21.04.2011 24 °C
Today we got lost...a lot. Everywhere we turned was a wrong direction. We bought a gps for peet's sake! How can we still not know?? We found our way down to the train station and made our way to the Louvre which had VERY long lines, one for the tickets then another to get in. Little did we know that would be our normal today. We ditched that idea and walked on over the the Musee d'Orsay. Initially we haden't planned to see D'Orsay, so we can actually thank long lines at the Louvre for this one.
When we got to the Museum we saw AGAIN incredibly long lines, we hummed and hawwed and decided not to go (can I point out it was ONLY 9am!) I ran into a little kiosk for a few stamps and saw that they offered tickets for Orsay. He says to me "Just go in entrance C, there will be no lines" The line was 20 minutes long, but definitely worth it. And surrounding the crowds while we waited half a dozen military guys with loaded machine guns slung around their shoulders kept us from getting to rowdy. We loved the art, I wish we could have taken pictures, once again we were not allowed. We spent a few hours swooning over paintings, Monet being a favourite, particularly Coquelicots, for me as well as Elephants d'Afrique by Charles Emile de Tourenine. Shane's favourite was Paul Marc Joseph Chenavard's Divina Tragedia, this painting is HUGE, it covers a whole wall a few times taller than me.
We were hungry after the museum and proceeded to walk over an hour to find a park that was 15 minutes away. We're not stupid I promise, Paris is very confusing. We had some lunch in Luxembourg Gardens. It is beautiful, with trees well over 100 years old. Beside the palace they have an entire building dedicated to growing oranges, the Orangerie A lot of Parisians were here, but they all kept their butts off the grass. If they didn't a security guard was right at them with his whistle telling them to move.
We walked and walked again over bridges and under them, along the Seine resting in the cool shade along the water. We walked past Notre Dame and a few women attempted an interview with us...about sports of all things, we really couldn't help them, because we honestly know nothing about any sport. They left sounding rather disappointed.
We were feeling really tired and annoyed, we couldn't find the information booth we needed, the map we had was already a little outdated, so we sat down for a little drink, a coke for shane (which oddly seems to be the most popular thing to drink in the cafes in Paris, who knew?) and an espresso and cold tap water for me. The waiters in Paris often seem bitter about bringing tap water to the table, they never fill it more than 2/3 full and the glasses are always tiny, we figure it's because they can't charge us for it.
We made our way to dinner (without getting lost, thank god) at Breizh Cafe which has amazing! buckwheat! crepes! The cafe is on a nice quiet, nearly traffic free street, it was easy to find and erased rather quickly all the tension in our bones, good food can do that to you. The entree crepe had white asparagus, duck prosciutto, gruyere and a fried egg on top. Best crepe I've ever had. We had each a bottle of house-made cola. And dessert was a crepe with yuzu butter, green tea ice cream and strawberries, also very good.
We made our way to the eiffel tower just as the sun was setting. The lawns were full of picnickers and wine drinkers and salesman thrust their eiffel tower statues at us from all angles, we must have said no at least 20 times. Standing in front of the Eiffel tower was really neat, it is of course much bigger than you could ever imagine and the amount of people trying, and succeeding to climb it was mind boggling. The total time it took us to get our tickets, get to the second level, switch elevators and get up to the top was 2.5 hours, and we were one of three elevators! I'm not exaggerating by a minute, it took forever. We spent twenty minutes at the top, as it was incredibly crowded and stood in another line, about 25 minutes, to get back down. Lesson learned, massive amounts of tourists detract from an otherwise magical experience.