The final days in Paris
Our second day of our museum pass we used to go to the Louvre. It so huge - we spent from open to close there and just managed to see everything. It is also very confusing how to get from point a to point b - so many stairs and up and down floors just to see the one floor....good thing I had Raymond or I would have wondered aimlessly forever (but by the end I had the hang of it).
We started with the medieval Louvre, Greek, Etruscan, Roman and Egyptian Antiquities. When we first walked in we were right behind a few tour groups, but somehow we lost them pretty quick and we able to walk around and brows without tons of people. I cannot imagine going during the summer when it is super crowded.
I liked the different colors of stone on some of them
After that we got some lunch nearby then headed back to look at the paintings
Then my favorite part - decorative arts. So much fun pretty things.
Replica of Napoleons apartment.
Then it was off to the sculptures and near east antiquities - my second favorite part of the museum.
Then we headed off to our last location for our museum pass - the Arc de Triomphe.
It was gorgeous up there and it was nice to have a night view of the city. We stayed up there for a while and it was just wonderful. I really enjoyed this as well.
The next day we were going to stop somewhere for breakfast near the Louvre, but they didn't really have many options, so baguette it was. We then walked through the Jardin des Tuileries. I remember walking through here on our last visit, but it was summery then so quite different.
They are putting up a ferris wheel at the one end. Is this like a requirement now for cities? Put one in every city? I just find it odd that they are everywhere now.
We then walked to the petit Palais - another free museum. We walked up to the outside (above) and was a little confused. It was huge and did not look like it would be free.
We walked in and the permanent collection was indeed free. It is crazy - I never would have just walked in as I would have assumed it would cost money.
I actually really enjoyed this museum. There was one section of eastern christian artwork and one section of western christian artwork. It was interesting as you could see the differences between the two. I'm glad we were able to stop by.
After the museum we walked to get some food.
We then walked over to the national modern art museum which was... disappointing. The permanent collection was free, but there was also like nothing there. I would have been annoyed if it would have cost money.
We then went had some tea for a while, then back to our room and rested until dinner as well...our feet were tired and we didn't feel like walking anymore.
Our last day in Paris started with a trip to the Police Museum. It was also free, in a small-ish room but jam packed with lots of interesting things - stories and pictures of famous Paris criminals and such.
There were also lots of interesting old guns and shackles and stuff that were used back in the day. There was this one really cool thing - an infernal machine made by Guiseppe Fleschi and he was in trouble with the law and such so he decided to get his revenge on society and made this machine. It is as big as a card table and is 20 gun barrels designed to be fired at the same time. He put it in his window and one day while the king was riding past fired it off. 18 people died! That is really good for 20 gunshots I thought. It was almost 19 as he almost killed himself firing it, but they saved him so he could go to trial, be found guilty of murder and sent to eh guillotine. Fun! Really there were just a lot of really interesting things there, things I never knew about the criminals of Paris throughout history.
The gigantic camera they used to take mugshots. It was a really cool museum and even though everything was in French you could get enough from the photos and such (or look up things later like that infernal machine). Highly recommend stopping by and having a look.
We then walked through the Jardin de Luxembourg on the way to our last free museum.
Our last free museum was the Zadkine Museum. Once again when we got there we didn't think it was free, but then we went in and lo and behold it was. There are so many free things in Paris that I never would have known about. Unfortunately this one wasn't very fun, lots of sculptures that are eh and all look the same. I guess it was interesting the materials he used, but it just made them look..rough and hard to tell what they were.
We then went to get some lunch at this place we tried to go to in Brooklyn and there was also a location in Paris. They had this on the wall - it was a very silly place. I approved.
After lunch our final touristy stop - Sacre Coeur.
We had visited last time, but we did not go inside. It was a cloudy, foggy, freezing cold day. Here is the view from outside when we were here followed by the view the last time we were there when it was sunny:
It was a much better view last trip. We sat inside for a while as it was warm and nice to just sit there.
We then went and had some tea. It is so nice that you can just sit somewhere for hours and no one cares. We had some tea then just hung out and listened to their fun music for like 2 hours and everyone left us alone to sit as long as we wanted. It was nice since our bus left at 3:30am for the airport so we had a lot of time when everything else is closed to just sit and relax.
We then went to dinner and since everything closes early and it was opening day we went to see the new Twilight movie. I was so excited - it didn't open here in Berlin until a week later. We got to the theatre not long before it started and there was a large group of people waiting to get into the theatre. I am glad it is just as popular there! I was just worried that we would have to sit in the first row...luckily the theatre was big enough to hold everyone and we got perfect seats. Raymond commented on how romantical it is watching it in Paris. He is super silly.
After the movie we walked trying to find a bar open still. All week we talked about it and Raymond was just like well we only need something open until 3:30 and that is not very late...well in Paris it is. We got out of the movie and everything was closed. Like by 11, maybe midnight everything is closed in Paris which is...well it is not that late. We did some searching and found a bar that was open till early in the morning but on the way we found one open until 3am which was perfect as we would have to leave by then to walk to the bus stop.
So after having a drink and waiting until it was time we walked down to the bus stop. It is weird - there was no one out. Nothing open. Not very many cars - only a ton a taxis which I couldn't figure out why as there were no people out to take anywhere. Oh the other thing with Paris - the public transportation stops running at like 1am so all week we were trying to find a way to the airport as our flight was at 6 (the subways start running again at 5:30 am). Taxis are expensive especially that early in the morning it is extra so..after lots and lots and lots of searching we found there is a night bus! The Noctilien runs from the Gare de Lyon to the airport and leaves every hour. It was like 6 euro per person or something, which is cheaper than the subway we took into the city. The people were super friendly, the ride was pretty quick, it was amazing. I am not sure why it was so secretive - it is run through the city buses and I even did a trip planner on the city bus website and it said sorry we cannot get you to the airport when you need to be there. Very strange as it was amazing. Anyways we flew home and slept some once we got here and had a lazy Thursday watching tv all day as we were too tired to do anything else. It was an amazing trip and we did so many fun things. I really love how pretty Paris is - all of the architecture is amazing and it is just nice walking around everywhere. Raymond did mention again about living there one day, but I really just don't love Paris. It is nice for a visit, but to live....it is just not me. Which is sad as I love French things, I just don't love where we have been in France. Not like I love Berlin. Berlin is kind of divey and grungy. Paris is fancy and everyone dressed in really nice clothes that probably cost a fortune. Like everyone did. Here it is whatever - even the nice clothes don't look like they cost as much. It is just very different. And the people definitely are not as nice as they are here. Not that they were rude or anything, they just are not friendly on the streets. It was interesting as we went into this one fancy place for dinner and we asked if they spoke English and the server did a little so we made it work no big deal. Now the server was fine, she wasn't overly friendly but she wasn't rude or mean or anything. Well we went to pay and Raymond put it on his card that says Berliner Bank and the server was just like oh! You are German! and proceeded to sit down and have a talk with us about the food here in Berlin and how it is hard to find vegan fare in Paris and on and on. I was just like wait - we are obviously not really German - we have no accents or anything, but since we are living in Germany that means you can be friendly to us? It was odd. Anyways I am glad we live in Berlin as I love it so! Paris is not very far so it is always an option to visit.