We ate breakfast at the hotel which was very good before heading to Paris. At breakfast, they had a wide variety of items to choose from at the buffet including crepes and pancakes. They also had yummy green apple juice. It tasted like they had literally made it fresh without any added sugar. It was about a forty five minute train ride into Paris after walking 20 minutes to the train station. It would have been half an hour but the hotel did not tell us when we asked for directions that the one train line did not go all the way to the stop near Notre Dame during July and part of August so we had to transfer. It was helpful that my dad had downloaded a Paris metro app before we arrived in France so that we could navigate the metro a little easier.
A worker at the train station had come on the train and we all said “Bonjour!” and she replied with “Bonjour!” and then went into a long French paragraph about how the train stopped here and everyone had to get off. We must have looked like deer in headlights before we said “Uh, do you speak English?” and she quickly translated everything she had said for us.
We got off of the second train and walked to Notre Dame. We wanted to climb it but the line for that was about an hour and the temperature was climbing quickly. We decided to wait to do this, but we did get in the long line to go into Notre Dame. This line moved much quicker and was only a 15 minute wait. I was glad I had watched the Hunchback of Notre Dame right before the trip because it was still fresh in my mind. The inside and outside of the cathedral was beautiful. It was fairly crowded inside and would be easy for someone to get separated from their party so remember this when exploring Notre Dame. We heard the bells which were pretty and sound very different from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Also in front of Notre Dame is a little circle which is the center of Paris so that was cool to see and stand on.
After visiting Notre Dame we wanted to find the Shakespeare and Company bookstore which is featured in the movie “Midnight in Paris”-a fantastic movie by the way which one of my best friends recommended to me and I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Paris. It took us a while to find the bookstore because we were trying to use a map and we ended up resorting to using data on our Phones. We finally found it and were starving by this point so we took a few pictures, my mom bought a few things, and we ate at a cafe next door which was very good.
I had a chicken burger and ratatouille because I wanted to say I tried ratatouille in France (like the Disney movie).
We then took the metro to the Musee d’Orsay and the Cluny Museum. We had bought RER/metro unlimited passes for the whole day which was around 11 euros and ended up being a very good deal. At the Musee d’Orsay we saw works by Degas and Picasso as well as many other artists. The museum used to be a train station and it was very pretty inside. Photos of the artwork inside were not allowed however in this one part, photos seemed to be okay because it was a room with just the clock and gift store. At the Cluny Museum we saw the famous Unicorn Tapestries and other ancient French artifacts. On the way to one of the museums, we stopped to get water and macarons which were amazing. The chocolate macaron I had was even better than the ones I had at Laduree later on in the trip.
We walked around trying to find a metro station and ended up getting ice cream and walking through a nice park for a bit. We also passed a carnival that had a flume ride which was very tempting
We took the train back to Versailles because it was around 97 degrees and we were tired and sweating. Our neighbors had asked the concierge earlier to make reservations for dinner for us back in Versailles since we thought we might be back by dinner. When we got to the train station we stopped by Starbucks for a nice cool drink. I don’t usually drink Starbucks drinks but it was so hot that the drink was refreshing. We had a nice dinner at a more French place (compared to McDonald’s the previous night) in the town of Versailles and called it a night. The dinner did take longer than the night before because dining in France is not as rushed as it is in the Northeast. During some of our meals in France I felt like they took forever, but others enjoyed not having to rush from one course to the next. Make sure to let the waiter know when you sit down at a restaurant in France if you are in a rush.