So far, the trip had been awesome! My dream of spending Christmas in Paris was all I had hoped it would be!
Having done pre-trip research, I learned that most everything would be closed on Christmas Day, so, other than a dinner reservation, the day remained unplanned. But, that’s never stopped me before and that day was no different!
Crossing over the Pont d’Alma Bridge (one of 37 bridges connecting the left and right banks of the Seine River), I started the day with a relaxing walk. It was really nice to see others out walking, jogging, and spending the morning with their families. Everyone seemed to be enjoying life and all it has to offer! Isn’t that part of what Christmas is all about? I saw a man who was being photographed by the woman he was with…… he was singing and dancing with a bright red umbrella, laughing the whole time giving me flashbacks of Gene Kelly Singing in the Rain! (Yes, I’m that old!) Had he had too many Christmas Eve cocktails or Joie da Vivre- the joy of life? Not sure which but it gave me great pleasure and warmed my heart to watch him!
THE DINNER CRUISE REVELATION:
As I’m walking along the left bank of the river, I remembered from the dinner cruise, that the server who also acted as a scenic guide, mentioned that we had just crossed under the bridge that was over the tunnel where Princess Diana perished in that horrific car accident. A quick Google search and I was only a few hundred meters away. Yes, it’s a bit macabre to go searching for the site of a tragedy on Christmas, but, come on, I was practically right there, and anything “royal” fascinates me. New “no-plan” in action! Google maps can be a bit dysfunctional (and maddening) sometimes and after following the directions, I didn’t see a tunnel. What to do?
A sit down at a cafe and a coffee au lait would make things clear. With a piping hot cup of coffee, I Googled the incident, and yes, I was right there! I had noticed, several times, a big golden “sculpture” but, honestly, didn’t give it much thought as I passed by. That sculpture was right across the street and was in all the online images I was seeing. Leaving the cafe, I crossed and sure enough, under the sculpture, was the entrance to the tunnel where the accident occurred. But, what was fascinating and yet, another surprise was the sculpture itself!
The Liberty FLame Location
PARIS FUN FACT:
The big gold sculpture I was seeing is the Liberty Flame (Flamme de la Liberte)– which is an exact, to-scale replica of the flame of the Statue of Liberty in New York. It is covered in gold leaf and was donated in 1989 by the International Herald Tribune to honor the restoration of the Statue of Liberty which had been completed 3 years earlier. Because it sat at the location right above the tunnel entrance, it has also become an unofficial memorial to Princess Diana. Looking at the photos just below, you can see the bouquets of flowers and other offerings which are still left on a daily basis.
And once again, friends, this is why I love walking when I travel! All the pre-trip research I did on the countless “Must-See” lists of Paris, the Liberty Flame didn’t appear on one of them.
Discover your destinations with the wonderment and amazement of a child!
Christmas Dinner was amazing at Casa Di Delfo! My reservation for dinner was made through TripAdvisor. They are such a great online app for reviews and reservations! I had the best Gorgonzola Filet of Beef with roasted potatoes-absolutely to die for! The steak was the best I’ve ever had, cooked perfectly blue! It was fantastic for Christmas dinner and so fantastic, in fact, that I went back the next night for dinner! And they, serve the best Limoncello- like it was straight out of Sorrento, Italy! Cudos, to the chef and owner!
Casa Di Delfo Location
Hitting the “honor bar” at the Hotel West End (booked through Kiwi.com), for a nightcap of Gran Mariner, it was off to bed…. the next day- the last day in Paris- was going to be amazing at the Louvre! Make sure to come back and read about the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and all the other spectacular works of art I saw! And, folks, just so you know Viator is a great online booking tool. I used them for my tickets to the Lovre and everything was perfect; as advertised!
Until next time, friends, remember: “To Travel is to Live!”