Two weeks in London was a great way to wrap up the UK chapter of our trip. By the end of it we were rested and ready to get moving again – all across continental Europe. Here’s a glimpse of the white cliffs of Dover I snapped before our bus drove onto the ferry across the English Channel.
Here’s Karen steering the ferry with her mind and acting like it’s easy.
We couch surfed with a couple – Laura from France and her boyfriend Simone from Italy, who cooked delicious pasta the first night. They both worked, so we were left to explore Paris on our own each day. Here’s our first glimpse of the Seine.
Notre Dame, sans hunchback.
The metro stops had cool font before font was even a thing.
The streets in France are distinct in their wideness and tree-linedness.
Here’s the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris. Sticking out from it there in the middle is the western point of the island that was the medieval birthplace of the city.
And here’s the Louvre, on a blazing hot day. Can you see the heat blaze?
Going west from the Louvre you pass through the Tuileries Gardens with lovely fountains, where you can sit around on chairs on the dusty gravel paths under the trees and look at the grass.
Here’s the “Lovers Bridge.” If you look closely you can see that it’s covered in locks locked by lovers to symbolize their enduring love. We did one of our own, of course.
A sketch of the boat.
Speaking of boats, we took a Paris night cruise through Paris at night, which ended with a dramatic view of the illuminated Eiffel Tower.
The next day we walked from the flat along an old elevated train line that has now been converted to a pedestrian walkway. Here’s the view.
Another stroll through the Tuileries Gardens brought us to the Luxor Obelisk and the beginning of the Champs-Elysees, known as the most beautiful avenue in the world.
Along the avenue is the Grand Palais, a beautiful glass-roofed exhibition hall that was hiding in the trees.
Here’s the Arc de Triomph, which Napoleon left right in the middle of the street so they built a roundabout round about it.
And now…. the Eiffel Tower! It was built as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, designed to be taken down twenty years later. They forgot, and now it’s the cultural icon of France.
Here’s some sketches. Note the change in style inspired by Ryan’s favorite children’s books, the Madeline series.
We expected Paris to be rather quaint, with small streets of cafes centered around the Eiffel Tower. Instead, it was one of the most sprawling cities we’ve visited, with some of the most grandiose buildings. It was a nice surprise. Next stop: Strasbourg, a small French city on the border of Germany. At least, that’s what we expect……