Our first day in paris was kind of a lazy one. We woke up late and spent the first part of it catching up on email, internet stuffs, doing laundry, and just relaxing. I think we slept until noon or something. 🙂
Jonny came home around 1pm. We were all starving so we made a trip to the market and made a huge lunch. For some reason I was still craving pasta and it sounded good to everyone else so we made that. Afterwards we continued to relax and talk. Later that evening we went out to explore paris after the majority of the crowds, tourists and traffic die down. Our first stop was a favorite part of town Jonny really liked and we stopped in a bar for some ciders. After we walked down the street a bit more to a crepe place that had a good size crowd around it. Regardless that it was one of the only spots open on the whole street, there was a line and according to Kristin and Jonny who both got crepes, it was worth the wait. I went next door and got a donar, I could’t handle all the cheese. We decided to do the rest of this night right, so we grabbed three bottles of wine and set out to explore paris at night.
Having a friend in a foreign city is awesome, having one that speaks the language and is a tour guide for his job is on a completely different level. Everywhere we went he shared something interesting about history, buildings, architecture, people, you name it. It was like our own private tour. Thank you Jonny, that was absolutely amazing.
Notre Dame has a lot of interesting history aside that it is a monumental landmark; like rebels with molotov cocktail, assassination attempts, hunchbacks. Did you know you could go to the top? yup but it will cost you 13eu or something like that. Did you know they use lasers to keep it nice and clean!! That’s right, pew pew, clean building. To show you what the building would look like if it wasn’t cleaned, they left the spire dirty and black for comparison. It’s pretty dirty.
Of the 3 islands in the middle of the river there the cathedral sits on the furthest west. The center island was left undeveloped for a long time, but now is considered the most expensive real estate in the city. They also make an ice cream there that is one-of-a-kind. It is only made on that island in a very specific way, you wont be able to get it anywhere else in the world. So if you like ice cream, I suggest trying it out. It is really good. The third and most eastern island either was swallowed up by the river over time or added to the mainland, either way it no longer exists.
We walked over the lock bridge on our way up to the pantheon. I have seen this in other cities also, but this bridge was probably the most I have seen in one location so far. It is pretty impressive. For those who don’t know what this is, couples buy locks and attach them to the bridge and throw the key away to show their commitment to the relationship. I wonder what the ratio of couples that are still together vs. the ones that aren’t…You can also tell the couples that aren’t entirely confident in their relationships, because they use combination locks.
In 1744, King Louis XV was sick with syphilis. He made the promise to god that if he were to survive he would build a church. Almost directly after his vow, he got better and had to stand up to his promise. As soon as the building was completed the separation of church and state happened along with the french revolution and the government decided instead to make it a mausoleum. The Pantheon’s crypt is now the burial-place of many French icons and bears the inscription ‘Aux Grands Hommes La Patrie Reconnaissante’, meaning “To the great men, the grateful homeland”. Sited I didn’t have a chance to go in but I am sure it is pretty cool looking. It is gigantic.
By now it is getting fairly late and we didn’t want to be stuck to far from home and miss the last train. We marched back down to the station and rode three stops shy from the apartment at the Moulin Rouge. I have been here before, my suggestion is to see it at night when it is completely lit up, not during the day it just doesn’t do it justice. From there we slowly made our way back to the apartment to finish our last bottle of wine. Seeing the sites, getting the lowdown on the city and some good wine, was perfect.