Sandwiches in a bittersweet end to Paree…

We arrived in Paris at 4pm on Saturday, but there was a really long trek to the hotel on 3 different metro lines, so we didn’t get to the hotel until about 5 or 5:30 probably. However, when we were leaving the airport, we saw Air Force One, which was really exciting, especially since we had no idea that GW was in town!!

AIR FORCE ONE!! SO close to the Prez!
Our hotel, Modern Hotel in Paris

We got chastised again by quite a few French people for being too slow on the metro, and I was a little bit bummed because last time I was in Paris, I found the people extremely rude and I was excited to go, being older, and give the city a second chance. However, it turns out that it must have just been our bags because people were really very friendly after that! I’m sure it helped to have Meryl with, who speaks some French and I tried to speak it as well.

We dropped our stuff off at the hotel and it was sooo nice to just be in our own room, with our own bathroom and not sharing with anyone else, like we had to do at all the hostels. We left to go walk around for awhile. We walked down to see the Opera house and stopped at a sandwich shop (which we ended up going to about 6 times) called Brioche Dorre (I think?) and it was delicious. Then we walked down to the Louvre area and saw the Royal Palace Gardens.

The Opera
I thought this said Borys, so I wanted a picture for Mom!
Outside of one side of the Louvre
Royal Palace Gardens
Harris and I in the gardens
Meryl and Harris in the cutest little alleyway

I had talked to Amelia, one of my best friends and previous roommates from college, who is living in Amsterdam, but came to Paris for the weekend with her husband, Joe, and we had decided to meet for a drink. We went back to the hotel and showered and got ready and went out to a bar that was listed in my travel guide. On the way, Meryl and I got delicious banana nutella crepes, which was my favorite thing from my last trip to Paris too! It was really crowded so we only stayed for one drink and then left and went to another bar around the corner where we had a few beers and met up with Amelia and Joe. We didn’t want to miss the metro back, so we left pretty early and then went to bed.
Meryl and I at the bar
Reunion with my BFF in Paris!!
Amelia and Joe 🙂
The next morning we all slept til noon, but we really needed our rest after our busy last week in Prague. After we woke up, we got lunch and then headed to the Louvre to walk through the gardens. Then we walked down Champs-Elysses to the Arc de Triomphe where we saw the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Louvre

First Eiffel Tower picture!
Arc de Triomphe
Tomb of the unknown soldier

We then walked over to the Eiffel Tower, but didn’t go inside because the lines were really long, so we decided to wait until the next day. Then we walked along the Seine River until we got to Notre Dame cathedral. It had started raining and we couldn’t decide if we wanted to go inside or not, so we stopped and got crepes. I got a ham and cheese crepe, which was divine and a nutella and coconut crepe for dessert. After eating, we decided to go inside the Cathedral and I was so glad we did. I had remembered it being very dark and spooky, but it really wasn’t at all. It was so amazing though because we walked in when they were holding a service and the organ and the singing was so incredibly beautiful that I got chills all over my body and I even teared up a bit. It was magnificent and I tried to take a video, but it definitely doesn’t capture how amazing it was.


I think this is the university
Notre Dame
Gargoyles
Inside
The Rose window
Model of Notre Dame

Notre Dame video

After Notre Dame, we decided to walk to the Pantheon where Marie Curie and some other famous French people are supposed to be buried, but unfortunately, it was closed. Then we walked to where the Bastille prison used to be, which was neat, but I misunderstood my book and I thought there were actually ruins from the prison there, when really, there was only a statue commemorating it. But it was still cool, because Marie Antoinette was imprisoned there and I had read about it in Tale of Two Cities, which was one of my favorite books from high school. At this point, we had been walking for about 9 hours and we probably walked like 6 or 7 miles so we were exhausted and we just went to bed by like 9:30 because we wanted to get up early to see the Eiffel tower anyway.

Pantheon
Church near Pantheon
Another picture of Notre Dame
Statue by Bastille

Monday, we woke up and got to the Eiffel tower as soon as it opened. It was slightly overcast, but we could still see a lot and I’m so glad we went there so early because it was already crowded, even that early. Then we got cheesy hot dogs for lunch (they are baguettes, with hot dogs covered in cheese). They are amazing (and so bad for you, I’m sure!!). Then Meryl went to the Louvre, while Harris and I walked around and saw two palaces (the Grand Palace and the Petit Palace). We had already been to the Louvre so we didn’t want to go again.

Taller than the Eiffel Tower!!
Under the Eiffel Tower
On the first level of the Eiffel Tower
Looking down from the top
One of the views

The trio at the Eiffel Tower

Grand Palace (Wom)

Petit Palace (Baby Wom)

Cute little house!

After meeting Meryl back at the hotel, we went to go see the Moulin Rouge, which I hadn’t got to see last time. Amelia was right; it is not as exciting as it is in the movies, but it was still cool to see. Then, we got Croque monsieurs for dinner (grilled ham and cheese with extra cheese melted on top) and we walked up to the Sacre Couer cathedral, which was beautiful and we had bought champagne to drink on the steps for our last night in Europe. The funny thing was, we bought champagne, thinking it would be real since we were in France, but we still accidentally bought sparkling wine. Oh well! Our friends from the Prague program, Gary and Greg, had recommended this to us and it was the best suggestion…it overlooked the whole city and was just the perfect way to end our trip. We met a really nice Canadian couple who we chatted with for a while before heading home.

Church on the way to Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge

Meryl and I in front of Moulin Rouge
The entrance
Sacre Couer Cathedral
View of Paris from the cathedral
Popping our bottle of “champagne”
The trio on the steps
We were trying to look serious, but our Canadian couple made us crack up!

In the morning, Harris left early because his flight was before ours. Meryl and I spent the morning walking up to our favorite sandwich shop and getting quiche, tarts and then sandwiches for lunch. We went to an internet cafe and we walked around just enjoying the city for our last few hours. Then we left for the airport, which was an adventure in and of itself! Charles de Gaulle is massive and we went to the wrong terminal. Then when we got there, we had to walk forever, and someone had left a bag unattended so there were soldiers everywhere and we couldn’t get through. We finally got into the gate area though and got on the flight for our super long trip home. Even though it was sad, I was glad to finally not have to lug my suitcase around anymore but it was definitely hard to say goodbye to Europe!

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