Marché Bastille, Places des Vosges and Le Marais

July 2, 2015 (Thursday) – This Thursday was our last full day in Paris. There were no planned visits to monuments or sights today. Today was foot-based exploration starting with a weekly market at Bastille.

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Bastille monument

Bastille is most famous for it giant copper monument in the middle of a roundabout. It’s the site of the old prison in French Revolution times. Today, though, we were visiting the Marché Bastille set up here on Thursdays and Sundays.

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Stuck on a Paris train in 38C weather

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a Paris RER train

July 1, 2015 (Wednesday) – After our day at the Chateau de Versailles, we headed back to the RER train station to grab a train back into Paris. We were looking forward to doing some extra stuff when we got back into Paris. However, things did not go smoothly for the end of this hottest day of the year so far.

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In the Garden of Versailles

July 1, 2015 (Wednesday) – After exploring the Chateau, we ventured out into the gardens at Versailles. The fountain was unfortunately not running that day, but the gold-gilded statues surrounded by golden frogs was an impressive sight on its own.

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One of many fountains found in the Gardens

Being a scorcher of a day, we decided to not walk the gardens. We didn’t have time to walk the whole grounds. So we decided to splurge on renting a golf cart to get us around. On a day where temperatures reached 38C, we were more than willing to pay in order not to sweat buckets. And trust me, we were still sweating buckets without all the walking.

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A Day in Versailles – in the Chateau

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July 1, 2015 (Wednesday) – This past Canada Day was spent in Paris. More specifically, we headed out to the famed Chateau de Versailles just outside of Paris. We got up early in the morning and grabbed a quick breakfast at the nearby Atelier Jules. Then we were off on the Metro and then onto a RER train to head out of town. It was already very warm and it would be sweltering record temperatures for the rest of the day.

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Louis, Louis!

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Return to the Eiffel Tower

June 28, 2015 (Tuesday) – We managed to pack a lot in this day. Morning at the Musee d’Orsay. A quick visit to the Rodin Museum. Paid our respects to Napoleon Bonaparte. Walked through the history of French military. Grabbed gelato on Rue Cler. We were now making our way to the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower.

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Rue Cler, Paris

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On the way to Rue Cler

If you haven’t figured out by now, Paris is a walking city. We walked everywhere. After visiting the Musee D’Orsay, the Musee Rodin, and Les Invalides, we continued to walk towards the Eiffel Tower. We were really ahead of schedule and made sure our route to the Parisian landmark would take us through Rue Cler.

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Bienvenue à Rue Cler

I had read about Rue Cler in a Rick Steeves travel book. Mr. European travel guru, Rick Steeves, highly recommended spending time along Rue Cler for several reasons. Rue Cler is home to a compact collection of local epiceries, fromageries, boulangeries, and more. It is a cleaned up microcosm of every aspect of French daily living.

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Les Invalides – Napoleon’s tomb and more

 

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The dome of Les Invalides

We made our way across the wide Parisian boulevard and found our way to foot of the dome. This dome was originally the Royal Chapel. In 1840, it was designated to become Napoleon’s tomb. However, the required modifications to include a crypt took over 20 years to complete. The Dome in its current form was completed in 1861.

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Le Soufflé et L’Orangerie

The ferris wheel at Les Tuileries

June 29, 2015 (Monday) – After exploring the Louvre Museum for the better half of a day, we came back out into the Parisian summer sun. We passed through the Tuileries Gardens to our lunch destination. We had to walk down the busy Rue de Rivoli and then weave along a couple of back streets before arriving at our lunch spot on Rue du Mont Thabor.

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Le Louvre – came for the art and saw the crowds

June 29, 2015 (Monday) – The Louvre Museum is possibly the world’s greatest repository of art and artifacts. It’s not just art that dominates the hallowed corridors of the old palace. There are a variety of relics from different places in the world. It is super cliché to visit the Louvre, but it’s a cliché worth visiting. Just maybe don’t visit in the summer months like I did. Because if you visit during the busy tourist season, then expect the queues and crowds. For me, the crush of the crowds is part of the Louvre experience.

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Eiffel Tower in the Evening

June 28, 2015 – After the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, we went on a very long walk. We walked down to the Petit and Grand Palais. Then we continued across the Pont Alexandre III to the Left Bank. It was still somewhat early in the evening and our legs felt they could go further. Before we knew it, we were walking towards the Eiffel Tower. It wasn’t our plan, but we thought we’d go since we had time and energy.

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