23.05.2015 - 23.05.2015
After a good night's sleep, Patti and I set out for the day. Our first stop was breakfast at La Croissanterie where we had yummy almost croissants. Our first stop after that was going to be the Pantheon but when we got there we found it was closed for some event. On the way there, however, we came across a religious parade of some sort. There were groups of people that each seemed to be representing a saint. Many of the groups were made up of scouting or school groups. There had to be thousands of people in this parade because it seemed to go on forever. We have no idea what it was about though. Is today some holy day that I have forgotten? Maybe it has to do with Pentecost?
With the Pantheon closed, we made our way to our next stop, Sainte Chapelle near Notre Dame. I have no idea how this is my sixth time in Paris but I never went to this place until today. I have missed out because it was absolutely amazing. I am going to post some pictures below but they don't do it justice. It is hard to get a really good picture because it is quite narrow and so you never really get far enough away for a full picture, plus there are people everywhere blocking a good view. If you ever go to Paris, you must go here! We had a hard time leaving.
After we finally pried ourselves away, we decided it was snack time. I remember a crepe place I went to with my students in January that was near the Louvre (where we were going next) so I thought that would be convenient. However, the stand wasn't there anymore so we went into a cafe and had crepes there. We both chose nutella and banana and it was wonderful. On the way there, I took this picture:
Next, on to the Louvre. Here is a picture of me trying to do the thing everyone does, even though we couldn't get the angle right.
Before the trip we downloaded Rick Steves audio tours for a few places in Paris and this was one of them. Neither of us was interested spending hours at the Louvre so this was perfect. It took about two hours to see the biggest hits, such as the Vinus de Milo and Winged Victory.
And of course the biggest disappointment in my opinion, the Mona Lisa. I have never understood the attraction of this since the first time I saw it in 1994. But I guess it's a must-see, as you can tell from the crowd surrounding it.
After our tour, we ate lunch in a cafe in the Louvre. I had a baguette sandwich and Patti had quiche. It was all very good and reasonably priced for a museum cafe. We then walked across the Seine to the Orsay museum. I wouldn't normally recommend doing both of these on the same day but we won't have time tomorrow, our last day in Paris, so we decided to do it today. Again, we had a Rick Steves audio tour that took about an hour and a half. We saw Renoir, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Rodan, etc.
Here is a great view of Sacre Coeur from the Orsay:
By the time we were done we were really starting to get tired, but we had one more stop. Or at least we intended to have one more stop. We decided to take the metro and get off to walk the last few blocks of the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. However, the stop we wanted to get off at was closed and it would have been more complicated than we wanted to figure out how to get there. So we gave up and decided to take a taxi back to the hotel to rest a bit before dinner. Of course, finding a taxi was also complicated because you can't just hail a taxi from the street; you have to find a taxi stand. We eventually figured it out though and here we are.
As soon as I post this we will venture out again for dinner. Tomorrow we go to Versailles. Oh, and let me add that it was another beautiful day here in Paris. It started out pretty cool but as soon as the clouds cleared and the sun came out it was nice and warm. A perfect spring Paris Day.