The City of Lights (Europe Day 6)

Thursday September 10th 2015

Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to embark on the adventure that was probably my busiest day in Europe. It was easily the longest, most exhausting, and jam-packed day. So without further ado, let’s go.


Our day began at Musée du Louvre. Our bus dropped us off and Kathy left us near the entrance to go pick up tickets. Unfortunately, the fountains were turned off and dried up- probably something to do with the construction that was happening. Nevertheless, we posed around the glass pyramids and took plenty of pictures.


We spent a few hours exploring the different wings of the museum. I actually only managed to walk through two of them. That place is enormous, guys. I did see the Mona Lisa- which reminded me of those elementary school days when we studied Leonardo da Vinci in art class. But there’s only so much art you can take in and appreciate at one time. That’s definitely a multiple-day kind of place. There’s just so much going on!


After the Louvre, we got in a legitimate Parisian walk to Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. There we made plans for a place to meet for the evening canal cruise and everyone trailed off in different clusters.


Kathy, Nadia, Jordan, and I made our way to the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. We wandered around in there for a bit before I declared I needed food.


I really wanted to eat lunch at a Parisian café so we walked over to this place by the canal that Kathy recommended: Auberge Notre Dame. The weather was perfect so we ate outside. Our waiter was precious. He was an older gentleman (grandfatherly type) who kept teasing us about eating all our food.


I had a poached egg with salmon in cream sauce (with plenty of bread to soak it up) as a first course. Pasta with Bolognese sauce was the main meal I struggled to finish. And then came the cappuccino!


Okay so story time…

On the menu, our meals came with a simple coffee. But I wanted to order a separate cappuccino (cost was a little more/larger cup) instead. Our waiter teasingly gave me a hard time for being complicated. In the end, I got the cappuccino though. It was on my list to have some authentic coffee at a café in Paris! And so I did.

Jordan shared her crème brulee and Nadia had us taste her pudding. We were so stuffed by the end of the meal. It was so slow-paced and relaxing- something you’ll rarely find in the U.S.

After lunch, the three of us split from Kathy to find the Père Lachaise Cemetery. There were so many graves and so little time (before we had to be back for the cruise)- not to mention, the HILLS in that place. Nadia and I felt like were climbing a mountain chasing after Jordan (the girl who hikes like 10 miles a day with her dog) through the cemetery to Jim Morrison’s grave.


When we got to the grave, there was a gate up in front of it to keep people from walking on/around it. A few people had opened the gate a little and walked through to the other side. We didn’t think much of it until a police car drove up and an officer started shouting at the people on the other side. It was a little strange hearing a lady yelling in French at these people in a cemetery. The girls and I quickly backed off, thankful we didn’t go through the gate.

After some transportation turnarounds, we eventually made it back to the dock where our Seine cruise would be.


The girls brought wine and cheeses on the boat for our cruise. The air was chilly and the breezes made it even colder as we sat on the top deck, snapping pictures of Paris from the water. It was nice to sit and take it all in before the sunset. Discussions varied from Mormonism to South Park. We even got mooned by some guys on the shore. Thanks, Paris.


Afterwards, it was finally time for the Tour de Eiffel.


As the sun was setting, 8 of the girls and I made our way to the other side of the city. Poor Nadia’s feet were killing her but she was a trooper as we walked from the station to the tower.


It was sparkling around the time we got there so we took a moment beneath it to just watch.


When the lights were still again, Nadia, Jordan, and I got in line to go up. (We lost the other 6 chicas somewhere along the way). The whole time we were waiting in line we were motivating each other to believe it was worth it. It was cold and our feet were sore, but this was definitely the highlight of my time in Paris.

The tower was sparkling again when we made it up the elevator to the second level. Nadia took a picture of me overlooking Paris. Even at that second level, we were SO HIGH UP. I’m a bit afraid of heights so I kind of clung to the railing/Nadia’s arm most of the way. It was fantastic from the top!


I’m so glad we waited for night to go up the tower. It was the best way to conclude our last day in Paris.


Getting down was a thing in and of itself. We found a little gift shop and some bathrooms (which are red, by the way) to stop in as the elevators filled up. There was a wedding or party of some sort going on that let out about the time we started trying to get down from the tower. Simply put, it took a long time. We befriended some fellow Americans and eventually made it down. But by the time we did, Nadia’s poor little feet were bleeding and we weren’t sure we’d make it to the metro and back before it closed for the night.

So, what to do? What to do?

We took a taxi!

And it was the best decision ever! We got to meet this really great guy. He was so friendly and helpful. He even asked us what kind of music we wanted to listen to on the radio. It was so nice being in a car and having someone just drive you back to your hotel. Definitely worth it.

I showered, hit my cot, and I was out like a light.


L’Heure avait sonné | Joyce Jonathan


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