Last night, I was sitting in my tiny hotel room, above the main street of the Marais, eating brie on pieces of a baguette and drinking the Paris equivalent of two-buck Chuck. I did some shopping on the way home – the wine store, the cheese shop, the boulangerie where I get my croissant and espresso in the mornings. Oh, and Monoprix, where I got a really cute short-and-tank pajama set to sleep in, because it is warm in Paris this week!
This was, of course, at the end of a long day, where I made my way through three museums, Notre Dame, and…OK, OK, I admit it…shoe shopping. I couldn’t help it. I found shoes that were the equivalent of L.A. fashion district cheap, at a shop geared at students on the edge of the 5eme, and sacrificed a few minutes of the time I’d planned for the National Museum of the Middle Ages to spending $35 euro for a pair of adorable flats and a pair of low-heeled black boots.
Beyond the shoes though, I’ve obviously been in love with Paris since I set foot in it. There’s a saying that came to mind about how one can judge the quality of a civilization by their gardens. And while both England and France are absolutely park garden obsessed, Paris has more breathtakingly perfect gardens than even I, a native Victorian (“City of Gardens”) have ever seen.
And obviously, I’m on a history nerd kick here. Today, I went to the crypts under Notre Dame and practically lost it over the layers of ruins underneath. There were seventeenth century basements layered on top of the Roman ruins! There were Roman ruins layered on top of Pariisi houses! Between that and the National Museum of the Middle Ages, I was swooning in sheer delight at all the six, seven, eight hundred year stuff.
I’ve done a lot of art, of course. The Musee d’Orsay, the Pompidou, the Carnavalet…but I haven’t been inside the Louvre. Nor did I make it to the Rodin gardens. But I did get to see the Catacombs today (very goth), and I’ve seen a lot of the aforementioned history and tonight, Anton and I went on a nighttime bike tour of Paris, followed by a ride on the bateaux mouches. I think I’ve covered this city well enough.
Tomorrow is actually two of the big finales to the trip. There’s Versailles, and then there’s the Bal des Vampires, the big goth club excursion. I certainly wrote enough papers on Louis the Fourteenth in high school and college that I’m delighted to be going – it’s history AND art!
For now though, it’s time to get some sleep. Tomorrow, I’m up early for Versailles!