Last night in Paris.
Todd in foyer of Opera House.
Chagall ceiling and 8 ton chandelier!
ML on the grand staircase.
Well, this is my last post as it is our last night in Paris! We started off under rainy skies and drove into the city. We hit a lot of traffic for 12:00 in the afternoon and moved at a snails pace. The closer we got to Paris the more my stomach started to tighten up. Bobus wanted to take us straight through the city but we wanted to go around and come in from the side. As we made our changes, Bobus re-adjusted his coordinates and we followed him in. It was reassuring to know we had Bobus this time but these Paris drivers are freaking crazy! The road will suddenly change into a bus lane or a motorcycle will pull up next to you and force his way in or a car will come out of nowhere and cut you off. I am telling you, we have driven in most all of the major US cities and have NEVER experienced something like the traffic in this city. Anyway, we found the AVIS rental car place and somehow turned in safely. I have never been more relieved to park a car and turn off the engine in my life. I could have jumped for joy. The rental car guy spoke English really well and was joking with Todd about why he turned the car in a day early. He said, "You did the hardest part, the airport is no problem." When Todd told him we picked up the car near the Arc de Triomphe he started laughing and said, "That wasn't the best place to start." He said it takes some time getting used to how people drive here. Ya think???
The rain had stopped for a time and the sun was out as we walked to our hotel. I insisted on coming back to Paris for our last day so we had to find a place to stay online last night. I wanted to go back to the Opera house so we chose a hotel close by. It is a strange hotel....you can hardly fit going up or down the spiral stairs. Add in carrying our bags and we were lucky not to break a leg. I told Todd the stairs here are worse than the stairs at Notre Dame and that place is ancient! We got settled and immediately headed over to the Opera House. What an amazing place. Now, I know I have said that numerous times at numerous places but this place steals the show! No opera pun intended. It was so ornate and beautiful. The ceiling was painted by Chagall, the chandaliers were gold, the grand staircase was.....well, very grand! I loved every minute of it. Naturally, Todd couldn't stop singing from The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack and finally put his Ipod in his ears to listen to it. The Opera house actually does have tunnels and a waterway underneath its structure but naturally we couldn't go down there. We strolled around and took a TON of pictures. Everything was just so beautiful!
From there we were going to go see the Moulin Rouge but it was a LONG hike and I needed to do some shopping so we went back to the Notre Dame area where the best vendors were. One last sandwich in a baguette, one last chocolate crepe, and a few more scarves! Todd finally pulled me away and we grabbed the metro over to the Eiffel Tower. By this time it was dark and all lit up in blue lights. It started to sprinkle a bit as we walked over and by the time we got underneath it was really coming down! It was very pretty and romantic all lit up. We walked over to the other side when suddenly all the lights started twinkling! The rain had stopped and it felt like the 4th of July; we watched in awe - snapping pictures of course....although it is always hard to find someone who is willing to take our picture at night when you have to hold the camera so steady!
It was well worth driving back into the city for these two things: Opera Garnier and the Eiffel Tower at night. What a way to end a great trip!
We are very tired, hungry for our own food (how about a simple bowl of cereal!), and anxious to hear English on a regular basis - but we will miss this wonderful city! Thanks for following along and sorry we can't bring you all a chocolate crepe.