Touristy Day!March 31, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C
Yesterday was our day to check off some of the “must-see” touristy Paris stuff. We woke up late, and still pretty tired. We both could’ve slept for another several hours, but forced ourselves to get ready and to get out the door around noon. We made it to a cafe just before they stopped serving breakfast. We stood at the bar and ate chocolate croissants and Tim had an espresso. Then we wandered along Rue Mouffetard, bought some fruit from an outdoor market, had a beer from a pub, and made our way over to the Gardens of Luxembourg. This is huge public park/garden filled with people picnicking, relaxing, playing sports, and more. We walked around the gardens until we worked up an appetite for lunch. We headed towards the Seine River and looked for somewhere to eat lunch outside. Since it was almost 3:00, restaurants were starting to close for the afternoon. We had to make a quick decision and jumped into a Napoleon pizza place. Not exactly French food but it was delicious!
Next stop - the Louvre. Woah. I had heard that the museum was huge but I had no idea it would be this big. Fortunately, there was no line and we walked right in. We had a guide on the “must see” rooms/paintings and stuck to that but were still pretty overwhelmed. We started off in Napoleon’s apartments, which were stunning. Then made our way to the Italian Renaissance paintings and saw a bunch of Botticelli and da Vinci pieces, including the Mona Lisa. Next was French History paintings, Greek statues, and the Egyptian galleries. We finished off the trip with a visit to the basement to check out the original walls of the fortress. People spend days in the Louvre. We were in and out in under 2 hours, which was enough for me.
After the Louvre, we walked down the street to Musee d’Orsay, but it was about to close so we didn’t go in. We stopped in at a little wine bar and had a couple of glasses of Rose and tried to decide what to do with the end of our day. We decided to just knock out the last major tourist attraction so that we could spend the rest of our time in Paris wandering around doing whatever we want (besides the Catacombs that we’ll do tomorrow!). Off to the Eiffel Tower!
At this point, we had probably walked 5-10 miles already and we were too exhausted to figure out the metro so we hopped in a little bike taxi and made our way to the tower. Once we got dropped off, we popped into a little market and bought a couple of beers and sat on the lawn, looking at the tower. It’s pretty amazing. I was definitely nervous to go to the top but I think the beer helped a little with that! It was about 7:45 at this point so we headed over to the tower, thinking we could get to the top for sunset. Unfortunately, the line for the elevator was pretty long and the stairs were closed for some reason. We waited for about an hour, bought 2 tickets, and got to the elevator around 9:00 just as it was starting to get dark. The first elevator takes you to the second floor. As soon as the doors opened and I realized that it wasn’t enclosed, I pretty much panicked. I was about to get back in the elevator and go down, but changed my mind and we walked over to the elevator to the top. When the guy went to scan our tickets, he said that we only had tickets to the second floor! The ticket lady had sold us the wrong tickets!! I was so upset and he was so nice and let us go anyways. We got in the elevator and rode for what felt like hours to the top. Fortunately, up there it was completely enclosed and I wasn’t scared at all. We used the 20 Euros we saved by accidentally buying the wrong tickets and bought two glasses of champagne! We hung out up there for awhile. The views were incredible. But it was very windy and we were very cold so after the champagne, we headed back down the elevator to the second floor. There was a long line for the elevator, so we took the stairs all the way down. The whole experience was pretty amazing. But now it’s checked off the bucket list and I could definitely go the rest of my life without going up there again.
By the time we left the Eiffel Tower, it was 10:30 and we were starving. We tried to walk to a restaurant that we had read was very good but it was closed, and so was everything around it. The only thing open was a Vietnamese pho restaurant that was actually pretty crowded so we went in. Unfortunately, this was our second non-French meal in a row. Fortunately, we are obsessed with Vietnamese food and it was some of the best we’ve had. We split shrimp spring rolls, Tim had pho, and I had a beef and egg dish. After dinner, we took a taxi back home. Yesterday was a very long day, with so much walking, but we had a great time and were able to do so much. Excited for today, with no plans at all!Read more