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03 August, 2011

Paris in Seven Days: Our Last Day...A Tomb, a Tank and a Tower!

362It’s our last day in Paris for my ten-year-old grandson and me, so I have planned what I hope will be an easy one since the next day will be long. We start at Les Invalides…so named because it was built to be a veterans hospital by Louis XIV. Today, it houses the tomb of Napoleon and the Musée de l’Armée…an army museum. It’s just a short walk from our hotel and is very recognizable because of its gold dome.

363We visit the tomb first. Napoleon was originally buried on the island of St. Helena where he was exiled, but his body was later moved to this spot for a burial more befitting an emperor. Inside the tomb is an oak coffin holding an ebony coffin, then two lead coffins, a mahogany coffin and a tin coffin…and finally, the Emperor himself!

365 The tomb is actually on the first floor of the church, under this beautiful dome. Napoleon himself planned his final resting place so that we enter on the second floor…

366 …and lean over the railing, bowing to the emperor’s tomb in order to see it…as my grandson happily demonstrates! lol

368 We head around to the back of the church to see the alter…beautiful!..and have a little peek through the windows at what lies beyond…

376 …the Musee de l’Armée! When my grandson hears that there is an army museum, he is beside himself with joy, so we head off to visit it. You are first greeted by a real tank, at which point I can only tell you how his little face lit up!

378 And when he saw that there was a Medieval wing with a special display of armor, he was jumping up and down…Can we go there first? Of course! :-)

musee de larmeeWe study and photograph each and every weapon and artifact…including a sword with an interesting dog handle and a fabulously carved oliphant…a horn. I have to admit that I actually enjoyed this part much more than I ever thought I would. These were wonderful works of art!

armourThen we checked out the incredible collection of armor…amazing! There were even suits of armor for horses and every suit of armor that ever belonged to Louis XIII…from age four and up! The museum also included an amazing collection of military uniforms and a very thorough retelling of both World War I and II.

chevalHowever, the most incredible of all to me was Napoleon’s last horse, le Vizir, stuffed and mounted for all posterity! He looks a little worse for the wear now, but was supposed to have been a magnificent animal, a gift to Napoleon from the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
Here, I have to make an addendum to Rick Steves’ guide book in which he allows two hours for women and three hours for men…how about five hours for a ten-year-old boy (and his tired Granny)!

Musée_Rodin-The_thinker We drag ourselves away finally for what was to be the last stop of the day…the gardens of the Rodin Museum to see Le Penseurthe Thinker. However, the line is long and we are exhausted and hungry…so, sadly, we opt to save it for next time. There will have to be a next time!

352 So we head back to our little hotel in Rue Cler for one last dinner at our favorite sidewalk café…

327 …one last French pastry for dessert! Sigh!

…and one last incredible evening at the Eiffel Tower, watching the amazing light show! It is always lighted at night, but at the top of the hour, an incredible display of twinkling lights sparkles in the Paris sky! I have added this video that I found, since no photograph will do it justice!

view of Notre DameNow, sadly, it’s time to say au revoir to Paris! I have even been hesitating to write this last post because then it really is over! Sniff! It was the most wonderful trip I have ever made and I loved every minute of it! I will never forget sharing these memories with my special traveling buddy…my grandson! I can’t believe that after five years of planning and waiting, it has now come to an end. But don’t be sad for us! I am already planning another trip…maybe to New Orleans next! Hmmm…can you say swamp tours, pirates, riverboat rides and haunted mansions?! I can't wait!

Missed any Paris posts?
Back from Paris…or...My Grandson’s Favorites!  Listing the must-see spots for a ten year old boy!
My Favorite Street in Paris…Rue Cler   Great little street to use as your headquarters 
In case you want to follow along, here is my plan for visiting Paris in seven days! I am linking each of the seven days as I complete the posts.
Day One…All about Eiffel! Eiffel Tower/ Champ de Mars park and play area
Day TwoSightseeing by Subway! Arc de Triomphe/ Montmarte/ Sacré-Coeur
Day ThreeMonsieur Monet, I Presume (and a lot of Louis)! Giverny/ Versailles minibus tour
Day FourThe Cradle of Paris! La Sainte Chapelle/ la Conciergerie/ Notre Dame/ Latin Quarter/ the book stalls/ ice cream on Ile St. Louis/ the bâteau mouche on the Seine
Day FiveArt Museum Madness…Plus Play in the Park! Louvre/ Tuileries Garden/ l’Orangerie/ Musée d’Orsay
Day SixA Phantom, a Fountain and Some History! Opéra Garnier/ Pompidou Center/ Carnavalet Museum
Day Seven…A Tomb, a Tank and a Tower! Napoleon’s Tomb and the Musée de l’Armée at les Invalides/ Eiffel Tower at night
Thanks so much for stopping by! See you next time! A la prochaine!


