I know: a controlled detonation of a suspicious package? They actually do things like that?? They sure did. Everyone was cordoned off from a specific part of the airport which blocked us from the exit while the military took care of the situation. And by “took care of the situation,” I mean we heard three loud beeps followed by a small explosion. And then we were allowed to leave. Welcome to Paris.
Our first challenge was to get to our apartment we’d rented for our four-day stay. The Paris metro system was surprisingly easy to navigate and soon enough we found ourselves in the Montmartre neighborhood, where our apartment was. I initially wasn’t sure of our decision to stay in Montmartre – it’s home to the red light district of Paris (the site of the famed Moulin Rouge) so I wondered if it would be sketchy at all. A friend of ours stayed there though when she was in Paris and gave it a glowing review and once there, I found I couldn’t have been more pleased with it! Montmartre is filled with cute little shops and cafes and is a short metro ride away from the main attractions in Paris. The entry to our apartment building was a small and nondescript door sandwiched between two cafes (we missed it the first time down the street). Even though we met our apartment host a few hours later than anticipated, he was very gracious and sweet to us, and provided us with croissants, bread, jam, and orange juice before leaving us to spread out our things and get comfortable.
|Our studio apartment in Paris - the futon is |
|The Sacre Coeur|
|The city behind me.|
|See the soccer ball dangling from the |
performer's foot? He entertained the crowd with
his soccer juggling and lamppost climbing skills.
And then the police came.
|The Notre Dame|
|Inside the Notre Dame|
|The line to get into the Notre Dame -- we |
were already at the top.
|The bell of Notre Dame|
|My favorite gargoyles: aren't they funny looking?|
|Gorgeous view that day|
The rest of the day was spent wandering and trying to stay awake until at least 9 so our bodies could get used to the new time zone. We tried to get into a church called Sainte-Chapelle, which is on the same island as Notre Dame, but it closed minutes before we got there. I heard Sainte-Chapelle has beautiful stained glass though, if you’re into that sort of thing!