Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday May 25th: L'Open Bus Tour

From my journal: Perhaps it was the excitement of seeing the Eiffel Tower at night for the first time or my sweltering sunburned skin, but I could not sleep Monday night.  I woke up the next morning very sleepy, so we opted to book two day passes on the L'Open Tour.  It was the best decision we could have made given the state of my blistered feet and my general weariness.  Also, we have wandered around this beautiful historic city for a day and a half, but without the appreciation for the history behind what we are seeing, I think we both felt we needed a more structured and informative tour of Paris.

The tour has four lines: The Paris Grand Tour, The Montparnasse tour, The Montmartre Tour, and The Bastille Tour.  We started off on the Montparnasse line since there was a stop just up the block from our hotel at the Jardin du Luxembourg. 

We loved learning more about the area where we were staying: The Saint Germain des Pris.
 The St. Germain reminded me in many ways of the Upper West Side in NYC with its beautiful homes and decorative flower boxes.

Of all of the neighborhoods, this one felt most lived in.  It was quiet and peaceful and perfectly charming.

This route took us past the Invalides - the residence Napoleon set up for wounded soldiers.  We were impressed by the beauty of its golden dome.

It is now a collection of museums, and most notably, it is the burial site of Napoleon Bonaparte.  We exited the tour here and had lunch and visited the Musee Rodin (next post) and re-entered on the Grand Tour line later in the afternoon.

The Grand Tour took us past many of the monuments Paris is most known for. 

Here we passed the National Assembly, which was once a private residence, but is now home to - you guessed it- the National Assembly.

The Arc de Triumph was so much bigger in stature than I had ever imagined. 

The Luxor Obelisk was given to France from Egypt and was moved to the Place de la Concorde in replace of the guillotine which stood there during the French Revolution.  It has no political leaning or significance which allows the square to have a feeling of belonging to all people.

The fountains at the Place de la Concorde were absolutely beautiful!  Across the street you can see two of the eight statues located in the square representing the cities of: Bordeaux, Brest, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Rouen and Strasbourg.

The Opera was just beautiful!  It was amazing to read the names on the placards of the musicians who had played there!

We'll be paying the Petit Palais a visit later in our trip - can you guess why?  YSL!!!!

After the two hour tour of historic Paris, we switched to the Montmarte line.  I had no desire to visit the area around the Moulin Rouge, and we knew we wouldn't have time to visit Monmarte and the Sacre Coeur (although I wish we had).  So, taking this leg of the tour was a good way to see the area without having to add an extra trip up this way.

I know some people are opposed to "touristy" things, but for us this was perfectly worth it.  We learned so many interesting facts on our rides, and in one day we were able to enjoy such a variety of sights that would have otherwise had to spend days trying to see. 

A two day pass is 32 Euros per person (only three more Euros than a one day pass).  It was a wonderful adventure and well worth the expense!

For more on the trip click:
HERE - for Sunday May 23rd: Our first day in Paris
HERE - for Monday May 24th: Walk a mile or two in my French shoes


  1. Thank you so much for all the pictures!!! I feel as though I'm on a guided tour!!

  2. Fabulous photos & re-cap. I did a couple of guided tours in Paris (Fat Tire Bike Tour and a Walking Tour of the Marais area) and it was well worth the money spent. I learned way more on those 2 tours than I could have on my own!

  3. You should seriously consider destination trip planning.....you are amazing!!

  4. I remember seeing that fountain and the Petit Palais! It's all soo beautiful! Lovely lovely lovely pictures :)

  5. Lovely! Drooling over those pictures of the St. Germain!



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