<—- Go back to the itinerary in Holland and Belgium. Read the itinerary in Paris.
Itinerary in Paris: BRUSSELS – PARIS 300 km
Today we moved to Paris, but before our priority was the search for a gas station that had distilled water for the battery, since the levels were very low.
After an hour on the highway and a stop at two distributors who had run out of distilled water, we managed to find one that had it. Then after this small setback we continue our road towards Paris through a landscape of fields cultivated with wheat.
Around 11.30 am we arrive in sight of the outskirts of the city, the chaos is quite high, there are many junctions, roads and cars, but thanks to our map we can reach our hotel the Jolly Hotel Lotti (where we will stay for 4 nights), located in Rue de Castiglione, in an excellent central position, near Place Vendome, the gardens of Les Tuileries, the Louvre, Notre Dame etc. When a shopkeeper in the area sees us arriving with our car, he welcomes us to Paris, very nice the first approach. After a refresh in the hotel, we start immediately to explore the city, we buy two Metrò tickets to travel to Paris, valid for 5 days (even if we only stay 4 days).
THE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
One of the first things we go to visit is the Notre Dame Cathedral, which unfortunately is being restored and is full of scaffolding, however we visit the interior, very crowded with tourists (we are in August!). The rose windows and stained glass windows are stunning, the church, built between 1160 and 1345, is considered the most beautiful example of French Gothic.
The weather seems to be tantrum has become cloudy! Next stop are the really beautiful Luxembourg Gardens with flowers, greenery and the tip of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Luxembourg Palace, which houses the French Senate, was built at the behest of Maria de’ Medici by the architect Salomon de Brosse between the years 1615-1627. We make a short stop in the area of the Eiffel Tower, which was built in 1889 and reaches 300 meters in height (with the antenna the 324 m) and is unquestionably the symbol of Paris.
THE ARCH OF TRIUMPH
Then we visit the Arc de Triomphe, another symbol of Paris, its construction was decided by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806, after the victory in the battle of Austerlitz, it was completed in 1836. Then we walk the Champs Elysèe, immense avenue crowded with people and shopping centers. To end this intense day we spent the end of the afternoon between Les Halles and the Beaubourg where there are characters who improvise all kinds of street performances. Finally, we return to the hotel, tired but enthusiastic about the beauty of this city.
Itinerary in Paris: PARIS
We leave the hotel at 8.30 am, today a visit to the Louvre Museum is scheduled. We walked the whole morning inside the museum, which is truly spectacular, also the pyramid entrance, which I had not yet seen. Then we visited the rooms that show the works of the most ancient civilizations (this part of the museum we had never seen in other visits to Paris) such as that of the ancient Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Assyrians, the Etruscans, the Greeks (including the famous Nike of Samothrace), the Romans.
Then we move on to the numerous rooms that host the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci (the famous Gioconda is besieged as always by groups of tourists), Botticelli, Michelangelo, Cimabue, Giotto, Raffaello, Caravaggio etc. Other important artists present with works in this wonderful museum are Vermeer, Cézanne, Degas, Rembrandt, Rubens. We also visit the apartments of Napoleon III. At 13 pm we are exhausted and we decide to leave the museum and take a break with something to eat. After lunch we visit the Madeleine Church, a Napoleonic neoclassical temple that looks like a Roman temple. Then it starts raining and we decide to take a detour to the new Defense district. A neighborhood full of modern buildings built in recent years, in fact on my first visit to Paris this neighborhood did not exist.
Itinerary in Paris: PARIS
Today we visit the Montmartre area, in particular the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, unfortunately the weather is rather bad, it doesn’t rain, but little is missing. The basilica, in Roman Byzantine style, is a fairly recent work (1884-1914).
What fascinates most about this basilica is its completely white structure and its wonderful position, in fact, is located in a panoramic position on a hill overlooking the whole city of Paris.
After a walk in the Montmartre district, we went to visit the Hotel des Invalides, which stands out for its golden dome. The structure is a large complex of neoclassical buildings built in 1670 to house disabled soldiers. The golden dome was originally built for the private chapel of Louis XIV, but houses the tomb of Napoleon I inside. We also visit the part of the building which houses the famous Military Museum of the French Army (Musée de l’Armée) which preserves armaments and trophies of French history from the 17th century to the Second World War.
Itinerary in Paris: PARIS
We dedicate all morning to visiting the Musée d’Orsay, the Impressionists museum, built in the former Orsay railway station, decommissioned in 1937, a truly beautiful renovation. We see the beautiful paintings by Gauguin, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet, Matisse, Monet, Renoir etc. From the museum terrace we can admire a beautiful panorama of Paris. After a short walk we go for a nap at the hotel.
In the late afternoon we go to Les Halles to have dinner and then off to see the Eiffel Tower at night! I recommend it to everyone, the effect is magical, the lights make the tower look like a treasure, not only is the golden dome of the Hotel des Invalides illuminated. We stop for a while to enjoy the show and then listen to the music of four Latin American street artists. Final worthy of the last evening in Paris, tomorrow morning we leave for Provence.