Monday, November 16, 2009
One Day in Paris
For some reason, most of my foreign travel has happened in the Fall. It's a great time to travel - fewer crowds, cooler weather, better prices. Recently I remembered we were in Paris in November, many years ago...
One day in Paris. We planned to zip from London to Paris on the first train of the day and return on the last train that night.
But the day held many challenges: the tube station in London was closed that morning, the French taxi driver stiffed us on our change, and all of the Musee de l’Orangerie’s most famous paintings were away on tour, which we learned after having purchased our tickets. And at about 10am, the rain began – bad news for us since we planned to walk everywhere, and it was November, and cold.
But our one day in Paris is still our best travel day to date. While the cold rain completely soaked our pants up to the thigh, we huddled together under our umbrella the whole length of the Champs Elysees, stopping to duck into a café for hot chocolate and the best chocolate doughnut ever, and into a small silent church where the clink of our donation into the wooden box echoed through the stone interior.
The best paintings in l’Orangerie may have been away, but we found a large oval room downstairs where Monet’s water lilies were displayed in panorama, and we sat on the center benches, entranced.
After nearly being blown off the top of the Eiffel Tower by the cold gusts of wind, where we were so wet and freezing that I said, “I’m so cold I don’t care we’re in Paris anymore!” we found a cozy café and ended our day by warming up with a warm French dinner and oversized glasses of beer.
Travel days that go perfectly aren’t nearly as fun.