April 6 2017
Being our first full day, it began with the first of several breakfasts at the hotel. It was a large buffet of breads, cheeses, meats, eggs, Nutella, and butter. We loaded up on breakfast each day so that we would be able to handle long lines and waits before making it to our eventual lunch.
After breakfast, we took the Metro to Notre Dame.
A quick note about the Paris Metro:
The public transportation in Paris is second to none. The Metro is super quick and efficient, zipping you from A to B in just a few minutes via underground tunnels. It makes what is a very large city feel very small and easy to get around. We had week passes for about 25 bucks each, which is a steal considering how many times we utilised the transport system and that the were good for not only the Metro, but busses, trams, and even the funicular (which we will discuss in a later post).
Notre Dame is Dallas’ favourite location in Paris. A giant cathedral that began construction in the 12th century, it is extremely iconic and recognisable. We also had access to climb to the top of the towers here, more than 400 steps up. Amanda decided that this would likely be the last time she would want to make such a climb, not because of the stairs, but because of the closed spaces and few options for getting down. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day and the views were spectacular.
The front of Notre Dame has some steps that descend to an archaeological museum, the Crypte Archéologique. Inside we observed some of the ruins from the Roman era, including building structures, weapons, jewellery, and coins. There was an activity table for children to design their own coins, but there was no age limit posted so we decided to participate.
There was a photo booth that would take our picture and create a coin based on our faces.
For lunch, we grabbed a couple of paninis and ate in the beautiful park known as Place Dauphine. Our plan was to then visit the famous Centre Pompidou modern art museum, but when we arrived we were told that the workers had gone on strike indefinitely. We would revisit this museum with better results on another day.
Amanda had done some research on patisseries in Paris and we chose to head to what claims to be the oldest existing one. Overdoing it as usual, we had a mille-feuille, chocolate tart, caramel eclair, and something called a rum baba, which looked like creamy chocolate chip cookie dough in a pastry form but what turned out to be mostly alcohol and raisins. The rum baba was not pleasing. Everything else was fantastic.
After our snack we walked across down to and along the Seine to the first of several museums that we would see: Musee D’Orsay. While exploring one of that largest art museums in Paris, we saw many famous pieces by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Gauguin, Boudin, and Van Gogh.
Prior to our trip, we had seen one of those food/travel TV shows wherein a guy went to visit a patisserie called Fauchon that was supposed to provide some of the best high end pastries to be had. However, when we found it we realised that it was little more than overpriced stuff that probably tried to look better than it tasted. With poshly uniformed sales people trying to assist us and techno music blasting, it seemed more like a high-end perfume store than any place that I would want to purchase a snack… unless I wanted a chocolate egg for $800, because they certainly had that.
After this disappointment, we went on a hunt to find the most important historical landmark of the entire city according to Amanda: the hotel where Kim Kardashian was robbed.
After a brief visit to the hotel, we visited a Lebanese restaurant that had some of the best food either of us had ever had. We hated olives, but we had a dish that was heavily olive based and we loved it. It is called La Pause Libanaise and we highly recommend it to everyone. Good good good good stuff.
Exhausted and full, we waddled back to the hotel and called it a night.