Paris is amazing, of course. The weather has been cloudy/drizzly/sunny. Upon arrival we had about 5 hours to burn until our hotel was ready, so after not sleeping on the plane for 12 hours we wandered the city like zombies looking for something to do. Luckily in Paris, there are shops everywhere. Every street level space is occupied by some sort of shop, a butcher, a patisserie, or a cafe so time goes quickly as you walk around because there’s always a window to look in. We stumbled upon Pere Lachaise cemetary and wandered around looking at the old gravestones. This is the Forest Lawn of Paris, where such greats as Chopin, Edith Piaf, and Proust are burried. We saw Jim Morrison’s grave here as well.
Yesterday was awesome. We were lucky enough to wake up at a reasonable hour (6 am). Paris doesn’t open until 10am unfortunately, and we found ourselves again looking to burn some time so we started wandering. We found a bakery that sells baguettes for .60 Euro and coffees for 1 Euro, so we loaded up on bread and “Cafe” which is basically a shot of espresso, then we set out to find a proper cup of coffee as we made our way towards Notre Dame (about 1.5 miles away). We finally found a starbucks which was a godsend because anyone who knows Christopher also knows that he requires a Big Gulp’s worth of caffiene in the morning to get going. A large coffee at Paris Starbucks cost about the equivalent of $4 US – apparently drip coffee is an American invention. Anyway we finally found Notre Dame which was beautiful.
After this our feet decided that a metro ride was in order so we took the train to Trocadero to see the Eiffel Tower. After taking a few pictures there we roamed the nearby neighborhoods and found a market where we bought picnic supplies. I’m not sure if the government subsidises groceries here, but they are remarkably affordable. We got two packages of sliced sausages for 1.99 Euro each, a large Camembert for 1.60, a water for .54, and 4 bananas, for a total of 6.90. Beautiful! We then found a bakery, purchased a “boule” of bread and we were off to the grassy lawn that lies adjacent to the Eiffel Tower. The sun came out and we had a wonderfully filling picnic for less than $10 US.
Once we’d had our fill, we walked over to the Hotel Invalides which looks a lot like San Francisco’s city hall, except way more epic and way more gold covered. We walked through an extensive WWI and WWII exhibit and then made our way into the main domed building which is basically one large shrine to Napoleon. There he is buried in a red marble shrine that is the size of a small bus. After a few pictures we decided to head home. We finished our lunch snacks back at home and were asleep by 6pm.
We’re still adjusting to the time, but we managed to get up around 6am again today and head down to our new favorite cheap bakery (4 full sized freshly baked croissants for 2 Euro). Not sure what we’ll do today, but we’ll keep you posted.