Tuesday 9/1. (We had to look this up because our very vacation days are starting to blur together, just as they should!)
09/01/2015 - 09/01/2015 71 °F
As promised, this blog entry will be much shorter! If you read yesterday's, you'll know what we mean. After compiling in the wee hours of the night, this morning's re-read prompted some revisions : ). More pictures and a little less text...
First of all, we woke up at 10am. Could not believe we slept so late. Guessing we really needed the rest. We've put nearly 40 miles on our shoes in just 2.5 days!
Today we had awesome gallettes and crepes. Still trying to figure out the ordering thing. I guess the proper breakfast is a buckwheat gallette with savory fillings, followed with a crepe with sweet fillings, all while drinking tea. The Kemnitzers don't fully understand this and he orders a sweet crepe with Nutella and she orders a savory gallette with spinach, cheese, bacon and a fried egg. We also order cafe, thinking we are getting coffee, but instead end up with a tiny cup of espresso! Oh well. It was such a beautiful cool and overcast morning, all we could do was enjoy it. Did you notice we mentioned showering a lot in previous posts? It has been so hot and humid that we have been a tad uncomfortable. Today we packed light jackets and even got to wear them!
We are quite proud of ourselves when we figure out the denominations to leave for the checks. Unlike the language (that changes in each country), at least our comfort with the currency will continue to improve as we go! Every night we find ourselves with pockets full of change. €.01, €.02, €.05, €.10, €.20, €.50, €1,00, €2,00 are all coins. Each day we trade them in at the front desk into more manageable denominations.
Our server was not too excited that we were there. I don't think it was because we are Americans and don't know how to order, but more so because she was not a delightful person! We didn't care too much, we had big plans for the day. We were headed to the cemetery! Within a short walk of the hotel, in the Montparnasse district is a lovely Cimitaire du Montparnasse. We had seen it from the tower on our first afternoon, and planned to visit. It appeared very old, but when we got there, we found that there were some interments and sites from the 1800s. Not much older than that. The crypts, tombs and statuary were beautiful. Many are moss covered. It was such a peaceful stroll and it gave us a chance to reflect and slow down.
Back into the city for a stroll. Lots of great architecture and design.
Headed to see Notre Dame. Here is some neat art in the subway. Most stations are pretty sterile, full of advertisements and such, but the Saint Michel/Notre Dame station was a little different,
Construction started in 1163 and it opened in 1345. We waited in a short line and had the opportunity to tour the church. Absolutely stunning. You tour in silence out of respect. Unbelievable stained glass windows, wood carvings and murals painted hundreds of years ago.
The checkerboard marble floors were worn on the edges and concave in places where people had stopped to pray. A reminder of how many people have passed through the building.
The arches are marvelous and we took so many pictures! I took the next two pictures for Lauren. : ) in 1909, Saint Joan of Arc was beatified and there is a shrine to her.
On to the gardens that surround the cathedral... There is a charming chapel that is over 500 years old, and a small park behind it. We sat in the shade, under a tree, and just enjoyed the moment.
An accordion player began to play and from our bench, we could see the Love Lock bridge. Thousands and thousands of lovers have placed locks on the bridge's rail and in a symbol of unbreakable love, tossed the key into the Seine. It is now illegal, as the locks have become so heavy the rail is becoming compromised. But it provided a nice view for us! The part that makes me laugh are the people that have placed combination locks on the rail. Does that make them less committed??
After some time relaxing and then paying to use public toilets (€.80 each) we decided to go to Luxembourg to visit the palace and the gardens. Such a nice walk around. People were sitting all over the grounds enjoying paninis and bottles of wine. The hot, pressed sandwiches are all over and very delicious. They're usually pre made in a display case and heated up when you order. In France, most people enjoy their food in the cafe and most places have a patio or "terrasse". There are small tables and chairs that are packed close together and extend right out to the street.
Pictured below are an assortment of things we saw during out walk. Again, we couldn't stop and photograph everything. There were so many interesting spots of architecture, grandeur and interest.
The beautiful Luxembourg Palace and gardens!
We finished the evening with a "climb" up the Arc du Triomphe. Some things as we learned with the Eiffel Tower, some things are even better viewed at night. We paid €9,5 each and took 284 stairs to the viewing platform on top. What an amazing view of the city!!
War Eagle Auburn friends!! You know we couldn't leave you out of a trip like this!!
Paris is a very romantic city!!
Thank you for sharing another great day with us!! Tomorrow, our friends Mathias and Caro arrive from Munich and we tour together. Cheers!!