Our flight out of Malpensa was delayed by 30 minutes and then on arrival at the airport, our shuttle bus was late to the point that we were in stop/start peak hour traffic. It didn't matter! We were coming back to Paris and the magic of the city excited us as it would in our future trips since 2006. Coming and going, we've enjoyed Paris on eight occasions and it never ceases to seduce us.
Although tired, we did walk the streets in search of dinner and then an early night. I'd decided on an early morning run in search of the Paris Velodrome. I'd read of this particular Velodrome as being the venue for the finish of the Tour de France before the Champs-Elysees took on that role.
|One of the few medieval buildings that Baron Hausmann didn't destroy.|
|An unknown artist's painting of the Bastille.|
One of the sites of Paris I just needed to see was the Crypte Du Paris - I'd read about it in our DK Eye Witness guide of France. Early history has always excited me. To be where humans established a city 2000 years ago it was too good to miss. The foundations of Paris is a must see experience and yet the many visitors to Paris that I've met have never been there.
From the Paris Pass website
|Under the Parvis of Notre Dame where the tribe of the Parisii settled Ile de la Cite.|
This fascinating attraction includes a splendidly recreated settlement of the Parisii, the Celtic tribe that first settled on the site of Paris 2000 years ago and from whom the city takes its name. It is a powerful reminder that the city of Paris has stood for thousands of years in the centre of a great cultural storm, and that countless people have fought and died to make Paris their home.
We also had our first visit to Place des Vosges, well mine really because Sue had been to Paris before and been there. What a relaxing leafy place to be on a sunny autumn afternoon in Paris. Today a square of peaceful tranquility, it's hard to imagine that pistol duels were held here and it eventually degenerated into slums before being renovated to it's former exclusive splendour.
|Entering Place des Vosges|
|And once inside, the bustle of Paris subsides.|
After dinner we caught up with one of our Bayside Bandido cycling mates who was living in a broom closet in Paris. It was so nice to meet with Marcus who now lives in Thailand. He's a bit of a nomad really and runs bike tours there.
It was a lovely way to finish our France/Italy experience before flying out for home the following morning.
Oh how we looked forward to the 30 hour trip back.
|Marcus, Sue and I enjoy a bottle of red on our last night.|
|I'll leave you with this last typical Parisian scene - well to me anyway.|