Our second day in Paris began with a slightly more appetizing breakfast at our hotel and a metro ride. Our first destination today was the Musse de Orsay, a huge art museum. The building it’s in was once a train station that was renovated just for the purpose of becoming an art museum and is amazing, with high decorated ceilings. There were so many beautiful paintings there, and a few sculptures as well. This trip has definitely started to turn me into an art lover! Some of my favorite paintings from today were by Monet and Van Gough.
Next stop was the Notre Dame cathedral, which was simply beautiful on the inside and outside. The architecture of the cathedral was amazing, especially all of the stained glass windows and flying buttresses. They were holding mass when we walked through, which made the cathedral seem more like a church than a big empty building, something I appreciated. We didn’t climb up to the top, which my legs appreciated, although I would have liked to get a closer look at the gargoyles.
After the cathedral we broke off for lunch. A group of us ended up at a small restaurant for pizza and pasta. Then we traveled around the many little shops in the area, buying souvenirs. We rendezvoused at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, which was very cool! There were tons of new and old books stacked everywhere in the small twisty building. It would have been a great place to spend a couple of hours. We then set off to see and climb up the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc itself was very cool, but the view from the top was spectacular! We could clearly see the Eiffel Tower and other monuments off in the distance, and the low hanging clouds made for some very cool pictures.
After climbing down the long winding staircase we set off down the Champs Elysées, a famous street lined with expensive stores and restaurants. We walked down the street for a while, admiring the things we couldn’t afford (it has become a tradition to stare longingly into the windows of Tiffany’s in every city) before hopping on the metro to come back to the hotel. Caitlin and I stopped at our new favorite bakery for a tart and a macaroon on the way. We spent a little time relaxing in our room before going out to explore the area around the hotel. We ended up at a grocery store, and in the interest of saving money and not eating out for once, Caitlin and I grabbed supper there. Fresh baguettes and jelly, fruit, and yogurt made for a delicious and cheap supper that left us feeling great both physically and economically.
It was another great day in Paris! Surprisingly, I’ve become quite adapt at navigating subway systems over here. So much so that my friends have begun to call me “the map” and rely on me to get them to where we need to be. It’s pretty ironic since I rarely know where I am or where I’m going at home. Tomorrow is our trip to the Louvre which I am very excited about! Talk to you soon!