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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cute little house!
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!