Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cousins in Paris *Part 3*

Sadly, this is the last installment of our trip to Paris. Universal rule: trips to Paris always end too soon.

For a little dose of realism, we started out our Friday dragging our suitcases through the metro to the luggage lockers at the train station (which turned out to be the wrong one, but that's another story). Then we bought some breakfast pastries, which we ate standing up since the Gare du Nord lacks chairs. And we were approached by several beggars while standing there. Beggars in Paris don't sit and hold their hand out, they walk around, stand uncomfortably close, tell you their life story and stare you down. It's an interesting experience; I'll leave it at that. 

Okay, back to the pretty side of Paris. The Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre was a short metro ride away. 

Not only is it an impressive church inside and out, it's on top of a hill so the view is nice. Our leg muscles burning wasn't so nice, but we did get to work off the chocolate beignets we ate for breakfast on these stairs.

Interior of church:

The view:

I warned Brittany that Paris was rainy in the winter. Thankfully the only time we got rained on during this trip was walking back to the metro from Sacré-Coeur. Our next stop was the Louvre, but we ended up getting off one stop too far. But by then it had stopped raining, and wandering around a little bit turned out pretty great.

We stopped in this church I've never seen before, St. Germain L'Auxerrois.

Then we walked along the Seine.

This courtyard was calling my name, and much to my surprise it was another entrance to the Louvre. 

There was a long line to get in the museum, so in the hopes that it would die down we went in search of the nearby Palais-Royal first. This is a palace where the Orléans branch of the royal family used to live. There's some fun modern art in the courtyard. I haven't stopped by since 2010, so I enjoyed visiting again.

7 years ago! Nailed that pose. I was weird when I was 20.

The museum line hadn't died down, so after taking enough pictures of the famous glass pyramid we bit the bullet and joined the line. I think we ended up waiting for at least 30 minutes, followed by a long bathroom line inside and then a long ticket line filled with old people who didn't comprehend the touch screen ticket kiosks.

This kid was in my way but he was cute so I let him be in my picture.

We headed in the direction of the Mona Lisa because inevitably people will ask Brittany if she has seen it. Well, she has. It took a lot of lines and walking to get there though. We walked through the Greek sculpture area (and up more stairs) until we found the Italian Renaissance wing. I've seen most of the Louvre- it might be impossible to see all of it- and this my favorite area. Not really because of the Mona Lisa, but there are so many beautiful paintings here. It's my style.

We saw the Mona Lisa and then we started to die. This was our third day in Paris and we walked THIRTY MILES. And obviously I didn't wear comfortable shoes because I don't. That's how you'll know that I've lost myself and that I'm getting old, for the record. The day I wear tennis shoes (not while working out) with no shame will mean my youth is over. 

I couldn't take pictures here because I couldn't move. We walked the wrong way towards the exit and had to collapse on a bench before retracing our steps and going down the lonnnnng hallway again. I had the thought that at least it would be a beautiful place to die. Not dramatic at all hahaha

It looks like this. Satisfied?
Somehow we survived one last metro ride through Paris. During the course of the day I realized that we'd lugged our suitcases to the wrong train station. So we took a taxi from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon. It was worth the money to have one above-ground ride through Paris. We got some food and soon enough got on our train to Cannes. 

After a 5 hour ride, David picked us up and we made it home to our apartment at around 10:30p.m. Of course, the next morning we drove to Milan, Italy! To be continued.

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