We awoke with excitement for a new day and a new adventure. A quick breakfast, and easy trip on the metro brought us right to the Louvre. We had done a little research, and Chris bought an app for his phone which led us on a tour of the most famous items in the museum. I really enjoyed the tour because it taught us something about each piece, even though I had seen them all once before, I was able to appreciate them much more so with some history and cultural relevance. Following the leisurely pace of the tour, and pausing the audio to take a look at items not on the itinerary also allowed us to keep at a good clip. Sometimes I feel guilty for rushing through a museum, but I have finally learned that with a city like Paris, it is impossible to fully take in every single thing that catches your eye. You must listen only to the voices in your head that beckon you toward the the things that interest you the most.
By our second day in Paris, it became apparent that the voices in my head were beckoning me to very different pieces than the beckoning Chris was experiencing in his head. Pushing aside the negative thoughts about the tastes of the other, we were able to appreciate our own preferences with a more critical eye, and the preferences of the other with a different perspective that originally held. We both agreed, however, that the ceilings and architecture are some of the most amazing things to be seen in the Louvre.
After the guided tour, a shared overpriced sandwich, and more looking around, we set out for Notre Dame de Paris. The line was much shorter than the previous day, and we went in to take a look at the famous building. Though not terrible, it was much more busy than Sacre Coeur on the night of our arrival. Chris and I were terribly frustrated with all of the people too concerned with taking pictures, and ignoring the “silence please” signs posted everywhere. We tried not to let the others ruin our visit in the magnificent place, but I could hardly understand the lack of respect held by so many grown people. We were not able to take a tour of the towers because the church bells are in the process of being replaced. We instead, were able to see the new bells on display, which was certainly amazing– to imagine the construction of the massive bells, and the construction and transport of bells made prior to modern technology.
We then hopped back on the Metro and took a frigid tour of the Arc de Triomphe. I was really glad to take Chris there, because he loved to look around at the 360 degree view of the city. It has been cool for me too, to be semi-able to navigate, semi-able to read informational material, and semi-able to share the history of the city, people, monuments, and museums.
On our way home we decided to buy some groceries. We are close to over budget for Paris, and I have been hearing that London is even more expensive, so we are watching our pennies. Anyway, it may be more fun for me to be able to experience all of the specialty food stores, and even normal supermarkets than it would be to simply sit down, and have food appear in front of me. On one street we saw, among others, stores solely dedicated to flowers, horse meat, fresh Italian food including hand made pastas, cheese, wine, pork products, beef products, sea food, fruits and vegetables, chocolates, bread, and pastries. Did I mention that I love Paris? We helped one short woman reach the top shelf, and one very, very old man to load his wheely grocery bag. Chris joked that the store should hire us, and frankly, I think that I would be happy with the job of helping little old French people all day. They are so amazing to me.
For dinner we made tomato riccota ravioli, and I ran out for a baguette. At the corner boulangerie, I found a long line, and had to hold the door open to let three people leave just to make room for me to enter. It was 7 p.m., and I waited in line as the two employees, both of whom appeared to be high school aged, or at least very young, moved and spoke as fast as they could, with politeness, and a smile, to serve all of the customers. I ordered two “tradition” (a style of baguette), and felt like a real Parisian to so seamlessly traverse the habitual practice of evening bread-rush-hour. Walking home, I clutched the bread, and wondered to myself if the loaves were warm, or if I was just that cold. Rushing into the apartment, I tore open a loaf, and watched the steam rise. It was our first fresh from the oven loaf since arriving, and it was too sumptuous for words.
After that, it was a chill night, in which I practiced my French with Sammy, and he gave me some pointers for the next day’s trip: To visit the relatives in Marly-Le-Roi.