With no alarm clocks set we enjoyed a nice sleep in and awoke to the classic Parisian grey skies and the busy sounds of the street below.
We got ready and were soon walking down the charming streets to the Musee Rodin. This was the first visit for both of us, and we were really impressed with the beauty of it all. After a quick bag check* and the purchase of our Museum Passes**, we walked through grounds enjoying the beautiful gardens and marveled at the work of a master sculptor.
After our visit, we were regretting not bringing our coats with us and we walked back to our hotel to quickly grab them and head out again.
We walked a little ways away from our hotel to the area near the Bon Marché. By this time we were quite hungry (we had skipped breakfast, after all) so we found a small cafe and stopped in for some lunch. I had an open-faced roast beef sandwich (with horseradish mayo, fresh tomatoes and arugula) and Jenn had a penne pasta in tomato sauce; it was exactly what we needed to give us some more energy for the afternoon. What I wouldn’t do to have that delicious sandwich again!
After lunch, we wandered through the Bon Marché, and ended up in la Grande Épicerie where we perused the aisles and drooled over all the delicious options. We decided to come back later that afternoon and grab some items for a picnic dinner.
We made our way to the nearest metro station and purchased a carnet of tickets and rode the line to the Champs Élysées. We walked up the famous street (which was packed with tourists) and stopped in at Monoprix and picked up some items for our ourselves and some gifts to take back with us. We then continued up the street to the Arc de Triomphe. After snapping some quick shots, we took the underground tunnel to the middle of the traffic circle. We then got in line for the climb to the top. And oh what a climb it was. The narrow spiral staircase seemed to be never ending; as our legs burned, breathing became heavy, and our pace started to crawl, we finally arrived to the inner platform. We caught our breath and then climbed a few more stairs to the top! The views were just as I remembered them, and didn’t disappoint Jenn! We spent some time taking in the views and snapping some selfies before making our way down. Once at the bottom, we noticed that the lines had disappeared and that they were no longer letting anybody inside. We overheard the police telling another visitor that it was “closed for security reasons”. We later realized that it was at about this time that there has been a fake bomb threat, and deduced that it was likely because of this that they closed the major attractions until the situation was under control.
We decided it was a good idea to move away from the area and back down the Bon Marché to pick up our dinner supplies. We finally decided on a sandwich, salad, dessert, and wine and then headed back to the hotel to rest our feet and enjoy the simple dinner.
After eating we couldn’t resist sleep. The long days of travel before had finally caught up with us and we were asleep within minutes of our heads hitting the pillows.
*The security everywhere in Paris was so heightened. Every monument and almost every store we went into, we had to have our bags checked my security before we were allowed to enter. All the major monuments also made us walk through metal detectors and have our bags x-rayed as an additional security measure. There were police patrolling EVERYWHERE. They were often standing on street corners and walking around on patrols. I was thankful for the extra security, and it made us feel that we were being kept safe.
**If you’re planning a trip to Paris, and want to visit a bunch of different monuments and museums, I definitely recommend the Paris Museum Pass. It covers most of the major sights (Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Versailles, and the Arc de Triomphe, just to name a few) and allows you to SKIP MOST OF THE LINES! Even if the price savings aren’t a lot, the time it saves you from standing in ticket lines makes it worth it. They’re sold at different points around the city (including most of the museums and both airports).
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