We arrived in Paris at 6:05 AM and neither of us got a lot of sleep on the plane but it was just enough to allow us to hit the ground running. The Eiffel Park Hotel was pleasant with comfortable rooms, free internet, and just a quarter mile from the Eiffel Tower and connections to all of the tourist transportation options.

Eiffel Park Hotel

  We opted for the Batobus (river boat shuttle). The cruise along the Seine River offered 8 hop-on/hop-off stops near special attractions. It was perfect. All of the major attractions we wanted to see were all near the river.
  We arrived on a gorgeous sunny day. Unfortunately it was a Saturday and the line up to go up in the Eiffel tower was just way too long. The next two days were cloudy and overcast most of the day but overall rather pleasant however the weather didn’t really inspire us to go up in the Tower. What a change of pace! No guides and no preset itinerary. Just get up and flitter around like a leaf on the wind. Over the course of the next three days we made multiple loop trips up and down the Seine River and saw Notre Dame, Louvre, Champs-Elysées, Place de la Concorde, Conciergerie, and Sainte-Chapelle.

After our fast pace while traveling in Egypt and Jordan it was nice to throttle back, and go at a slower pace.

Eiffel Tower Grand Palace Conciergerie where Marie Anthonette was inprisoned


The Louvre

The Louvre is enormous! When seen from the river it looks huge but what you can’t see is that it is U shaped and you are seeing less than half of the museum. We were surprised, no shocked! When we found out that the Louvre allowed photography throughout the entire museum.

The Louvre - Mona Lisa


Even though the signs said no flash everyone one was flashing away and the security wasn’t enforcing that rule. Although I found that the photos tended to be best without a flash anyway. There were always fairly large crowds around the most famous art pieces, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, Coronation Crown of Louis XV, etc. but the biggest crowd was around Mona Lisa. It took a few minutes to wiggle our way up for a closer look.



Notre Dame

After a couple of weeks in the Middle East it was quite the sticker shock to see prices in Paris. Paris certainly isn’t an economy vacation destination :-) but then that’s not why you go to Paris.

But there was one surprising freebie. Unlike Westminster Abby in London where they charge and extravagant amount to see the inside of the church Notre Dame was free. There was a fee if you wanted to climb to the upper levels. Which we would have done but the line was always too long.

Notre Dame


Notre Dame

Place de la Concorde & Egyptian obelisk from Luxor, Egypt Sainte Chapelle

Arche of Triumph & Champs Elysees


Our own private cruise
onboard the Batobus

On our last day we hopped on the first Batobus of the day and joked with Jonathan and Natalie that we had our own private cruise. We were the only passengers onboard.

A 3 day layover in Paris was a great way to break up the long trip home. I think this is the first trip ever where I have traveled on 3 different continents (Egypt in Africa, Jordan in Asia, and Paris in Europe. Now we need to go home and take a nap. It was a fun although mostly fast paced 3 weeks.


Egypt, Jordan, and Paris 2009
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Revised April 11, 2009