After my terrible first full day out sightseeing in Paris, which was mostly the fault of my inappropriate footwear choices, I was ready to give it another go. With better shoes.
And so I give you… our second full day out sightseeing in Paris!
This went a lot better… and was a LOT busier. Here is what my journal had to say about it:
“July 5, 2007: We headed to the Panthéon, where we saw the tombs of Louis Braille, Voltaire, Rousseau, Emile Zola, Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie…”
We also saw the Foucault pendulum there. I was apparently extremely impressed.
“We then walked to La Sorbonne, the University where St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, et cetera, attended. Then we saw the Cluny Museum, and decided to go in. Really enjoyed it — there was even an old Roman bath! Amazing woodwork.”
Also, there were gargoyles.
“Then we took the metro to Les Invalides, where we saw the Army Museum and Napoleon’s tomb.”
Les Invalides… that place is HUGE. Difficult to get into one photo.
“Then we had a nap outside in the garden. Touring is tiring! Then we walked to the nearby Rodin Museum, where we saw The Thinker, and ate a nearby garden cafe.”
“Then we went to the Musee d’Orsay. Long line. It specializes in impressionist art. I liked a lot of the works we saw there.”
I especially liked this one… perhaps because it reminded me of home, all barren and white.
“Then we took the metro to the Arc de Triomphe. We had to wait a little while because it was closed for a ceremony of some sort. When it finally opened, there was no line because it had been raining, so most other tourists weren’t interested. So… that was great for us! We climbed the 287 steps to the top — exhausting — but what a fantastic view at the top!”
If you take ’em slow, it takes forever… but if you take the stairs fast, you get pretty dizzy.
“Then we took the metro up to Pigalle & Montmartre, where the Moulin Rouge is. Walked down the Rue de Clichy (full of brightly lit sex shops, naturally) up the hill to Montmartre, where we saw the Lapin Agile (an artists’ cabaret), and places where artists used to live and work.”
A little side-note about the Lapin Agile… we returned to Montmartre in 2011 and this time actually ventured into this cabaret, and it was fantastic. Though I remember Steve didn’t much enjoy it. Haha. But more about that some other time.
“We then had dinner at La Maison Rose — old, historic, delicious and appealing. We shared the creme brûlée, which was divine.”
You can see Maison Rose behind us. We were exhausted and SO VERY PLEASED to have finally sat down and eaten. Hence Andrew’s tired look… and my crazy-eyes.
A little note about la Maison Rose… we also returned here in 2011 because we’d loved it so much. And again the creme brûlée was to die for… except Steve ordered the last one. And I still hate him a little bit for it.
“Then we headed up to the Sacré-Cœur, on the hill overlooking Paris. Stunning view. We could see the city of lights lit up at night!”
“Then… returned to our room at Hotel Moulin Vert to sleep.”
And here’s what I have to say about all the stuff we did that day: HOLY COW. I didn’t mention it in my journal, but I’m thinking we must have had a Paris Museum Pass, and were trying to make the most of it. It’s like we were on the Amazing Race or something. We saw, like, twelve things in one day! I remember feeling super-exhausted by the time we were in Montmartre. And really wishing I was in better shape. (This trip is definitely what kicked off my return to the gym.)
It really is a shame that we didn’t spend more time contemplating and enjoying each thing… because it all began to run together in my mind. It gets especially messy in my memory when you consider the fact that we returned four years later, so I’m not sure if I’m remembering 2007 things or 2011 things.
For instance, when I think of checking out the Sacré-Cœur at night, I immediately get the impression of danger — because on one of our two visits, I swear there were people following us, and it was uncomfortable. I mean, for a tourist-heavy, popular location, the feeling does change a lot when the sun goes down and the people disappear. And then other people start following you. I just can’t remember which visit that happened on… or maybe it happened both times. Ha! Anyway, I know we for sure took some quick photos and then got the heck outta dodge.
I feel exhausted simply recounting all this.