The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. –Marcel Proust
I’ve been to Paris many times and I lived here for a while too. I’ve seen Paris with my husband, my brothers and, their spouses and finally, with my sister. Each time I have seen Paris differently, each person changes the face of Paris for me. I see it with different eyes, fresh eyes, new eyes.
Sharing the Experience
We all bring something different to the adventure; our expectations and experiences always travel with us. But there’s more to it than that; what brings us joy in a place other than home is as different as we are. The food, the culture, the architecture, the history, the art…all of those or some other very personal combination is what makes our experience. Seeing and experiencing Paris through the eyes of another is great fun! Two weeks in Paris with my sister was definitely different from any of my previous experiences. It was frenetic, it was tiring, it was crazy, it was fun!
Château de Fontainebleau
Château de Fontainebleau is one of the sights near Paris that I hadn’t seen before. We planned our getaway via metro, train, and shuttle. Rick Steves and Google Maps were excellent tools for telling us how to get there, so we managed it without a hitch. Except for missing the bus stop. Which was weird because when we realized it, the next stop let us off right in front of the Château.
The Château wasn’t crowded; we walked right in and then purchased the audio guide for the self-guided tour.
The self-guided tour took about 2 hours. When we finished, we had crepes from a vendor cart. It started pouring just as we ordered, so we managed to seek shelter in a covered walkway.
After lunch, we wanted to explore the gardens. We were quickly overwhelmed by the size of the gardens and as we strolled along the carp pond, a tiny train drove up. The driver asked if we wanted to hop on so we did! A faster and easier way to see the gardens seemed like a great idea!
What we didn’t count on was that the train would go fairly fast over very rough cobbled or unpaved roads. While we got a nice tour of the gardens, we didn’t get any photos because it was so bouncy!
I did manage to get a couple of photos that weren’t blurry!
Dinner on the Champs-Élysées
Later in the evening, we headed out for dinner and a stroll. We ended up in a sidewalk cafe on the Champs-Élysées, and it was quite good! We also got serenaded by a passing tour bus.
We had good intentions of going out for a quick dinner and stroll, but ended up out well past midnight again! I don’t know what it is about Paris, but once you start wandering in the City of Lights, it’s hard to stop.