On Tuesday we were pretty tired after touring Paris so we bought delicious food from the local supermarket and ate it in our room. After I had blogged we felt refreshed and decided to pop out for a glass of wine and coffee. How wonderful to just step out of your hotel and just a minute away find a suitable pavement cafe with very friendly service. A charming young man, broke straight into English when he heard our poor to non-existent French. He was wearing an All Black’s supporter’s jersey and told us that he loved Rugby and the All Blacks (He was in fact not French but Spanish.) At the table next to us sat a man of mature years (about 65). His glass was empty, his change on a saucer in front of him and he was fast asleep. Our young waiter tried to wake him but was brushed off. He shrugged – I will let him sleep, he said. I know this man – he does not usually do this. And he slept on for another half an hour before getting up and taking his leave. I guess he’d had a hard day and just needed a drink and a snooze before going home to deal with whatever he had to deal with.
The next morning we were up early and got packed up for our departure. We had our usual breakfast of Coffee and Croissants, this time at the same cafe that we went to last night. Everything went very smoothly! We then fetched our luggage, checked out and took the Metro to Garde Nord where we hired a large locker to leave our bags. We were then free to enjoy our last day in Paris!
First stop was The Louvre. I’d been there once before and loved it and couldn’t wait to return. And it was great – I hired auditory commentary and it was interesting to get the background into the various works of art. But at my first visit I there had not been all the crowds! It was unpleasant. In spite of the exhibition halls being huge you still had to contend with people bumping into you and elbowing you out of the way! The hall where the Mona Lisa hung was impossible. We took one glance at her and left! People were flashing cameras at her and getting heated and excited when they should really have just looked quietly and taken her in! One wonders what Leonardo would have thought of all the hype and fuss.
After we could stand it no longer we left and found a fabulous little eatery. It cost a little more than the snacks we’d grabbed previously but was not as expensive as I thought it would be. Linda had a Caesar Salad that she said was the best she’d ever experienced. I had a salmon and cream cheese bagel with came with fried potatoes. We were given a bottle of iced water and slices of baguette on the table too. People complain that the French are unfriendly and rude. We have only found them charming. The restauntier made a huge fuss of us saw to our every need. We were seated next to two charming businessmen who also helped us understand.
After lunch we made our way to Notre Dame. We visited the crypt which was very interesting. The archaeological Crypt under the Parvis de Notre-Dame de Paris was built to protect the ruins discovered during the excavations that began in 1965. The crypt was opened in 1980 with the aim of presenting elements from the successive buildings constructed on the site from Ancient times to the 19th century.
We decided not to explore the cathedral because the queue was extremely long. With a Paris Pass you are supposed to have fast track access but that was not happening and we were in no mood to fight the crowds as our time was limited. Instead we sat under some shady trees in a nearby park then had a drink at a cafe. We made our way back to the tube and crossed this interesting and romantic bridge.
It’s where young lovers lock thier love forever and throw away the key. The Pont des Arts, sometimes known as the Pont Amoureux or ‘Lover’s Bridge’, is the place where lifelong romance begins. Many couples engrave their names onto padlocks, lock it to the bridge and then toss the key into the Seine – a sign of their eternal love.
We then made our way back to Gare Nord where we took the EuroStar back to London. I had some Euros left so went to the bar on the train and got us each a carafe sized bottle of wine and some snacks. A very civilised way to travel.
Getting back to Nicholas was simple too and bless him, he had a wonderful curry dinner waiting for me. I was exhausted and went to bed straight after supper!