Flore to snag a table for people watching. Armed with a rose champagne (my beverage of choice) we relaxed while observing the comings and goings of Parisians. It was a perfect ending to a beautiful day in Paris.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.