Another crazy, walking day. It’s 88 degrees with a blistering sun. The highlight site; Sainte-Chapelle. It never fails to fill you with awe as you emerge from the spiral staircase and see the room full of the above, especially with the sun pouring through the expanse of stained glass…but, more on that later.
We started the day after the usual, massive breakfast with an included Viking tour of the City via an (air-conditioned) bus. We covered basically what we had walked the day before with some additional insights, but had the chance to get off the bus and wander the area just across from Notre Dame.
The smell of the smoke still hangs in the air, but the scaffolding growing around the space of the spire gives a great deal of new hope. The miracle is the rest of the building remaining basically intact awaiting its renewal. We slowly walked around getting lots of different perspectives.
We took a short break for some coffee and chocolate croissants, and boarded the bus asking to be dropped off at Luxembourg Gardens. Bonnie and Steve have a dear friend who was to meet us there for a visit. She is the daughter of the man and woman who set up a memorial to Steve’s father who, among others, crashed landed near their village. They saved and protected these American heroes. It’s a long, glorious story that you should hear some time. In the meantime, Katerine is a lovely, charming woman, who graciously spent the afternoon with us, walking us to some wonderful neighborhoods and sites that are off the general tourist ways.
Lunch was at Angelina’s, a beautiful restaurant chain that is in many historical and art-oriented sites. Comfortable and pleasant just at an entrance to Luxembourg museum and park. Katerine joined us a little late for dessert.
Steve with Katerine outside an obscure Metro stop on our off the path tour. Wd did a birthday video here for Maxwell (grandson #4) who turned 6 today.
After a long “urban” walk, it was a nice respite to climb up to expansive Jardin des Plantes. On the way was this incredible “insect hotel”, the kind of thing you see more and more at home (right Alex and Stephen? – who have a great one in their garden in Princeton).
The gardens are incredible and wild. Also an impressive greenhouse complex for cultivation and study. And, a huge museum of Natural History.
From there we said goodby to Katerine and hoofed it again, guided only by our hotel map and phones back to the middle of the city. Approaching 25,000 steps again, we decided to find the Metro at Gare de Lyon. It looked pretty easy on the map. About an hour later, dripping and stiff-legged, we staggered through the station’s labyrinth and finally found the right line (#1) that would take us back close to the hotel. The train was air-conditioned. Time is very deceptive this time of year as the light lingers almost to 11:00 (2300). Dinner at almost 9 pm by this time. No going to bed early, again. But, we’re all excited for a great day, tomorrow as we will wind our way to Giverny and Monet’s Garden.
As promised, we’ll leave you for the day with another view of St. Chapelle: