Place de la Concorde and Pont Alexandre III (Day 5)

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The last and final entry of our October 2010 journey to Paris. View some of the 700+ photos I took in my Flickr collection.

We awoke late in the morning – no surprise after a full and relaxing late day/night before. After a brief morning nibble, we wandered the Marias for a bit, souvenir hunting for family and friends and generally determined to enjoy our last full day in Paris. Being a Sunday, there were few people out and about, save the various cafes and brasseries around us.

We stopped for a lingering brunch at a cafe near the Centre Georges-Pompidou. It was probably the first meal I had that was only so-so; my chicken was rather dry, though the coffee more than made up for it. We then took advantage of the few remaining Metro tickets we had left and headed out to the Place de la Concorde where the Luxor Obelisk stands at the entrance to the Tuileries. Roughly a kilometer away was the distant Arc de Triomphe, a straight shot down the Avenue des Champs Elysées. The sky was a perfect blue for photographing.

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After many, many photos and “gawking” moments, we maneuvered through the crosswalks to begin wandering up the Champs. We eventually ended up outside the Petite Palais and Le Grand Palais near Pont Alexandre III. There were lots of people out and about by now and we thoroughly enjoyed taking photos and generally wandering across the bridge. Across the street, a newly-married couple was having their photo session on the bridge, the Tour Eiffel standing in the background.

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A short bench rest later near the statue of Winston Churchill, we returned to the Concorde and then dove once again into the Jardin des Tuileries. (Easily, this was our favorite place in Paris for our stay.) A pleasant stroll brought us to the Rue Rivoli exit, and we meandered along as we renewed our shopping hunt. Several restaurants had lines into the street and the souvenir shops were packed. Despite our misgivings, we slipped in and bought some small trinkets for our friends and family before heading back towards the Marais.

Love in the Garden

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We stopped again at the skate park near the Metropolitan Metro station and enjoyed an impromptu sunset performance by a street band of teenagers. The skaters were back, this time attempting to “spark” the concrete with speeding stops and skids. We entered the Metro and returned to the Hôtel de Ville‎, stopping at a gelato cafe and enjoyed their fresh, creamed caramel. We then bought some fine chocolate for friends and returned home.

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Blades of Fire

With the evening dwindling down, we began preparations for our return to the States. Unfortunately, neither of us could really sleep; it was All Saints Eve in Paris, and apparently many party-goers used the street outside our rented townhouse as a pass-through. Despite the scant hours of rest, we were able to finish packing in the morning, enjoying a quick breakfast before noticing our cab was rather late. After calling the cab company…we discovered we had missed France’s version of the end of daylight savings time between Saturday and Sunday. The past 30 hours were actually off by an entire hour

We spent our wait in CDG alternately reading and napping before winging our way back to Virginia. And during that flight, we decided we would again visit Paris, and soon.

Ce fut un voyage merveilleux et un peu d’être répété. Merci, à Paris!

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