Oh ho ho!! Oui! Oui!! Tres manifique baguette! (that's all the French I know...)
So we dropped the car off yesterday, 10 minutes after they gave me the keys. So sad. But, we hopped a quick flight to Paris and arrived last night.
First impression of Paris after getting off the plane, boarding the CEC train to the Des Halles stop and getting lost looking for our hotel that was just 2 blocks from the train stop? GET THE F*CK BACK ON THE PLANE!! Sketchy, to say the least, with 2 mean/weird looking dudes that even meanier/weirder dogs on the train and all sorts of unsavory folk up until we made it into the hotel. This part of Paris (1/2 mile from the Louvre) is no place for Americans around 9PM at night, that's for sure.
Wouldn't you Louvre to be here?
Never ones to buy into 1st impressions, we gave Paris a 2nd chance this morning and were glad we did. The weather was super cold (probably about 40-45 this morning with brisk winds) but it got lovely by the end of the day and we ditched the coats in favor of sweaters and sunglasses. We walked around 12 miles today (per our calculated route in the guidebooks afterwards) and damn are our feet tired! We went up in the Eiffel Tower which is pretty damn cool and imposing, to be sure.
It looks way bigger than it does here...and far more French
Walking back to the hotel, we ended up at Notre Dame (the church, not the Touchdown Jesus school) and that place is incredible. Un-freaking-believable. I've never seen anything more amazing in my life. My camera has all the interior photos so you'll have to wait, but suffice it to say that this has to be the most amazing church in Europe and words--nor a few pictures--can do this place justice. You truly have to come here and see it for yourself, catholic or not. I caught myself several times strolling through the interior of the church mutter "holy sh*t" as I stared at the ceilings that appear to be about a mile high and the length of the church that seems endless. The stained glass should be a new world wonder...
This place is tres manifique
After 12 miles of walking, we're calling it a day. We picked up a baguette, some formage (cheese) and warm coke as the Europeans don't seem to know what ice is--nor the proper storage and service of carbonated beverages--and eating in the hotel room and getting some well deserved rest. BTW, food--rather drinks--are stupid expensive here in the city of lights, WAY more than London which was/is a total surprise. We ate at a cafe in a park about 1/4 mile past the Louvre and shared a 1L bottle of coke. The price? 12.50 Euro. For those of you scoring at home, that is $19.72. Oh and it's not just that place, it's everywhere. I am yet to see a 250mL bottle of coke (a small bottle or regular can) for less than 2 Euro in any restaurant; it's 4 Euro in the mini bar at the hotel. Beer is around 4 Euro for 250mL and you don't really get any breaks for buying in bulk; 1/2L will cost you around 8 Euro and it's sh*t beer, not the real deal like in Germany. Sidenote: a 1/2L of beer (Hofbrau, Spaten, Becks, you name it) at the Munich airport costs 3.8 Euro; talk about a country that has their priorities right. Myself and my bank account can't wait until we head back to Munich.
You can now clean the $0.10 of Coke or Sprite off your monitor and keyboard.
OK, tomorrow is museum day (Louvre and D'Orsay) and Moulin Rouge and more 2-Euro Cokes...if we shop around!
Paris is for lovers...so when in Rome...