12-27-15 PARIS, FRANCE: We got to Paris about midday, bought Metro tickets and took the subway from Paris-Est to the San Suplice stop on the #4 line, about eight stops. From there it was a two block walk to our Hôtel de L’Abbaye. After check in, we walked as a group to the Seine, had lunch at a quai-side bistro, walked on to Île de la Cité, to check out Notre-Dame.
The line moved quickly so we went inside to admire the windows and Gothic structure. Judy and I wandered the local streets and then wended our way back to the hotel for a pre-dinner nap.
Dinner was at Benoit, a one-star restaurant, not too far away from our left bank hotel, just over the river. It was another ‘knock your socks off’ meal. All of us were stuffed before it was over. Everyone sampled everyone else’s food—a panoply of taste sensations. Even though we had arrived by taxi, we all felt it was necessary to walk back to the hotel.
Today started with breakfast at the hotel in the garden atrium. Judy and I decided to explore the Paris equivalent of New York’s High Line, Viaduct des Arts, and which was the inspiration for the High Line.
We metro’d back to Île de la Cité and explored the back of Notre-Dame, admiring the gargoyles and buttresses and moved on to Île St. Louis over a bridge occupied by street performers. The rue down the center of the smaller island is filled with shoppes and boutiques.
We moved on to the right bank still heading east, past a boat basin and finally found the elevated walkway. We climbed up and did about a mile and half to the west and then back to the beginning. Unlike the High Line, most of the shrubs are trimmed and manicured. The walkway is narrower than the high Line. The views include the Seine, some interesting buildings and forests of chimney pots.
After descending to street level, we walked on to Place de la Bastille and the new opera house and an outdoor marché. We admired the July Column at the center of Place de la Bastille. Back on Île St. Louis we lunched at busy bistro, perhaps called St. Regis.
Back on the left bank we visited Luxembourg gardens with big Sunday crowds and lots of flowers in bloom. Boys were sailing boats in the big central fountain. Le Sénat Palais du Luxembourg is quite grand. The hotel is just a few blocks away.
We had another superb dinner at Allard – Alain Ducasse, a restaurant we have been to before.
Hôtel de l'Abbaye, Paris, breakfast room.
Pair of sheep and photographer in front of smart car.
Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge over the Seine that is still standing.
Les jeune filles sur le pont.
Notre-Dame east side, front.
Windows above the altar.
Back of Notre-Dame, exterior of the windows above.
Le Viaduc des Arts. Paris's rehabilitation of an old elevated railroad into a promenade. This was the inspiration for NY's High Line Park.
It may be winter somewhere, but here the bees are working on a Pyracantha, firethorn.
Place de la Bastille. The July Column is topped by Genie de la Liberté. The grey building on the right is the Bastille Opéra.
Sunday in the Park with Judy. Le Jardin du Luxembourg. The Eiffel Tower is on the skyline.
Restaurant Allard - Alain Ducasse, kitchen staff.
Lively Paris night scene as we walk back to the hotel after the last sumptuous dinner.