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Eurotrip 2018: Paris (Part II)

By the time we arrived back in Paris from Normandy, pretty much all the restaurants were closed so we wound up grabbing dinner at McDonalds and bringing it back to our hostel. Once we finished our dinner, we stayed down in the hostel bar area, but were disappointed because it turned into more of a nightclub instead of the traditional, somewhat quiet hostel bar. It was difficult to have a conversation with anyone, so we decided to retire back to our room.

The following morning, Eric ventured out to the Palace of Versailles to check it out and walk around the gardens. Having been to both, I decided to stay in Paris and take a leisurely morning walk around the Latin Quarter.

I read that one of the top pastry shops in Paris was in the Latin Quarter, so I decided to stop by. Odette Paris specializes in cream puffs, so I decided to have one chocolate & one coffee flavored one in addition to an espresso. They did not disappoint!

While I was sitting down, Eric called me and said that he got all the way to Versailles to find out that admission was sold out so he on the train back to the city. I decided to relax and people watch for about a half hour until he got back. Once we met up, we realized we were both hungry (even though I just ate a small breakfast), so we walked around the Latin Quarter until we found a place that looked good for lunch. After lunch, we decided to go to Notre Dame to climb the belltower to the top. I was not holding my breath as I was not allowed to the top of the Eiffel Tower as I use crutches to walk, so I did not think they would allow me to climb up the stairs to the top of Notre Dame but they did! The 387 steps up to the top of the tower seemed to go by with relative ease and, before I knew it, we were on the balcony of Notre Dame with absolutely stunning views of the city of Paris. Gargoyles, perched throughout, kept a watchful eye over the city.

We also had the opportunity to climb inside one of the belltowers and see one of the bells that was used to chime rings throughout the city.

We then climbed to the top of one of the belltowers for a 100% unobscured view of Paris.

After we climbed down Notre Dame, we decided to go inside – something I’ve never done before. While I believe Saint-Chappell was more impressive, it was still amazing to be able to walk around one of the most famous churches in the world.

We then headed over to take the final walking tour of our trip, a climb up Montmartre which was the artsy part of Paris during the times of Picasso & Van Gogh. I’ve done the tour before, but enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it again. Montmartre is located on a hill on the outskirts of Paris, so for the duration of the walking tour you are climbing up the hill. While it is not physically exhausting, it definitely is a bit of a workout! One of the first stops was to look at a set of blue doors with a plaque next to them saying that Pablo Picasso once lived there.

Along the walk, we all had to stop and take a picture of a straight road that gradually went downhill. It was such a cool shot that everyone had their phone out!

We continued to walk up the hill while making a few stops where our tour guide told us about a woman named Delida, a gorgeous Egyptian woman that moved to France and became a wildly successful singer, actress & model. Rumor has it that she captured the heart of the French President, Fracois Mitterrand, and that the pyramids outside of the Louvre are a tribute to her. She committed suicide in 1987, but her memory lives on, especially in Montmarte, where she has a plaque in front of the house she used to live in and a small park dedicated to her.

We continued to walk up the hill, making a few stops along the way to take pictures of beautiful streets, restaurants and statues.

We continued to the top of Montmartre, which is home to the famous Sacre-Coeur church. I have never seen it lit up after sunset & it was so much more beautiful than it is during the day time!

We then saw made a quick stop at an overlook to see the Eiffel Tower light up before heading back down the mountain. We decided to have a “treat yourself” steak dinner at a restaurant nearby before heading to Moulin Rouge to see the famous show. The show was very abstract & was a bunch of song and dance numbers, but did not appear to have any type of overarching theme or story.

We retired to the hostel after the show as I needed to pack my bag to go back home the next day. The following morning, we took the metro towards the Eiffel Tower to grab breakfast before taking a boat tour along the River Seine. For my final breakfast in Europe, I decided to get a traditional crepe.

We then walked towards the Eiffel Tower to get a picture since we were so close.

We then boarded a boat for about an hour and a half trip down the River Seine where we saw a lot of the Paris we had already seen, but in a much more relaxed setting.

After the boat tour, Eric and I parted ways as he wanted to head up the Eiffel Tower and I wanted to go back up to Montmartre to see if I could find a painting of Paris to bring home. Eric would be continuing on to Brussels, so we said our byes and I found the Metro station to take me to Montmartre . When I arrived at Montmartre, I took a funicular up the mountain since I was short on time. Unfortunately, I did not find a painting, but I got a few awesome pictures of the Sacre Coeur in the daylight!

Afterward, I grabbed my backpack from the hostel and went to the airport. Upon arrival, I found out that the airline I was taking home, Primera Air, had gone out of business while I was in Europe! With no help to rebook me on a flight home by the airport, I called my parents who helped book me on a flight that left in an hour and a half while I ran from the end of one terminal to a train that took me to a different terminal across that terminal & finally to the furthest possible gate of the airport. I arrived as the flight was boarding, sat down and relaxed. This is a story I will tell my grandkids! After a relatively uneventful flight in the middle seat of on a flight operated by an airline I never heard of (XL Airways), I finally landed in New York! Another Eurotrip was in the books.

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