Monday, July 2, 2012

July 2, First day of sightseeing

Our first day in Paris was kind of magical.  We had planned to take it easy - just stroll around a bit and see the sights while relaxing on a nice boat ride.  We left our hotel and headed west, passing by this nearby church, St. Augustine, which became a familiar landmark during our stay.

I'm already falling in love with even the relatively mundane examples of Paris architecture.

Here's the Arc de Triomphe.  The plan was just have a look at it today on our way down to the Seine, and actually go up in it later on.  You can see all of the people looking out over the top edge of it.  I need to do that too!

We also wanted to have a look at the Eiffel Tower before we went on our boat ride and we took the recommended approach from the Trocadero area.

It was fun to ride down the Seine and see all the famous buildings from the water.  This was a hop on - hop off boat, but I figured we'd just ride it up and down the river to get a nice overview of all the sights and rest our feet.

We saw the Notre Dame and the two islands, Ile de Cite and Ile de St. Louis, and we just could not resist getting off to have a look around.

On the bridge between the two islands there were musicians, magicians, and bubblemaking people.

The bubble below has taken on a life of its own.  First it followed me to my facebook page, and from there an artist friend of mine used it in several of his creations, including my latest profile picture on FB.

Here is one of the many bridges we went under during our boat ride.

We saw many impressive produce displays when we were walking around.

Back on the boat, with Notre Dam in the distance.

We got off the boat again, near the closest place to walk back to our hotel, and all of a sudden there was this giant ferris wheel.  Of course we had to get on it.

I got some nice shots with the Eiffel Tower in the distance to the southwest,

and Montmartre and the famous basilica Sacre Coeur way off in the distance to the north.  It was fun to get a preview of the area we were planning to visit the next day.

After we got off the boat, we walked west to the far end of the Tuileries Garden and stopped and listened to a concert for awhile before heading back to our hotel.

We ended up walking a LOT, but there was so much to see that we couldn't stop!  We kept getting distracted by additional sights. What an amazing and beautiful city!  We will definitely be sleeping well tonight, and hopefully we will be completely adjusted to Paris time by tomorrow.

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