Thursday morning, we woke up early for our tour through Paris. We had breakfast at the hotel. They have little crepes and packets of Nutella which are delicious! French breakfast is also different in that they have just ham, cheese, croissants, fruit, yogurt and bread.
From there we were supposed to take our tour bus, but since our driver has apparently never been to Paris, he wasn’t there on time. Poor Enzo (he is Italian). We took the metro to Fragonard, the perfume museum. There we learned how perfume is made, as well as the difference between eau de toilette, eau de parfum and actual perfume (the pure scent oil which is very very expensive). We also played a smelling game where we tried to figure out what different scents were. Needless to say, I left with a headache, but it was pretty cool.
From there, our bus struggles continued. Our bus was supposed to meet us at the perfume museum, but we ended up waiting for almost an hour. In the shade, it was pretty cold but standing in the sun, it wasn’t too bad. Finally the bus got there and we were able to start our tour.
Our tour was a bus tour through the city that started at the opera (near the Fragonard) and we went by all the main sights including the Champs Élysées, Arc de Triumph and the military hospital. We hit all the big ones. We also got out and took some pictures at the Eiffel Tower. Besides the wind, it was beautiful weather so the pictures turned out great. We also drove by some not so touristy parts of Paris like high schools and universities. It was nice to take the tour on the bus so we didn’t have to walk everywhere, but it wasn’t exactly ideal for pictures. Finally the tour ended outside Notre Dame. From there, the group had free time so we split up and went our separate ways.
We had plans for lunch, but we had some time so we went inside Notre Dame. The cathedral is so beautiful it is basically indescribable. There is so much detail on every inch of the building and the high ceilings our gorgeous. It was truly breathtaking and I can hardly do it justice with words.
Outside the cathedral, we met up with our friend Megan Cunningham for lunch. Megan graduated last year and has been working as an au pair (nanny) in Paris for the past year. What an awesome job. Megan lives with and travels with her host family while teaching a little girl English. Yeah, I would definitely not mind that. We went to lunch at a small place called Lou Lou where I had a chicken burger with pesto and a glass of Chardonnay. It was good! After that, Megan took us to a nearby candy store to get Macaroons which were also delicious.
After that, we went to Pont des Arts, the lock bridge. Before we got to Paris, I had heard of the bridge and this was something I really wanted to go to. Couples are supposed to lock a lock to the bridge and throw the key in the Seine river, locking their eternal love. We all decided to “lock our friendship” and if you are ever in Paris, our lock is 13 sections from the side opposite the Louvre facing the “island of the city” in the bottom left hand corner.
After that, we said bye to Megan (who was as Meredith R said a “God send” and definitely the most helpful person in Paris) outside the Louvre. Since Meredith forgot her museum pass at the hotel, we decided to walk from there back to Champs Élysées and the Arc de Triumph. Champs Élysées is a shopping street so we did some shopping on the way up, unfortunately in some rain. We had to take cover during a short downpour but it wasn’t too bad. We also saw some break dancers on the street and it was pretty cool.
After that, we took the metro home. Meredith D, Meredith R and Marie had paid for the Moulin Rouge excursion (too pricey for me unfortunately) so they needed to get back to the hotel and get ready.
While they got ready, Katie and I went to dinner at a restaurant near the hotel called Le Paris. After the long day, we really spoiled ourselves. We had a bottle of Sauvignon blanc and had sausage and cheesy potatoes for dinner. The potatoes were so delicious. They were basically like cheese in texture. While we originally had said no to dessert, we changed our minds when we heard the options. I had a really delicious chocolate mousse. Katie and I both agreed it was one of our best meals yet.
When we got back to the hotel, we met up with the rest of the group who has not gone to the Moulin Rouge and decided to go out. Our hotel is in Bastille, which people have been telling me is a good place to go out. We decided to take the metro a couple stops and were entertained at the platform by some guys who had definitely started their night early. Once we got off the metro, we had to ask around a bit, but we made it to a couple bars and had a really great night. We took a taxi back for only 9 euros and fell right asleep when we got back.