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Free Day in Paris


Yesterday, I slept in until 11:30 AM and met up with a few friends at 12:45 PM at the Louvre. Since I spent a half of a day there last year, I only wanted to see the Mona Lisa. The painting seemed a bit bigger this time!

In front of the Louvre

In front of the Louvre

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

After the Mona Lisa, we found a typical French café for lunch. It was perfect. We climbed a spiral staircase and had a whole room to ourselves. There was an open window which overlooked the street and a small piazza. There was a small orchestra playing the whole time we were eating. It was very memorable. Our waiter was very funny and helpful as well. I ordered a ham & cheese panini which was wonderful.

View from lunch

View from lunch

Europe 2012 1428

After lunch, we hopped on a subway to visit a church named Sainte-Chapelle. It was beautiful. The whole second floor was made of beautiful stained glass and depicted different stories from the bible. It was well worth the trip up and down two flights of spiral staircases!

Europe 2012 1442
Europe 2012 1438

Then, we went to Notre Dame to try to get in, but the line was too long. We did see a bread festival in the piazza in front of Notre Dame, though. They were making all different types of bread and even bread sculptures! It smelled great!

Europe 2012 1448
Europe 2012 1452

We headed back to our hotel after Notre Dame because it started raining. After resting a bit, I went and grabbed a burger from McDonald’s (don’t judge me, that was the only food option within 5 blocks of our hotel) and a piece of flan.

Then, I went back and changed into a dress shirt and tie for Moulin Rouge! The show was amazing. It started at 11:00 PM and each person got a half of bottle of champagne with admission. The theater was very unique and had a lot of character. I really enjoyed the costumes and the set – they were very French. The music was very good as well and there were also very entertaining side acts in lieu of an intermission. It was a very enjoyable night!

Europe 2012 1455
Europe 2012 1457

So far, I am enjoying Paris much more the second time around. The people are nicer and the city seems to have a lot more character. Our tour guide told us that we should say “Bonjour” before saying anything else to anyone and we will be treated with respect. It is working!

Note: This post was originally published on May 19, 2012 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe…Again” which chronicled my post-graduation trip across Europe.

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