Open Touring

Before I arrived in Paris, I bought all of us these passes for an Open Tour bus. It's basically a tourist bus that runs every hour with awesome routes and you can hop on and off as you please. It's a lot easier than trying to find your way around with the buses and trains.

The one con? Well...if it's raining (or freezing) it's not exactly fun. But if it's warm enough, it's pretty awesome because you just sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

One of our stops was Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. The basilica is at the summit of Monmatre, the highest point in the city. The basillica is built of a stone quarried in only in France. This stone constantly exudes calcite, which ensures that the basilica remains white even with weathering and pollution.

There won't be many pictures of it....since no photography is allowed. It is a spectacular sight though. Even if we were freaking soaking wet!!!

But here I am outside, standing in the rain!
And while two of us appreciated the surroundings, my other friend enjoyed taking picture of his true love: the sandwhich.
Next up, I beleive is Opera. We walked past this many times as it was very close to our hotel.
And of course, Notre Dame de Paris (French for Our Lady of Paris). Yes. It was that cold out. A random shot as we drove by. Still trying to figure out how to use my fancy camera....a year later... Passing by a crepe shop. Can you beleieve I was in Paris and I didn't try a crepe??!!
Of course we had to visit Champs-Élysées, the most prestigious avenue in Paris and is 2 km long. The one and only purchase I made was at Ladurée. Ladurée is a luxury cakes and pastries brand based in France.
It is known as the inventor of the double-decker macaron and FIFTEEN TOUSAND are sold every day. They are considered THE best macaron shop in the world. (They were pretty damn good!)
Yum. Chocolate, coffee, lemon, pistachio, caramel au sel, and Madagascar vanilla (of course). I think this box of cookies cost about 14 euro (roughly $20 CDN) At the end of the Champs-Élysées, there is The Arc de Triomphe. This monument honors all of those that faught and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
Everyone stands in the middle of the road to get their picture taken with the arc. I tried to...but my head is just too damn big!

There. That's better.
Back on the bus....
After all this sightseeing it was time for supper. I think we took the train back to the hotel or something. My feet/body were killing me. It was time for some stretching! And then we took a few more pics on the way back to our hotel. I don't know what these buildings were, but they sure looked purty.

If anyone ever goes to Paris, I highly recommend the Open Tour buses. At first, I thought they'd be mega lame and too touristy, but it's a fairly cheap and easy way to get around town. Even if you just sat on the top deck for an hour, you'd get a great feel for the city! Just....maybe not in the middle of November!! Brr!!!

Next vacation post, Rome!!!

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