What To Do Last Day Paris

05Dec11

“What to do last day Paris” is among the most common (and most syntax-challenged) searches on HBlog. I’ll have to post my suggestions one of these days. But for now, I’ll just stick to what Esteban and I did on OUR last day in Paris.

I’ll start at the beginning—the part where I pity my husband for having married me. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, I haven’t been able to stop crying for two days. I didn’t expect to be so heartbroken about leaving Paris, but it’s hit me really hard.

So I think it was a brilliant move on Esteban’s part when he suggested that we simply take a long walk today. “Let me show you the Pont Bir-Hakeim,” I suggested. “Isn’t that by the André Citroen park?” he asked. We had our destination(s).

Few tourists venture into these distant districts of Paris, because there honestly isn’t much to see there. But—on a clear, wind-free day—the André Citroen park is well worth the trip. Amid the bizarre (yet cool) postmodernist gardens …

… you’ll find an enormous helium balloon.

Alas, today was neither clear nor wind-free, so the bird wasn’t flying. But I have it on good authority that the view from 500 feet up is pretty spectacular.

At the far end of the park you’ll also find two enormous greenhouses, one of which contains only plants from Australia and New Zealand. My lungs welcomed the shot of oxygen after spending two weeks in Paris’ smog.

After a quick break for lunch we strolled along the Seine toward the Eiffel Tower. I’m so envious of the people who live in the converted barges along the riverfront.

I’m also extremely envious of this person’s mad parallel-parking skills. Seriously!

On our way to the Bir-Hakeim bridge, we finally spotted the scaled-down replica of the Statue of Liberty that stands on the tip of the Isle des Cygnes. I felt like a major multi-tasker, shooting two monuments simultaneously.

Heck … as long as we’re multitasking, here’s Tour EiffelInvalides.

After a bit of an off-road adventure we finally arrived at the Pont Bir-Hakeim. Few tourists have ever heard of it but if you’re into photography or history — or if you just want a great view of the Eiffel Tower — it’s well worth the visit.

From there, Esteban and I decided to walk down the Champs Elysees. I didn’t give a rat’s fuzzy butt about the luxury shops on Avenue George V, but I adored the kitschy knick-knacks, food kiosks and Christmas lights of the public market. It reminded me of the Minnesota State Fair … but with a French accent.

I also finally got to see the American Cathedral. The organist’s rehearsal drew us into the apse but just as quickly repelled us: The poor thing kept getting stuck in the same spot, stopping, and starting over again. It’s not often you’re treated to a live version of a skipping record.

As the light faded, we resumed our walk along the river and were again reminded of why Paris is known as the city of monuments and lights.

We stopped for our last bistro dinner — another round of boeuf bourgignon at La Frégate — and for a bottle of wine on the way home.

I absolutely adore this wine shop at 82 rue Vaneau. More than anything in the world I wanted to ride in the 18th-century dumbwaiter, but I didn’t have the courage (or the vocabulary) to ask. Maybe next year.

Tomorrow we’ll get up extra-early to catch our ride to the airport. As we have for several days, we’ll tiptoe carefully across our apartment’s über-creaky floors in a fruitless attempt to “please don’t noise here.” But as we have for several days, we’ll fail miserably.

Still … it’s good to know there will be at least one person out there who will be glad to see me leave Paris.

__________________________________________________________________
To all of you who have cheered me on/cheered me up with your kind comments, Merci mille fois. But please stick around: There are still stories to tell and pictures to show.

And if I feel truly inspired, maybe I’ll finally do that post on What To Do Last Day Paris. I’m becoming somewhat of an expert, after all …



16 Responses to “What To Do Last Day Paris”

  1. I cried too. Who wouldn’t? Paris is an amazingly beautiful city that has some new thing to see at every turn. Thanks for showing us your Paris. Looking forward to more stories and photos.
    As usual, your photos are just stunning.

    • 2 hmunro

      Thanks so much, Marcia. I absolutely HATE crying in public, but for Paris I’ll gladly make an exception. 🙂

  2. 3 XpatScot

    The old pont Bir-Hakeim. Couldn’t resist it, could you? 🙂

    • 4 hmunro

      Nope … couldn’t resist it! In fact, I went there deliberately because it reminded me of you. I never would have met you, if not for the Pont Bir-Hakeim. 🙂

  3. it’s been great seeing paris through your eyes and getting excited about it again. thanks for your passion! next question: what are you going to do on your next FIRST day in paris?

    • 8 hmunro

      On my next first day in Paris I’m going to meet my friend Chris for a kir. Everything after that is just gravy.

      Actually, I’ve already started saving for my next trip. And I’m thinking that maybe my next ticket should be a one-way.

  4. Nooooo… don’t leave!!!! I’ll also be emosional if I were you!!! You certainly made the most of your time there… but looking forward to more posts & that ‘last day in Paris’ post!!! Great post, can’t imagine a better way of spending it!!! 🙂 **

    • 10 hmunro

      NOOOOO!! That’s *exactly* what I wailed when the taxi arrived to take us to the airport. My poor husband …

      And thanks for encouraging me to keep writing about my trip. I was a bit worried that my friends would be tired of hearing about Paris by now. 🙂

  5. Very nice photos, as usual. You went to “Inception bridge”, I hear? That is by far my favorite bridge in Paris. It’s a shame you weren’t able to go up in the balloon, yet I’ve never managed either… It’s also true Paris has been incredible windy recently (boring weather talk!). Nice job at shapeshifting buildings with the Tour EiffelInvalides 😉 . Hope you had a great time in Paris (I know that’s a silly question to ask because I know you did).

    • 12 hmunro

      Ah, yes … the “Inception bridge.” Can’t believe I’d forgotten about that! And yes, I did have a wonderful time in Paris. My only regret is that I didn’t have more time. But then, even a lifetime wouldn’t be enough for me.

      Thanks for tagging along, Edward. 🙂

  6. Great city shots in this series! With a week-long stay coming up next month, I hope to visit some of the places you’ve been.

  7. Thank you for sharing an intimate look at Paris with those of us who have never experienced the sadness of leaving it (because we’ve never had the joy of traveling there). –John

    • 16 hmunro

      How does that saying go? “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to not have loved at all”? Thanks for reminding me that I’m lucky to have seen Paris at all. Very lucky indeed. Thanks for being such a faithful travel companion!


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