Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vingt-huit (28) and the last day in Paris

Today is my 28th Birthday. It's also our last day in Paris. And it's the day we saw how good Paris really is.
We woke up early, checked facebook for all of my birthday messages and enjoyed a breakfast of ham and cheese baguettes (the staple food of the trip so far).
We were trying to decide what to do for the day as we are a bit 'over' following the tourist trail. Paris hasn't been my favourite location and I think its because we have spent time doing things that dont really interest us - i.e. visiting Museums and Churches - just because you kind of think you should. I want to love Paris like I thought I would. After today I pretty much do.

First off we headed to the Catacombes. I know I said we wanted to avoid the tourist trail, but this one interested us! For those that dont know, the Catacombes was a disused quarry that was used to store bones once the cemetaries got full. You go 20m underground (lots of stairs) and follow a trail of underground corridors all lined with bones and skulls. Eeerie to look at - but fascinating.

The line to the Catacombes was long.. so Adam went and bought us Coffee and Macarons and I managed to tick off one of my Paris experiences while we were waiting. Great idea on his part... though I'm not sure how genuinely Parisian the macarons from McCafe are!!! Ah well, they were tasty!

After the Catacombes we decided to jump on a bus and head off for some shopping. I must say that riding the bus was one of the best decisions we have made. We've spent the last 4 days riding the metro underground train system and have missed out seeing this spectacular city in all its glory. I had a new appreciation of Paris by the time we reached Galleries Lafayette, an enormous department store. The store was huge and I have never seen so much high-end designer gear in one place. Very impressive, though a little out of our budget. What was also cool about the department store was (a) its ceiling, and (b) the view from its roof. See both below.
Leaving the shopping centre empty-handed, we jumped on the metro to head home. I decided we should hop off one station early and walk through our neighbourhood. Well... what a decision! Turns out we are in the most gorgeous are of Paris. And it's cool. The streets are lined with cool cafes, cool bars, cool shops, and cool fashion designers selling their wares. We are stoked, but a little disapppointed we didnt discover it sooner as it really would have changed the way we 'did' Paris.

We stopped in at one of the cafes for lunch (at 5pm!) of French Onion Soup - woohoo another item ticked off the list! It was delicious, as the before and after below surely shows.  

We're heading back tonight to enjoy the area, before we shoot off to Greece first thing in the morning.

All in all it was a good birthday. But then.... every day is like a birthday when you're on holidays.

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