Saturday, May 9, 2009

Au revoir Paris!

Yesterday was a super-busy day. We found that we were difficult to impress after spending the previous day in Versailles. We visited Notre Dame, but we have tired of climbing towers so we decided to skip this one. Next we wandered along the left bank and perused Shakespeare and Company bookstore. The store has a huge collection of new and used books and also offered a few cots for writers who volunteer at the store to stay for free while they work on their books. Lunch in the Latin Quarter was dreamy...a banana and salted caramel crepe and espresso (we're on vacation, so lay off!). After a quick tour of Pere Lachaise, the largest cemetery in Paris, we collected supplies for a magical birthday picnic during sunset at the Eiffel Tower. Nothing says "fun" like climbing 600 steps on a full stomach so we climbed to the first and second levels of the tower (Bekky was too cheap to pay for the lift). We witnessed the sparkling lightshow once from inside the tower and once an hour, and two cappuccinos, later from the ground below.

Today was another action-packed day. We started the morning with a trip to the Catacombs - probably one of the most eerie experiences of our lives. The visit basically consists of a 45 minute walk down dark, damp, and narrow hallways full of stacked bones and skulls. Creepy, yet fascinating. On a lighter note, we then wandered over to the Rodin Museum to stroll through the garden and see such famous sculptures as The Thinker and The Gates of Hell. Our next stop was the Opera Garnier, the opera house that the Phantom of the Opera is based on. Unfortunately, there was a performance going on so we were unable to take the tour. When it started raining, we decided to take shelter at The Louvre and spent a couple of hours wandering the museum with the thousands of other tourists and locals who thought that Saturday would be a good day to visit the museum. The Mona Lisa was underwhelming.

After a little break, we headed to the Montmartre neighborhood to take in the view of the city at the Sacre Coure, wander the artists square, and stroll the mile or so down the hill to see the infamous Moulin Rouge (also a little underwhelming). All in all it has been a crazy couple of days and we weren't able to fit in everything we wanted to do, but did get around to most of it. Tomorrow will be a relaxing day of shopping around the city before taking an overnight train to Berlin. Since everything in Paris is wildly expensive, including internet access, we don't have time to post all of our most recent photos now, but check back in a day or so and we'll post again when we get to Berlin.

Mandi and Bekky

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