There is no journal entry after Switzerland, so I must rely on my memory to fill in the details of our days in Paris. The photos are shown in no particular order.
We arrived late on Bastille Day in time to find the streets mobbed with thousands of people in a celebratory mode making the festivities of Mardi Gras seem tame!
Rather like a charm bracelet tangled in a heap of jewelry, we held on to one another & eased our way through the crowds in an effort to find a spot to watch the fireworks. In spite of our best efforts, we missed them altogether. By morning, the crowds has dispersed.
We spent the day exploring the city and visiting the usual sites; The EiffelTower, The Cathedral of Chartres & The Louvre, etc., and doing a little shopping. Mom bought perfume to take home to friends, and the usual charm for the bracelet--the Eiffel Tower, of course.
We loved the views from the Eiffel Tower and Dad took dozens of photos from every angle.
No matter where we were, day or night, the city felt alive. I thought about Audrey Hepburn in the movie, Sabrina, and understood her coming of age in a city such as this.
At the Louvre, we overheard a tourist complaining that the Mona Lisa was so small. And yes, although small, its every detail could be easily viewed from only a few feet away. I have no recollection of unusual security other than an occasional museum guard. We left feeling as if we needed a month in the museum, not part of a day.
Wandering the Left Bank was a favored activity, providing an endless selection of art and opportunity for people-watching. I wanted to spend a week there.
We loved the Cathedral of Chartres and watching people file in and out. It seemed that people of every creed and nationality spent time studying the architecture, and most people were looking up! The area outside was very noisy and animated, but inside it was silent in its reverence.
Mom kept telling Dad to take pictures of the magnificent stained glass, and in spite of telling her that he didn't think he could do them justice, he tried repeatedly. There are probably a dozen slides of the windows, but none of the quality Dad would have preferred.
Seeing the Folies Bergere was quite an experience. My brother and his friends reported seeing and hearing a gentleman with opera glasses make the comment, "My, one girl had big feet!" It was sweltering hot and I embarrassed myself by fainting during intermission. It drew a crowd and a Dr. who provided smelling salts, a fan, a glass of water and the encouragement that I wasn't the first one, nor would I be the last to have this experience. It was little consolation.
It has been a bit disappointing not to have the postcards and letters from this trip, for the details & observations my mom typically provided after such trips were always extraordinary. If you have read the letters/diary entries from the year in Japan, you know what I mean.
Thank you for traveling with us!
Tomorrow, more Paris and Belgium.