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Despite not getting up until around noon, my first full day in Paris ended up being my most ambitious of the trip so far. I ended up walking some 13 miles around the city, starting from Place Monge .
I started by heading to the Jardin des Plantes, which was half a block away. Since it was early January, there wasn’t much growing, but they did have a dinosaur statue.
I then followed the Seine again, crossing to walk through Ile Saint-Louis toward Notre-Dame de Paris. In the center of Île Saint-Louis, I bought some Berthillon ice cream. I had 3 scoops, one of salted caramel, one of hazelnut, and one of peach. I got some crazy looks from people for eating ice cream on a cold day, but it was worth it.
Seine & Notre Dame
It wasn’t my intent to go to Notre Dame on the same day that Notre Dame was playing in the National Championship game; it just worked out that way. Needless to say, this did not bring them any sort of good luck or even mediocre luck.
The line to go to the top of the cathedral was reasonably short, and the sky was briefly showing bits of blue, so I waited for about 15 minutes and headed to the top.
Given Notre Dame’s central location, the views from the top are some of the best in Paris. Plus you can never go wrong with gargoyles.
After leaving Notre Dame, I followed the river toward The Louvre. There was a stretch of the Seine where building after building had a pet store in it. I have no idea why there is a need for such a large concentration of pet stores in that area of Paris, but if you’re ever in the city and in the market for a hamster, then I suggest stopping in.
I didn’t stop in the Louvre, as it can take a whole day, and with only a few days in Paris, I didn’t want to do too many things I had done previously. I continued walking through the Tuileries Garden, which had the remains of the Christmas market, closed for the season, then walked the length of the Champs-Élysées.
I passed a mall that advertised “luxury restrooms”, so I had to check it out. Unfortunately, they wanted 3 euros as an entry fee. Considering most restrooms are free and are quite sufficient for my needs, I’m curious what exactly that 3 euros would have gotten me. Alas, that will remain a mystery, as I didn’t have to go that badly.
I arrived at the Arc de Triomphe just after the sun was setting, took a few photos, then headed to see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.
For dinner, it was back to my neighborhood, where I then tried in vain to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I pledged to set an alarm for the next day so I would not stay in bed until noon.
Song of the day: The Decemberists – The Legionnaire’s Lament
Traveler. Writer. Photographer. Terrible dancer. 40+ countries & major territories so far, slowly working his way through the rest. Related interests: craft beer, street food, cocktails, culture, sporting events, history, value travel, credit card bonuses, hiking, visiting non-touristy places, bacon, seafood, & cheese