My husband and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary with a trip to Croatia. The sequence of flights required a 24 hour lay-over in Paris. Having been to Paris twice before, we had the freedom to explore without needing to see everything.
After checking in to our hotel, we began with a Van Gough exhibit at Atelier des Lumieres. The exhibit had shown up randomly in Dave’s news feed, and what a find it was! This immersive exhibit showcases Van Gough’s art and life using video, music, and lights. For approximately 30 minutes, we found ourselves surrounded with beauty. If you are in Paris this year, it’s a must-see. Make sure you buy your tickets beforehand.
From here, we went to Ile Saint-Louis. I had recently read a book set on the island. We strolled the narrow street enjoying the eclectic shops and had an early dinner at Sorza. I recommend the risotto.
After dinner, we crossed the bridge and walked along the Seine. Notre Dame is in full renovations after the fire last month.
We continued along the Seine, enjoying the many book sellers and artist kiosks. We crossed the Pont des Arts. When we were here 5 years ago, it was covered with locks (lovers attach the lock and then throw the key into the Seine).
Now, with the locks removed, plexiglass has been added to keep people from filling the supports again. Of course, love always finds away as locks adorn the lampposts.
We continued our journey through the Louvre’s plaza and through the Jardin des Tuileries.
Soon the Arc de Triomphe was visible, which was where our hotel was. We walked up the Champps Elysees and around the Arc.
At this point, we were ready for a short rest, having walked almost 4 miles since dinner. It was still too early to go to bed, so we went down to the hotel lounge for some wine and cheese before trying to catch up on our sleep.
Up early, but not too early, we found ourselves with an hour before we needed to take the train back to the airport. What do you do with an hour in Paris? Dave suggested we go to the Trocedero to see the Eiffel Tower. We arrived and were able to enjoy the views with other early travelers.
After taking it in, we took the Metro back to the hotel and then the train to the airport. One short flight (after a long check-in – we arrived behind two tour groups) to Split and the Croatian part our journey begins.
For not needing to see everything, we were able to enjoy much of what Paris has to offer: art, food, music, and architectural beauty. The last 24 hours are a good reminder to focus on possibility rather than scarcity. We may experience more than we could have ever planned for.
Wherever you are, may your day provide you with some moments of wonder and surprise.