It's hard to imagine a more perfect trip, every day has been warm and sunny, we have enjoyed lazy mornings and busy days in what has been described as the most beautiful city in the world. Paris is truly a living museum, with incredible buildings and monuments at every turn, and we have had an absolutely wonderful time.
Given that we were prevented from using our Hop on, Hop off pass yesterday because there was a run right in the middle of the route, we asked the tour company to extend our pass for one more day, which they did. We were thrilled when they even offered to do it at no charge!
We started our tour at the high end Printemps department store, where people were lined up just to get into the Louis Vuitton section. This is a beautiful historic building established in 1865, which revolutionized shopping in Paris, taking it from small shops where people haggled to being the first store to establish set prices.
Every way you turn, there are beautiful old buildings, if only their walls could talk!
We even got to see the Moulin Rouge, where the can can was born!
The French were master planners, and when train travel became popular, different stations were built around the outskirts of the city. This is the Gare du nord, or north gate, built in 1846, and like all French architecture at the time, it is tres bon! This is also the station that we came in on when travelling on the channel train from London, but were too overwhelmed to notice its beauty!
La Madeleine has gone through several metamorphoses over the years, from the time the cornerstone was laid in 1763 and was originally designed to pay tribute to Napoleon's army, but finally became a church in 1842. The pillars with statues standing between go all around the outside, and the gardens are beautifully kept. Like most public places in Paris, locals sit on the steps to enjoy a sandwich and maybe a baguette and drink.
The bronze doors at the entrance depict the 10 commandments, and look to be about 30 feet tall.
There are no windows in the church, with the exception of a few skylights, which display beautiful ceiling friezes.
opening out onto the altar.
It was a beautiful experience, and after the mad crush at Notre Dame, we were blessed to sit for a few minutes in prayer before leaving the worshipful atmosphere of La Madeline.
A boat cruise on the Seine was a nice, relaxing way to spend a hot afternoon, and it gave us a nice perspective of how the old city grew up along the river. The topless sunbathers didn't seem fazed by all the extra traffic! (Sorry, no pics!)
Czar Alexander forgot about the starving peasants back home in order to gift the French with this amazing bridge in 1896. It is easily the most beautiful bridge in the city, with lovely carvings and gold statues.
After a little break back in our hotel room that has now come to feel like home, we headed out for our evening reservation at the top of the Eiffel Tower. What a grand finale to our trip to Paris!
The views were spectacular, the feeling one of utter romance. Of everything that we have done, this is my favourite so far.
I will remember forever that magic kiss from my sweetheart at the top of the Eiffel Tower! God is so very very good!