“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 …