On our second full day in Paris, we went on a bus tour around the city. I have been on tours of my favorite city many times before but they have been walking tours with my favorite guide, Michael Osman. So this, by bus, will be a new experience.
On this tour, we went with the students and their teachers. We had a tour guide named Olivier. He kept claiming that he really is not Parisian but lives there now with his family. He was a doctoral student and an exchange professor at Harvard ... until his wife told him to "get a job". If I am not mistaken he said he was a history teacher there.
The group also had a tour manager, Laetitia. Prior to the tour she told us that this bus tour was going to be lead by a tour guide. She also warned us that we are not getting out of the bus. We see the sights from the bus window. Well, BOO! on that!
Leave it to Olivier! We got out of the bus at the Hotel Invalides and he gave us a good tour of the place. Hotel Invalides was built by Louis XIV for veterans of the French Army. Now, it houses the Musee de l'Armee.
Next up was at the Eiffel Tower.
It was a cloudy day but Olivier let us out when we found a place with a good vantage point of the Eiffel Tower. Yeah! for Olivier!
Tracey and Katrina with a souvenir photo. I am not good at these "trick" shots... Best that I could do. :)
After we had some photos taken, I was thinking I am going to like Olivier... somewhat of a rebel. :)
He talked about the Arenes de Lutece, dating back to second century AD. Once again, we are out of the bus again and he talked about the significance of the place.
The ADD (Attention Deificit Disorder) in me was looking around and not really paying that much attendtion to Olivier... I saw the folks who were doing Tai Chi and some kids playing soccer.
More sights: Champs Elysees
and saw the stores we can never afford to purchase anything at...
Incidentally, I had offered to do a service for all my friends before I left that I was willing to shop for them... sort of like their own personal shopper... Shock! No takers! Sometimes my friends do not even know it when I am trying to help them save money. I am saving them an airfare to Paris... I will shop for them... No appreciation!
The Church of the Madeline. Initially constructed as a temple to the glory of Napoleon's army. The Madeline, a Catholic church with 52 columns just like the number of weeks in a year.
Luxembourg Garden... no stops there. We will visit this on another day.
We ended up at lunch time where Katrina, Tracey and I enjoyed a good lunch at Delmas. Time for Croque-Madame... Yes, The Ham and Cheese with an Egg on top! It's actually really good!
The afternoon will be at Versailles.