On the first day in a new place we try to walk around to get oriented and to see some sights. Paris is much bigger than many of the places that we’ve been to but we still wanted to spend most of our day on foot. To start, however, we took our first Metro ride.
After a 5 minute walk from our Metro station, our first stop was a 120 year old tea shop called Angelina. It is famous as a quintessential Parisienne experience and was a frequent stop of Coco Chanel back in the day.
After a not terribly long wait we were ushered into the tea room that hasn’t changed very much since it was opened.
The must-have item is the Chocolat Chaud or hot chocolate. It is thick and rich but somehow not overpowering. It’s delivered with whipped cream on the side so you can sweeten it to your liking. The kids and Mom all got some and 3 out 4 of us thought it was outstanding (CreeperKitty thought it was a bit too dark).
The chocolate was accompanied by crusty bread and jam, fresh croissants and juice. After all of those carbs and sugar we headed across the street to get some exercise.
The Tuileries Garden was built in 1567 as a playground for the royal family but since the 17th century it has been open to the public. Today was a public holiday in France so the Garden was packed with tourists and locals enjoying the sunshine and greenery. The Garden is huge – it’s 1500 feet long and 900 feet wide – and is between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde.
Our first stop was the Grand Bassin – a large circular pond. The kids saw the sailboat vendor and we knew that we were going to be there for a while. They each got a sailboat and a stick to launch their boat and redirect it when it got close to the side. They loved being boat captains for a while.
Mom and Dad decided to grab a seat and to
After boating was finished, we wandered up the main path of the Garden, called the Grande Allée which is bordered with trees, statues and cafes on both sides. But we didn’t make it very far before the kids spied a playground and were off again.
As we (finally) exited the Garden we entered Place de la Concorde. It is the largest square in Paris and is remembered historically as a place of executions – including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
The major feature we wanted to see was the towering Egyptian obelisk that rises above the square. Back on March 15th, we toured the Luxor Temple in Egypt. The entrance to the temple was uneven – it had one standing obelisk on the left and an empty pedestal on the right. Our guide said the missing one had been gifted to France and was in Paris. The kids had remembered the story so were excited to see the ‘missing’ obelisk.
Our feet kept moving and led us to one of the most famous avenues in the world – the Champs Élysées. The 2km road stretches from the Place de la a Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. It is a wide street filled with trees, sidewalk cafes, shopping and people.
It’s slightly uphill all the way but our reward at the end was the Arc de Triomphe.
The kids at this point were suggesting quite loudly that they didn’t want to walk any more so we reminded them one big sight was still to come. We made a quick stop for some refreshments at a place Brian and Tiffany enjoyed on their last trip to Paris in 2016. The Brasserie Victor Hugo which was good but no longer had the Onion Soup we remembered so fondly.
From there it was five more minutes walk to the kids’ main attraction – the Eiffel Tower. We don’t do much more than look at it today, but the kids were just as impressed as they hoped. After taking several photos we took the Metro back to our neighborhood, enjoyed dinner from a local French bistro and called it a day.