paris day 3

I want to go to Disneyland. I have absolutely no idea why. I just do. So just a minute ago, I took a look at the ticket prices online. HOLY MOLY. When did it get so expensive?!? $63! And that’s just for 1 day and 1 park. If you want to park hop or whatever, it’s $83 for 1 day. Oh well, I’d still love to go. Maybe when I’m in Southern CA for the holidays…

Had an okay weekend. I got a stomachache on Saturday so I spent a good part of the day in bed. Ugh. I caught up on The OC (really, really liking this season so far) and I watched The Break-Up. HATED IT. There were some funny moments and Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn were good but the whole storyline was… EH. I also went to see Borat today, which was pretty hilarious. I wouldn’t say I *liked* it, though. The highlight of my weekend was getting an iPod nano! Rob got me a 4gb red one as a belated birthday present. I’m going to use this one for the gym. 😀

More Paris…
Sun, October 15: Day 3
After our Parisian breakfast of croissants and coffee (I must have gained about 10 pounds from all the bread I ate!), we were off to Montmartre to see Sacre Coeur. (Montmartre is the northern part of the city where many artists reside). We took the Metro (we’re total pros now) and got off at Anvers. I was actually hoping the Abesses stop would be open by now (it’s been closed for renovations). That was the Metro stop featured in the movie Amelie and I just wanted to see it! Maybe next time. 😀 We walked up a hill (huffing and puffing the whole time) that took us to the bottom of the steps leading to Sacre Coeur. We took a breather by the carousel and prepared ourselves for the stairs. I guess we could have taken the funicular up but we were feeling adventurous. As we headed over to the stairs, we were approached by the men who try and stop you to tie a bracelet around your wrist. If they happen to get you, you’re tied to them and have to give them money to be released. They try to convince you to take the bracelet by saying it’s free. We walked away from them quickly (though one of them totally grabbed Rob’s arm) and started the hike up the stairs. It took us a little while (we stopped every time there was a bit of platform) but it was worth it when we arrived at the top. The basilica is absolutely gorgeous and the view from up there was wonderful. We were overlooking all of Paris! We went inside and lit a candle for my mom and walked around admiring the statues and sculptures. As we exited, I noticed that they had those machines that make impressions on coins for souvenirs. Is it just me or is that the *last* thing you’d expect to see in a church? I’ve made them before but at an amusement park!

We walked down to Place du Tertre to check out the artists’ square. There were some absolutely gorgeous watercolor paintings of the Arc and the Eiffel Tower and I was incredibly tempted to purchase one but I decided against it since they were pricey (between 25-50 Euros) and I didn’t know how the heck I was going to take it with me on the plane. We continued our walk through Montmartre and into the Pigalle area (Red Light District) on the way to the Moulin Rouge. Since it was Sunday, most of the shops were closed (so weird to me!) but we did find one sex shop that happened to be open. We went in but there was nothing exciting. LOL. Just a few more steps down was the Moulin Rouge! It was so fun to see the famous dance hall and its iconic windmill.

Our next stop for the day was the Marais. We made our way there via the Metro. As we walked up to the street level, we found ourselves at the Place de la Bastille. There’s nothing left of the prison at all so there’s nothing to see. Across the street, though, stood the Colonne de Juillet (memorial to commemorate the deaths in the street battles of 1830) and also the Opera National de Paris Bastille. The Opera completely stood out because it’s made of glass… I actually didn’t like it at all. We continued walking over to Place des Vosges. It’s a beautiful park that’s perfectly symmetrical (nine houses on each side of the square). I just loved all the parks/gardens in Paris. They’re so well-maintained, gorgeous and peaceful.

By this time, we were so hungry. We spotted a Quick fast food restaurant (like the McDonald’s of France) and ordered Supreme Cheese burgers meals. It wasn’t really a very good burger (my all time favorite fast food burger is from In-n-Out) but it came with Coke! And it didn’t cost us $5! Heh. After lunch, we walked along the Rue de Rivoli down to Ile de la Cite. We sat in the Square du Jean XIII, which is a beautiful garden behind Notre Dame. I think I love the back of Notre Dame even more than the front. The flying buttresses are spectacular. Guh.

I wanted to pick up a book to read for the plane ride home so we looked for the English bookstore Shakespeare & Co, which I knew was nearby. What a great little store! It’s TINY. It felt so homey and the employees are really friendly and give you recommendations on books and things to do in the area. I picked up The Time Traveler’s Wife, which a good friend had suggested to me. (I finished the book on the plane and didn’t like it :/).

By this time, we were absolutely exhausted from all the walking so we bought tickets for a 1 hr. sightseeing cruise on the Seine. We sat on top of the boat for a good vantage point of all the sights. The boat passed many of the monuments (D’Orsay, Conciergerie, Notre Dame, etc) but once we got to the Eiffel Tower, our camera battery died after just a few photos! GRRR. I was a bit surprised to see that the homeless population of Paris have tents set up all along the river banks. Some of them looked pretty permanent too. Looking back, though, I’m not sure why I was so shocked. Paris is a big city and all big cities have homeless problems. Still, it was a nice trip down the river and we got to rest our poor feet. After the cruise, we picked up gyros and banana/nutella crepes for dinner and headed back to the hotel for the night.

Up next: the Louvre!