Wednesday, February 4, 2015

3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Troisième Partie

Our third day in Paris started early in the morning with a stop by Notre Dame Cathedral, the first stop in Rick's Steves "Histotic Paris" Audio Tour. We arrived at 7:30am, 15 minutes before the Cathedral opened and used the time to appreciate the facade of this beautiful old church. We were the only tourists there and got to explore the inside of the church in an eerie quiet. 

We even got to see Mass at the Cathedral!

After exploring the Notre Dame we followed the voice in our ear around the winding streets of the Latin Quarter where we saw the skinniest house in Paris as well as Shakespeare & Co Bookstore,

Skinniest house in Paris

Street in the Latin Quarter
When then finally arrived at my personal favorite part of this walking tour, the mesmerizing stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle.

Right next to Sainte Chapelle is the Conciergerie, a very beautiful prison which housed Marie-Antoinette (Along with dozens of other people). The Historic Paris Audio tour ended at this very sad looking little park and it was finally time to grab lunch!

Close to the park , we found Pont de Arts, the bridge that has because of it being swamped by "love locks, a "tradition" that was started by tourists in 2008. Right before the trip we learned that the City of Paris was replacing the panels of the bridge with a special glass in an effort to help more panels collapsing (A panel of the bridge had collapsed over the summer due to the weight of the locks). Most of the bridge was covered up with plywood in an effort to avoid having more locks attached and have continued damage done to the structural integrity. 

No, I did not put a "love lock" on the bridge. I'm passionately against damaging public property, especially if it causes permanent damage that precludes other people getting to enjoying it in it's original state.

*end rant

We graabbed some sandwiches and pastries at a boulangerie  for a quick lunch, on a bench in the shadow of Les Invalides. We then spent a little over 2 hours exploring the museum.

We enjoyed a nice walk in gorgeous weather on our way to the Eiffel Tower, with hopes of climbing the tower as the sun sets.

Visiting in November again had it's perks, as we only had to wait in a fifteen minute line to buy our tickets and climb the elevator to the top of the Eiffel tower. We made it to the top just in the nick of time to see the sun fall behind the horizon!

We climb down the steps and walked over to Trocadero to enjoy the view of the tower from afar before heading home to shower and change. 

I had planned to have one "fancy" meal while in Paris but didn't not want to spend hundreds of dollars on the meal. A little bit of research led me to Le Chateaubriand, number 27 on the list of World's 50 Best Restaurants, which offers a 60 Euro tasting menu. 

Sneaky pic of the Chef
You can book a reservation for first seating but we decided to try our luck at the by queue second service. We arrived 30 minutes early for the 9:30pm second seating and we were seated well before 10pm. The menu was in French, making the whole meal was a an adventure, we had no idea what we were eating at any point but EVERYTHING was delicious! Hands down, best meal we had in Paris and a close second for best meal ever. Three hours later and stuffed to the gills we made it back to the hotel for a good nigh't sleep.

Read about the rest of our time in Paris:
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Première Partie - Arc de Triomphe & Champs Elysee
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Deuxième Partie - Versailles & the Louvre
3 Day Getaway: Paris - La Quatrième Partie - Montmarte & Musée d'Orsay

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