  1. I thoroughly enjoy you and your grandson acting as tour guides to Paris. What an incredible experience for both of you!

  2. Oh Debbie, I have so enjoyed the tour with you and I am sure you have a million and more memories that you will always cherish. A fabulous trip and such great pictures. Hugs, Marty

  3. Debbie,
    Thanks so much for taking me along on your trip...looks and sounds like y'all had a great time.


  4. Amazing tour Debbie!
    Your little grandson will never forget this trip and the wonderful time he spent with his Grandma!
    He is a lucky little boy to have you as his Grandma!
    That eiffel tower video is amazing!

  5. Debbie, I enjoyed each post from Paris. You are the best tour guide and a wonderful grandmother!

  6. hi Debbie. What a wonderful trip you had with your beautiful grandson. I loved all your posts about it and it surely makes me want to go too. Thank you for taking me.

  7. Such a special trip Debbie! Memories I'm sure you'll both cherish for life, thanks for sharing it with us:@)

  8. Debbie,
    Thank you for taking me along on your return trip to Paris. I had not forgotten the beauty of the city day and night! Your grandson will long remember this wonderful trip and his amazing Grandmother who shared it with him! I have, also, enjoyed your recent visits On Crooked Creek and sweet comments!

  9. Debbie, thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful pictures and narration of your beautiful trip. Your little grandson is so lucky to have you as a grandma. I'm almost impatient to see your next trip! It has been a long dream of mine to see Paris, but I got to see it so wonderfully through you.

  10. I'm sad to see your series end, too. Of all the wonders of Paris, it's still the sight of the Eiffel Tower that makes my heart skip a beat. I guess seeing it with my engineer husband opened my eyes to the miraculous combination of art and engineering in Mr. Eiffel's masterpiece. Please return to France soon, so we can have another tour. Sally

  11. Debbie what a fantastic trip you have had full of memories with your grandson!! A trip of a lifetime!!! xo Kathysue

  12. I loved reliving our trip to Paris through your posts about your trip. Your trip was perfect, fantastic and memorable. The Eiffel tower at night is amazing but even the video doesn't do justice to being there. Now you need to make a photo book as a keepsake for your grandson.

  13. Oh, take me back! Isn't the Eiffel Tower light show just magical. We were there in May and June, but only for 3 days. I could have used 7 days! How fun and wonderful for you!

  14. I have SO enjoyed this trip with you. Thank you so much for sharing and I am also sad that it is over. I couldn't wait to see what was coming next. What a wonderful experience for you and your grandson.

  15. Love it, Debbie! Les Invalides and la tour - magnifique. Great pics! Linda

  16. Hi Debbie,
    I just wanted to let you know that Lily thinks it's Christmas around here! Yes, your package arrived and she is simply in kitty heaven!!
    Tell Baby Kitty he has good taste and so does his Mommy!
    I got some cute pics I will post later.
    Thanks again, we love it!!
    Happy Weekend too,

  17. Debbie, I so enjoyed you trip to Paris. Your granson must have so many wonderful memories that y'all shared together. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. Rick Steves had better watch out.:) Your tour is a lot more interesting and fun.You could have your own travel progrm.
    Have a great weekend,

  18. Debbie, Thank you for sharing your trip to Paris with us. I have enjoyed every moment of your tour. What a wonderful experience for you and your grandson.

  19. I stumbled onto your blog from a link from another one. Thank you for sharing your memorable trip to Paris with your grandson with all of us. Your pictures of croissants and other select patisseries had my mouth watering. Perhaps it is a good thing we don't have boulangeries on every corner!

  20. I just love these posts about Paris, I am dreaming of going there one day. My hear skipped a bit when I saw those paintings. The Rue you showed us was so beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us. I enjoyed each post of Paris.

  21. I tried to post a comment before but don't think it worked. I love all your photos and blog. Can you share with us where you stayed? I'm making myself crazy looking at hotels and apartments.


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie