Last September we visited Paris for a total of five days, although the last one was spent packing, making last minute souvenir shopping, and having a terrible lunch at the airport. Consequently, this post is the last of my documented Paris diaries. It contains a detailed relation of our adventures that day, including an early visit to the French Pantheon, another to Napoleon Bonaparte´s intimidating tomb, a very expensive tea and some obligatory goofing around the Eiffel Tower among other events. We had a lovely day, so I hope you enjoy by reading this post.
The Paris Diaries, day 4.
Paris, September, Sunday the 27th :
Today was exhausting. I asked The Gentle One to complete this chronicle for me, but he declared himself to be out of the whole "travel journaling thing" by alleging it is all too boring and old-fashioned, as well as calling me names like "Dr. Livingstone". Nonetheless, I am quite sure it is a poor strategy to hide his epic walker super-powers have been seriously tested and threaten today, and he is far too tired to even try to write this. As he drinks his coffee here at the hotel room, he is casting mistrustful looks at me: he suspects I have unmasked him, but he´s not totally sure yet. I am still having time enough to finish this diary entry before he tries to poison my tea in a desperate attempt to protect his dark secret (or just before he passes out, who knows?)
Anyway, we woke up early again this morning (hurray!) and went back to Île de la Cité as quick as possible. On Thursday evening we didn´t make it to the national pantheon, so we wanted to go back today and take the chance to visit some of the old book posts by the river. We did so, and then moved to the giant building where most notable people in France are buried. Well, we thought we couldn´t get any more impressed by national architecture after a couple of days. And we were WRONG. Seriously, our conception of proportion was melted by the view of the pantheon structure. Literally, how big can you make a cupola before it collapses? We wandered around for about twenty minutes, mouths opened, and with our wits totally gone (is there a word concept for "art zombies"? Because it should). No words to properly describe it. When we finally recovered a bit, we descended to the crypts in order to visit Victor Hugo and Voltaire resting places. It was great to see how many historic figures were there as well, but we needed some extra time at the Luxemburg Gardens to recover.
Afterwards, we took the underground and moved to the Eiffel Tower. I really didn´t feel like visiting, but my family was asking me for a pictures in there, and they can be truly insistent. I was happy to discover the place looked much better in real life, and the structure was all full with lots of pretty details in the interior side. We took a couple of pics and kept moving to Les Invalides.
The Gentle One is a fan of Bonaparte (don´t even ask...) so there was no chance to avoid this specific tour. Well, I knew the guy was a megalomaniac before entering the place, but WOW. I mean, he had serious issues. Size issues. By watching his tomb you could think there is a giant inside. Plus, he planned the whole thing to make it impossible to look at the marble casket at floor level: you need to look at it from above (and then it looks like suspended in the medium of the dome by magic), or from below (in which case all you see is its huge dimension and the flood of natural light bathing the whole thing). Yes, a megalomaniac. And the whole conception creeped me out my a bit. I was more than happy to leave and get a nice lunch at a close restaurant.
(Edit: the first picture is blurry because The Gentle One was too annoyed to make it properly. Even so, you can notice my "oops" face, can´t you?).
After meal, we had a short visit to the decorative arts museum (such a lovely place!) and walked around Place Vendôme until I decided it was tea time. Ladurée was very close, and we stopped to relax a bit. I loved the yummy roses tea and their cake, but the prices not that much. The Gentle One is not a tea enthusiast, so he was
quite very annoyed about paying ten euros for his short coffee cup. Nevetheless, he had to admit my cake and tea were delicious.
To finish the day, we walked to Les Champs-Élysées, where we took the underground to come back to the hotel.