Our plan for today was to visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral, explore the Louvre, visit the Eiffel Tower and take a boat ride along the Seine River. Well, fortunately we left Monday ‘free” to get to the things that we don’t do on Saturday and Sunday. We did two and a half of the four planned items. Since it was a rainy day, I’m totally good with that!
I’m directionally challenged, so I’m mainly happy that I was able to navigate the Paris metro system. For me, it was much more complicated than the NYC system. I’m not the best judge (as my mom pointed out) since I have lived in NYC for the last 21 years though. I – and I do mean I, because my mom has an even worse sense of direction than I do – figured it out though. By the time we came home, I was confident that I could get around Paris with no problem. I love subways! The Paris subways are clean but windy (so wear a hat if you visit, because the wind will blow your hair all over the place).
Our first stop was Notre-Dame de Paris. After doing a little shopping, we had a late breakfast at one of the cafes. I saw a lot of locals eating baguettes, so that is what I had…a baguette with fresh raspberry yogurt. The baguette was served nice and warm. It was delicious. One thing that I really liked was that French people don’t need as much personal space as Americans. The café was crowded, so if there were two people at tables with four seats, they just moved over so that two strangers could join them. That’s why my mom and I ended up eating breakfast with a very kind, young French couple before heading off to the Cathedral.
Initially, we intended on touring the inside of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. However, when we saw that the entrance line looped down the square a couple of times, we changed our mind. It was raining so we just took a few pictures and moved on. Entrance to the Cathedral is free, but if you visit, then come early so that you won’t have to stay in line. (It opens at 8am each day, but there is limited access on Sundays because of actual church services.) If you really want a treat – and can handle the climb – visit the Towers. There is a fee, but you can climb the 422 steps to the top where you can see gargoyle art, the bell and see Paris in an amazing way. I’m not sure if I want to climb 422 steps, but viewing the Gothic architecture of the Cathedral was great by itself.