Paris, Part 2: Art, Architecture, and Food

Part 1 of my Paris adventures can be found here.

We started off our first morning in Paris by grabbing some baked goods from the bakery on the corner. Of course I had to get pain au chocolat, but I also tried this chocolate chip baguette-like thing (I don’t remember what it’s called and for all my internet searching, I can’t figure it out).

We then walked to the Louvre, passing Notre Dame on the way (we came back here another day).

We spent a good amount of time wandering the Louvre, which we discovered we could get into for free by showing our visas and proving that we were students who were legal residents of the European Union. Having now been to the Louvre twice, I don’t really have any desire to go back. A lot of the art is too old for my tastes (I tend to like things from the 19th century or later the most), and it’s kind of confusing to find your way around. One of these days I’ll make it to the Musee d’Orsay.

After the Louvre, we grabbed some Nutella-banana crepes for lunch/snack. We then headed to Shakespeare and Company, a famous bookstore just across the river from Notre Dame. It’s a cute little place, with a line of people waiting to enter. We could have spent forever here.

We decided to go to the Catacombs next. Unfortunately, we were turned away when we got there because we couldn’t have made it through the line before they closed. So we hopped back on the metro to the complete opposite side of Paris to go see the Arch de Triomphe instead.

It took us longer than it should have to realize that to get to the middle, there’s an underground tunnel you have to walk through. In our defense, the tunnel isn’t very well marked- it just looks like a random staircase leading into the ground.

Once we found our way through the tunnel, we had to figure out how to actually get under the Arch. We ended up waiting in line to get tickets to climb to the top, even though we had no intention of doing so (we were pretty tired), just because it seemed like the only way to get underneath it. We eventually realized you could just walk up there without having to get a ticket and did just that.

I’m not sure exactly what I thought the Arch de Triomphe was before, but for some reason I was slightly surprised that it was basically a military monument. It lists soldiers and battles, thanks other countries for their aid, and even has the French equivalent of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We hurried to the grocery store back by our apartment after that, wanting to buy things to make dinner and lunch for the following day before they closed. We cooked and ate pasta and spent the rest of the evening relaxing, going to bed fairly early in preparation for the next day’s trip: Versailles (to be posted soon!)



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