We had planned on going to Versailles on this day, a Tuesday. However, since going to Versailles involves taking a train, and the train system was shut down for the day due to a strike, we adjusted our plans and switched a couple of days around in our loose itinerary.
After I jogged around Jardin du Luxembourg, which Craig had visited on our first day but I had missed, and we had a bite for breakfast, we started our touring by taking a walk through some of the more historic parts of Paris.
The fountain at Place St. Michel:
Our first destination of the day was Notre Dame, across the Seine on Ile de la Cite. What an impressive cathedral.
We headed inside:
Back outside, we walked along the side of the church for another view:
Next, we crossed back over to the Left Bank and explored a bit.
We enjoyed a bit of a stroll through the Latin Quarter, which is a lively area of cafes and shops:
Then we walked back over to Ile de la Cite, and visited the Conciergerie, the former prison where people headed to the guillotine were held. What a beautiful structure on the interior, especially for a prison:
Next, we grabbed some lunch and ate on a bench in front of Notre Dame. After that, we headed for Saint-Chapelle. It is fairly unassuming from the outside, and sort of hidden away since it is surrounded by judicial buildings.
But, it is WOW on the inside:
Next, we decided to walk to the Musee d’Orsay, a museum that houses French art of the 1800s and 1900s. I’ve always been a big fan of Impressionist art, so I was excited to see a big collection. When we arrived, we wandered a bit around the first floor and then decided to move on to the main event. Unfortunately, though, we couldn’t find the Impressionist wing. Eventually we figured out that the entire wing was closed for renovation, and that it was scheduled to reopen the following week. We were so bummed!
At this point, it was late afternoon and we headed back to our hotel for a bit of a break. When we were ready for dinner, we decided to check out a couple of places we had passed on Boulevard Saint Germain, the main thoroughfare in our area. We took an outdoor table at Les Deux Magots, which we later learned was apparently one of Hemingway’s haunts back in the day, and enjoyed a good meal. Perhaps the most notable part was dessert – check out that chocolate mousse! YUM. (phone photo)
After stuffing ourselves silly, we took a fairly long walk and headed to the special steps featured in the movie Midnight in Paris where the protagonist was picked up by Hemingway each night at midnight. We found the spot, near the Pantheon, and then strolled back to our hotel to turn in for the night.