Day 2 Part 2: Musée du Louvre, Pont des Arts, La Comédie Française, Place Vendôme, L’église de la Madeleine, Ladurée, Le Marais, Hôtel de Ville, Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris, Quartier Latin, Jardin du Luxembourg.
From the Tuileries we made our way to the Louvre. I had decided well ahead of time that we would just walk around the outside of the Louvre. I enjoy museums and look forward to spending several days actually walking around in the Louvre in the future, but we just didn’t have the time to do so during this trip.
I opted to forego the typical poses in front of the pyramid, and after a few minutes we were off to walk the courtyards. From there we headed to the Pont des Arts, better known as the Love Locks Bridge. Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to walk the bridge before all of the locks were removed. The remodel was designed to prevent locks from being put on the bridge, yet a few crafty couples managed to leave their locks anyway.
We walked past La Comédie Française on our way to Place Vendôme, another site on my list. I bravely (or stupidly) made my way out into the roundabout to snap a photo of the Colonne (column) Vendôme.
Up next was something I had been waiting to do for seven months; our visit to Ladurée. Say what you will about clichés – I refused to buy macarons in France until I had the chance to get them from the best! Thankfully the shop is open on Sundays. If it hadn’t been, I guarantee we would have been back the very next day. Ted talked me out of buying a 35€ keychain (thank you!), but I did walk out with a box of six macarons.
Just up the road from Ladurée is the Madeleine. This church is styled architecturally after a Greek temple, complete with pediment and columns. We were lucky enough to visit while the orchestra was practicing. The church was all the more beautiful as a result of the music playing while we walked around.
From the Madeleine we headed to the Jewish quarter in Le Marais for a late lunch at Ted’s favorite falafel place: L’As du Fallafel. He isn’t the only one raving about the falafel either. L’As du Fallafel is hands down everybody’s favorite in Paris, myself included. The line ran the length of the street, but was so worth it. I’ll be craving this Middle Eastern specialty for years to come.
After a filling meal, we continued on our tour of the city, walking past the Hôtel de Ville on our way to the Notre Dame.
A walk across the Seine and past countless street performers brought us to the Notre Dame, where we waited in line for a short while before entering the cathedral.
From here we made our way through the nearby Latin Quarter. This area has been known as being attractive to younger crowds, particularly students, for years.
Located in the Latin Quarter is Shakespeare and Company, a must see for book lovers like myself.
After a stroll through the Latin Quarter we headed to the Jardin du Luxembourg, where I enjoyed my macarons in the warmth of the afternoon sun. As expected, the gardens were packed, making our search for open seats a bit difficult. We prevailed in the end though, finding the perfect spot to rest our aching feet.
We finally headed back to our Airbnb for a brief rest, only to go out again just after nine to see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. We took the Métro to the Trocadero and emerged surrounded by tourists, all with the same idea in mind. The tour buses coupled with construction on the Trocadero, people selling toys everywhere, and a live band added a kitschy element to the magical atmosphere. I loved seeing the light show all the same. Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night is like a dream come to life.
I can’t thank Ted enough for playing tourist with me as I experienced all of this for the first time. Up next: Alex joins us for Day 3!