On our second day, July 18th, we were very tired in the morning but we were down at breakfast by 7:30am. My mom and two of our neighbors decided to stay at the hotel for the day and shop and go to gardens. But our 14 year old neighbor, Lauren, decided to come with us into Paris to climb Notre Dame. We had a little bit of trouble finding the Metro station and then when we got there we found out that the train that we thought ran into that station did not. So we again had to transfer trains a few times before reaching the final stop near Notre Dame. A quick note about the Metro doors. There are no touch sensors on them like there are on the Disney monorail. My neighbor made it halfway through the doors before they started closing so my dad put his arm out and both her leg and his arm were stuck. Everyone survived but it was definitely a bit scary for a minute before the doors reopened.
We waited about 45 minutes to climb Notre Dame but it was much cooler outside compared to the previous day. I can’t remember the exact number of steps to the top but it was close to 400. Climbing up only took about 10 minutes but they let each group have five minutes at each level so it took a little longer with the added time. The panoramic views of Paris from here were the best we saw all trip. We could see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe from here. Seeing the gargoyles up close was neat as well.
We stopped for a quick ice cream snack after the climb as it was getting a little warmer as the day went on. We then took a taxi to the Louvre where we were able to bypass the long lines to buy tickets and get in to the museum with our Museum Pass. If you are visiting Paris for a day and going to a few museums definitely look into getting this pass. It was well worth the price for the museums we visited in the two days and it was nice being able to cut the lines to get in. We saw the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, Wedding at Cana and the Winged Victory all within probably 45 minutes. The Louvre is a HUGE museum so you need to know what you would like to see ahead of time.
We then had a late lunch at one of the cafes inside of the Louvre. I had pasta which was great for being from a museum cafe and a cold water bottle which was also very nice. We took the train back to Versailles and waited for the moms to get back from shopping to go visit Marie Antoinette’s play village or the “Queen’s Hamlet.”
It was a bit of a long walk to get to the “Hameau” as it is called and we did not have much time because we needed to get ready for the Adventures by Disney welcome dinner. So we quickly went and walked back. My mom stayed a little longer to take pictures since it was one of the things she really wanted to do in France.
Our welcome dinner was very nice. Our tour had 33 people on it I believe and 2 tour guides- Emily and Mohammad who were fantastic! Each family introduced themselves and then we had a yummy dinner in one of the conference rooms in the building all of our rooms were in. We all wore name tags for the dinner as well. A musician played the accordion while we ate which was a nice touch. We received our first Disney pins of the trip. We got an Adventures by Disney pin, a Bienvenue pin, and a pin with the number three on it because it was our third Adventures by Disney trip. The ABD pin was on a lanyard which also included Mohammad and Emily (our tour guides) cell phone numbers in case we needed to contact them during the adventure. Pictures of the pins are included but if you are going on the Espirit de France ABD and want the pins to be a surprise don’t look below! The following day we headed to the Palace of Versailles!