On day 4, we were up and out early for another fun filled day in Paris! We began with a quick visit to the Arc du Triumph and souvenir shopping on Champs Elysee. Next was another visit to the Eiffel Tower for “Le Tour Eiffel“, which took us inside the tower for a circular view of Paris. Our group had the privilege of an expedited entrance and lifts brought us up to the second floor, where the entire city was visible in all its enchanting grandeur. We took a ton of pictures, then paid a quick visit to “le boutique de souvenirs” before taking the steps back down to the ground level.
Afterward, we stopped at a small café called Boulangerie-Patisserie de la Tour Eiffel, where we enjoyed a late morning glass of wine and a basket of potato chips. Ruth was seated at a table next to us and we chatted for a bit before Domenico picked us up to bring us to another of Paris’ iconic landmarks.
Notre Dame Cathedral is situated on Île de la Cité, one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine and the center of Paris. I visited Notre Dame during my brief stay in 2010, but it was so cold, I didn’t spend much time outside. This time, an expert local guide took us on an hour-long tour and shared several interesting facts about Notre Dame and the surrounding area. It’s incredible the cathedral has survived so much damage over the years but thankfully, this amazing structure has been beautifully restored for future generations to enjoy. From the magnificent interior to the imposing gothic façade, it’s truly a must see!
After the tour, we perused several street vendor tables while waiting for the coach. In less than 24 hours, we had seen a lot of what makes Paris amazing, but we had only scratched the surface. Fortunately, there was one more fun experience planned for our last evening in the City of Lights that guaranteed we would always remember our time there!
Le Chat Noir is considered by most to be the first modern cabaret, but Moulin Rouge, which means “Red Mill”, is perhaps the most famous. We were impressed that Insight Vacations secured tickets for our entire group and didn’t think twice about taking advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity! Upon returning to the hotel, we had a couple hours to relax and then got gussied up for our visit to the iconic nightclub.
The coach dropped us off in front of Moulin Rouge, and once again, our group received priority entry that allowed us to bypass the regular queue. It was a bit surreal stepping into the lobby, which still displays original turn of the century décor from the club’s heyday. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures once inside but did manage to snap one pic of the dining room.
At dinner, we met several new folks on the tour and enjoyed conversation and wine while watching people dance to the opening band. Our table was stage-side, and from the moment the show began, we were blown away by the performances mere inches from us! The side acts were as captivating as the main program, and we saw everything from snakes writhing around in a see-through pool that rose out of the floor to highly skilled acrobatics. Oh, and there were lots of topless gals, too 😉 If that sort of thing doesn’t bother you, we highly recommend Moulin Rouge’s Féerie show.
Check back soon to read more about our first day in Switzerland!