Paris Day 3: Goes to Paris, Sees Deadpool Movie
We are currently in a heated battle with an unknown one of our roommates over the thermostat; apparently not everyone likes to sleep in sixty degree temperatures. Our all-female eight person shared hostel room has so far proven to be an economical and enjoyable choice, but it is a little strange since I’m used to living with just my two cats!
We decided today to take a more “relaxed” day to make sure we didn’t burn out on jet lag and continual adventuring. After sleeping in again - yet, in reality, getting up at 5 a.m. in the time that we’re used to - we headed to Montmartre. Though the metro would’ve taken us right there, we decided to enjoy a 40 minute stroll there instead, grabbing a couple apples from a corner market on the way. As my minuscule amount of roaming data is already exhausted, we had to navigate almost the entire day (and from here on out!) with just a map, road signs and our intuition. Fortunately, all three added together took us right where we wanted to go.
As soon as we dragged our legs up the last step up to Montmartre, forces of nature conspired against us suddenly spitting snow straight into our faces, so we hurriedly sought shelter in Sacre-Coeur. Though I have seen it once before, 8 years ago, this time (probably after years of art history classes) I could truly appreciate the church’s architectural wonder. Though I enjoyed the ornate quality of the previous day’s Gothic cathedrals, the Hagia Sophia-like architecture was refreshing, and the colorful mosaics depicting the stages of the cross breathtaking.
After lighting a candle and sending up a quick prayer to Erin’s patron Saint Michael that we could reunite with our luggage, we departed for lunch. Since arriving, I have been searching for the perfect sandwich and I found it in a cafe off of the main square. Dry-aged sausage on baguette with hot mustard and a Kronenbourg 1664 beer were the perfect antidote to the bitter weather, and I topped it off with a delicious crème brûlée.
We strolled around the square gazing at some local artists’ takes on neighborhood scenes or watching others draw white charcoal portraits. Were they not so highly pricing, I could have bought enough pencil drawings and oil paintings of Paris to fill the walls of my apartment! Parisian artists seem to have an affection for cats as they often play a part in the painted scenes; possibly a reason I am so besotted with Parisian street art.
We also happened upon the Galerie Montmartre that houses predominantly surreal and pop art - with a couple authentic Dali pieces, a Miro, and some fantastically fun kinetic pop art by Rubenstein.
After wandering around the side streets, we journeyed back towards Sacre-Coeur and happened to spy a lower level which, upon further examination, led to the entrance to a 300 stair climb to the top of the dome. While our breathing grew ragged and our legs burned by the time we reaching the top, the view was most definitely worth it as the ominous clouds gave way to blue sky and the sun shone down over the rows and rows of buildings. Though freezing cold, this was definitely my favorite thing we did all day (other than eat, of course!)
We crossed off another quintessential tourist experience on our walk back to the metro as try as we might, we could not avoid the Kenyan Bracelet Makers as they bore down on us. Here’s hoping they bring the luck with which they are apparently imbued.
The cold and tiredness had begun to set in, so when I remarked that sitting down to watch a movie sounded really nice, Erin agreed and we took the metro to the Champs-Elysees to the only theater we remembered. Since we had just missed the start of the afternoon movies, we sound down for a spot of tea and a tart, then did a little shopping - including a new outlet adapter so I can once again use my laptop - before returning to the theater to watch Deadpool. It was in English with French subtitles so while we laughed uproariously at the many crude jokes, we were the only ones. Perhaps the jokes were lost in translation, or maybe we were just showing our raucous American roots.
The metro ride back was the stuff of my claustrophobic nightmares. The first time I came to Paris 9 years ago, the metro workers were on strike and I remember begging not to take the metro because people were stuffed into the cars like sardines, the faces and bodies pressed up against the glass. Though there is no strike, we apparently ventured through the quickly-shutting metro car doors at the same time as go-home-time rush hour. This is one Parisian experience that I could do without, though it was slightly ameliorated by the dulcet tones of Dave Chappelle drifting from someone’s phone.
A glass of wine and a shared steak dinner with some perfectly crispy french fries - all from our hotel restaurant - and we settled in to surf the interwebs while listening to the Les Mis soundtrack that has thus far been stuck in my head all trip. Once I finish today’s run-down, I will continue reading Sophie’s Choice and hope that the lyrical yet lengthy descriptions might put me to sleep before 03:00 for once.