Friday, September 14, 2012

Paris - Days 5 & 6

Since our museum pass had expired and we felt like we'd seen the major sites in Paris, we spent our last two days riding bikes through the city.  Paris has an awesome public bike system that is really convenient and relatively cheap.  You pay a small start up fee, and then there are stations throughout the city that you can drop off or pick up a bike as you want. Every time you get a bike, the first 30 minutes are free, and then a small fee is charged for every half hour beyond that.  It was really convenient because there were stations everywhere, so instead of finding a place to lock up your bike when you wanted to stop for a few minutes, you just turned it back in and got a new one when you were ready.  When we first started on the bikes, it was a bit stressful because there were buses, motorcycles, crazy taxi drivers and one way streets everywhere. We quickly got the hang of it, though, and if you follow the rules (Luke!) and stay in the bike lanes, it was pleasant and safe.

On the first day, we rode over to the Rue Cler, which is a pedestrian only street recommended by the Rick Steve's guide. We had a little picnic-y type lunch and bought a couple of bottles of French wine to take home with us before jumping back on the bikes. After that, we headed across town and through the Marsais neighborhood, where we tried a famous falafel pita. (It even came recommended by Lenny Kravitz. :)) Sorry, no pictures of Marsais; our camera use went way down when we were on the bikes. Safety first. :)

The Rue Cler.

A fruit and veggie stand on the corner of Rue Cler.
After turning in our bikes for the night, we went on a dinner cruise down the Seine River that we had planned as a special celebration of our anniversary. (Thanks, Lukie!)  It was a little bit pricey, but we were not disappointed with our experience. The food was better than even expected, the service was top notch and seeing Paris, the City of Lights, during the evening from a riverboat was priceless. It was a fantastic last night in Paris!

Luke on board the boat with his champagne aperitif.

It was difficult to take pictures on the boat, especially since we only had our small, older camera with us, but you get the gist.
On our last day in Paris, we only had until about 3 pm before we needed to get on the bus that would take us back to the airport. So we made the most of the time and rode bikes down the famous Champs-Elysees and around the Arc de Triomphe, which is where the Tour de France finishes.  We stopped for one last lunch of pizza since we were in Italy (kidding.) and in true Millie and Luke fashion, scrambled to try and make it to the bus station on time.  Unfortunately, we had missed the bus that corresponded with our flight, but fortunately, so had about 4 other people. We got together with them and were able to share a cab to the airport, which was much cheaper than going alone and got us there just in time to check our bag and hop on the flight.

Luke's last tea in Paris, and our only picture from day 6.
All in all, we loved Paris, and it was a perfect place to celebrate 3 years of marriage (and ironic since we were married in Paris, Arkansas.) We enjoyed everything we saw, (I especially loved the Eiffel tower) and relished the cafe hopping, leisurely days and refreshing weather.  However, we learned that our French is not very good.  If we're going from best to worst, from this trip we learned that our language order is English ---- Spanish ---- French.  Soon we'll find out that our Italian is better than our French, but our Greek is worst of all. Updates on Greece and Italy coming soon!

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