Adventures in Paris: Chapels and Scavenger Hunts

My first full day in Paris started pretty late. We were told to meet at 9:30 as a group so Clare and I decided to get breakfast at 9 am. Compared to London, the breakfast was pretty small. I had two croissants with strawberry jelly and some applesauce. From what I gather the French do not eat a big breakfast and they also eat lunch pretty late as I later found out.

Today was also the first time riding the metro which is similar to the tube system in London. The Paris Metro system is labeled by numbers and you just have to find the platform of the last station on that line. For example, today we took the metro to Montmartre so we hopped on line 10 towards Boulogne Pont de St-Cloud. We didn’t go to that station but our station was in that direction so we wanted to follow signs that said Boulogne Pont de St-Cloud. The only thing I don’t like about the metro is the smell. It’s not as clean as London’s underground so there was an unpleasant smell of urine lurking in the air.

Once we arrived in Montmartre we walked towards Sacre Coeur. This is a basilica on top of the hilly area known as Montmartre which translates to “Mountain of Martyrs.” It was quite the hike to get to the basilica but once you get there it’s worth every step climbed. The view overlooking the city is breathtaking.

There’s also an area where you can see the Eiffel Tower. This is one monument that I thought I would never be able to see and now I can say that I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower. We’re going later this week as a class so I’ll get a closer look but I can officially check seeing it off of my bucket list.

After finishing the walk up to the basilica, we went inside and like Notre Dame, it’s beautiful. They prohibit photos from being taken inside so I don’t have any but if you ever get the chance you should go. The architecture and stained-glass windows are gorgeous. Being inside Sacre Coeur was so peaceful and centering that it almost made me not mad at the people who were taking photos.

We finished looking at the basilica and decided to break off for lunch. Our teachers decided to make the afternoon a limited free day. We could pick what we wanted to see from a list given to us. All we had to do was take a picture of us at the location to prove we were there and show them when we checked in.

Before leaving for Paris I found an article noting the 12 most instagramable places in Paris and one was a small cafe restaurant called La Maison Rose. It was near the basilica so our little group went on a hunt through Montmartre to find it. We eventually came across it but unfortunately it was closed. However, do not fear, I did take multiple photos of the café and I even posted on to Instagram.

Turning around, we headed towards the main area filled with restaurants and souvenir shops. We found a small restaurant but it wasn’t open until noon so we killed some time by browsing through the shops in the area. I got my postcards and magnet that I usually get from everywhere I go and I’ll probably finish the rest of my shopping later this week.

For lunch I had some ravioli filled with cheese and crawfish that was handmade. It was so good and I don’t think I can have normal ravioli ever again because of it. Post lunch our group decided to hit the Luxembourg Gardens.

It was an okay place. I think I would have liked it more had the trees been in bloom and everything had life. It was just kind of dull in the middle of January. After a quick walk-through we decided the second destination would be Notre Dame. We went yesterday but for a brief period of time. Today we spent more time inside and I got to read how the cathedral evolved into what it is today. Like the basilica this morning, it was absolutely breathtaking. Pictures would not do its beauty justice.

Our final destination was one of the most famous bookstores in Europe. It’s called Shakespeare and Company and I was instantly hit with the smell of old books after walking in. It was a pretty neat place to be in but I didn’t buy anything because they sell the same kind of books that bookstores in America sell.

Clare, Elizabeth and I decided to head back to the hotel for a bit before dinner and to check in with our teachers. On our way back I was hit with the smell of crepes so we stopped at a stand on the street and I got a banana and Nute crepe. It was delicious and like I said earlier, I cannot wait to eat so many crepes this week.

The ending of our night wasn’t too exciting. A group of us went to Frogburger for dinner and that was pretty good. We finished with gelato for desert where I got a crepe and gelato. This was also delicious. From there we headed back to the hotel to chill for the night.

Tomorrow we get to spend the morning in Versailles and we have to find a museum to go to in the afternoon. Let’s hope the rain holds off tomorrow like it did today!

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