Monday, July 1, 2013

Labor Day in Paris

When my son was in 5th grade he made up this crazy song that we have laughed about many times over the years. It goes like this: Labor Day is in May, when the horses eat some hay. We've teased him about it for a long time now because as we all know Labor Day is in September, well, not in Paris. He was right, Labor Day is in May and I'm sure horses are eating hay too.
I don't know why I didn't know this when I went in 1997 to Paris. We experienced disappointment when visiting Versailles on Labor Day in France. It was closed. You can see the grounds, but we had to come back the next day and see the inside of the palace, which took up an entire day we would have spent in Paris before going to the Loire Valley.
This time I knew Labor Day is May. We, again went to Paris the first week of May. Everything is closed on Labor Day, but this is not a problem in Paris. We spent the day exploring the Latin Quarter and the Left Bank just across the bridge from us. The highlight of the day was Luxembourg Gardens. It is my favorite park in Paris. Because it was a holiday it was full of Parisians. Children were sailing boats on the pond. Vigorous games of boules were being played. And the park was alive with the spirit of french culture. We also wandered through the alleys of the Latin Quarter with pure delight.
That night we decided to see the Eiffel Tower at around 10pm. It was open until midnight because of the holiday. We didn't know that until it was too late. Because we thought it closed at 11pm we thought if we stood in line for tickets we wouldn't make it. So we climbed 340 steps to the first level of the tower. The view was breathtaking. We thought we could buy tickets there to go the rest of the way up. Mais, non. We had to climb another 340 steps. That's 680 steps. I felt like a heart attack was imminent, but we made it and bought our ticket to the top on the elevator. A little tip I learned last time as well, you can't see much from the very top of the Eiffel tower at night. The best views are from the first and second levels because the fog rolls in at night. It is still worth it though.
Awesome picture on top of the Eiffel tower.
The famous book store where writers live upstairs and write novels.
St. Michel's Square
The Sorbonne
Luxembourg Gardens
I once won a game of boules against the quarterback of our high school football team.
I love this: Luxembourg gardens.
The Pantheon
Getting lost in the Latin Quarter is a good thing.
Ah Nacho...
That's where Ruby went to...taking a dip in the Seine.
On our bridge between the Ile de la Cite and Saint Louis islands there were street performers every day.
I love french children.

No comments: