Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tuesday December 25, 2012 - Christmas in Paris

It took a while in the morning to recover from our walking experiences on Monday as well as our great Christmas Eve dinner.

altar of Notre Dame

We did make it to Notre Dame in time for the 12:30 Christmas Mass, however.
Notre Dame
stained glass windows of Notre Dame

Following the church service we hopped on a Hop On/Hop Off bus and toured the shore of the Seine to the east as far as the Jardin des Plantes and the modern Bibliotheque Francois Mitterand, We then crossed the Seine into the Bercy area of Paris. At one time Bercy had been outside the city of Paris and nothing "was prohibited." This area drew not only prostitutes in great number but also wine storage warehouses which were established in Bercy to avoid the Paris city taxes. The huge Bercy Park as well as the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy now line the river as well as, ironically, the France Department of Taxation and other government buildings.

We returned to our starting point and had lunch (a late lunch) at the brasserie two doors down from Shakespeare and Company. It was a good lunch and prepared us to Hop On again. This time the bus traveled down river, across the river, around the Place de la Concorde, up the Champs Elysees, down to the Trocadero,

Eiffel Tower lit at night

and then around the Eiffel Tower. The sun had set some time ago and the Eiffel Tower was aglow with its night lights. The driver stopped (her shift had ended) and said another bus would pick us up within 5 minutes and take us the rest of the way on the Green Line. After waiting almost 20 minutes we decided to head back to our hotel. After we walked through another (small) Christmas market, we took the Metro, walked the 4 blocks to the hotel, and had a Christmas drink and then a light meal.

Another wonderful day in Paris!

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