Friday, September 13, 2013

B is for Bon Voyage: Paris (pt 4)

When we started frantically planning our itinerary (on the plane ride on the way over), we decided to clump things together that were in close proximity to one another. So after seeing Notre Dam, we decided to visit a couple other sites that were within walking distance.

But first, there was lunch. Because you should never explore on an empty stomach. Don't worry- they busted out an English chalkboard after they looked at us for 2 seconds.

The first thing we saw was the Pantheon. We really didn't know what the Pantheon was- but I Wikipedia-ed it after we got back, and apparently it used to be a church. It looks more like a place where Roman Gladiators would hang out with their pet tigers, if you ask me, but whatever. It was really un-busy, which made it really cool to explore, and was SO pretty.

After we finally drug ourselves away from the gorgeous Pantheon, we started walking back towards the Luxumborg gardens and the Museum of Orsay. As we followed our Google determined path- we stumbled across another really cool church that we ducked in. I have to say, one of my favorite things about Paris is the fact that you could stumble across a place like this by accident. I've never really lived in a place where there were enormously cool buildings just hiding around the corner.

We carried on and eventually found the Gardens- where we witness a mom (dressed to the nines complete with heels) stop her 4 year old from falling into the mini-boat pond with just one hand. Paris moms are amazing. The gardens were interesting- because there aren't really as many parks in Paris, the big parks are super busy- and are filled with metal chairs for people to sit in while they read/gossip/relax. It was very pretty, and the perfect way to get from point A to point B.

The museum at Orsay was pretty incredible. It used to be a train station, so the building itself was really interesting. There were famous paintings that needed seeing- including Van Gough's "Starry Night". We actually only had about an hour from when we got there to when the museum closed, but that didn't break our hearts (because our feet had basically stopped speaking to us altogether).

We walked from Orsay to a bridge that Kirk wanted to see- which turned out to be the lock bridge. The lock bridge is a bridge that lovers put a padlock on to make their love last forever, but only if they toss the key into the river below. The smartest cleverly brought lock with us- so we attached our lock amongst the thousands of others and tossed our key into the river, to declare our love forever. It was the sweetest surprise:)

After that, we hopped on a bus tour, and rested our achy feet as we rode around and saw all the sites from the second story of the bus. The audio guide was interesting... but mostly I just liked seeing things in the open air.

We eventually hopped off at the Arc de Triumph, which was the last of our "must see" list. The Arc was really cool- and we really enjoyed the climb up to the top... though it was a little dizzying. Said dizziness might indicate why, upon reaching the top, I accidentally locked myself in the bathroom, much to the amusement of the other tourists in line.

Our last stop of the day, before scurrying home to pack so we could catch our early train the following day was the Hard Rock Cafe. We have a little collection of their "hurricane" glasses, and couldn't resist picking one up from Paris. I tried their "local legendary"- which is a duck burger, and was most impressed!

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