Sanctuary!

Yesterday was quite the adventure. There were still a couple of key visiting Paris hot spots that we needed to check out and from what I can tell we hit them all.

We set out early for Notre Dame in the hope that the place wouldn’t be full of tourists (yes we appreciate the irony in being tourists ourselves). We were there just after nine and it wasn’t too bad. We sat through some of the service, lit candles and made our own version of prayers before realising that to go on the tour of the towers, belfry and rooftops you had to exit the building and join the queue of people down the far side of the building. We queued for about an hour, in sporadic bouts of rain but kept ourselves amused by watching a funeral procession.

When we got into the tower we were told that as we were under 26 the tour was free if we had proof of ID. There’s a lesson here. Take ID with you. Kate didn’t and I had to seriously flutter my eyelashes to get us both in gratuit. It’s definitely worth doing, the individual gargoyles are beautiful, the whole thing is like a gothic dream. The views were impressive and the Disney version of events will come to mind.

We then set out for Sacre Couer which is set into the hillside overlooking Paris and is therefore also worthy of a visit. They are quite strict on their no camera rule inside the cathedral itself but the external is the real treat. The overlooking steps and platforms were used to brilliant effect in Amelie alongside many of the local buildings and roads. We managed to find the cafe Amelie works in and while it took far too long to get served because one waiter seemed to have an inability to wait I wasn’t going to let it spoil what it felt we were a part of. Cafe Les Deux Moulins is just around the corner from the Moulin Rouge which is another iconic Parisian landmark secured on film via Baz Luhrmann.

We then headed for the Louvre but by the time we arrived and saw the queue settled on sitting in the surrounding gardens and dipping our feet in the pool above the gallery. In hindsight I believe this was a better decision. The only piece we could name in the Louvre was the Mona Lisa and to be honest I’ve seen more pictures of the Mona Lisa this week than I care for.

Once rested we took to the Latin Quarter for another brilliant meal, this time shrimp cocktail and moules et frites. We couldn’t resist another quick trip to Shakespeare & Co so I’m going home with more unread books than I came out with.

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