day three: sacre couer, montmarte, tour eiffel, arc de triomphe, fancy cake
I woke up feeling pretty well rested, and got breakfast with Claudia around 9am. She decided to go to Paris Disneyland, and I considered it for a minute, but ultimately decided that that particular use of time and money wouldn’t bring me joy. I decided to walk over to Sacre Couer, which turned out to be a little more of a hike.
I had a bit of a spiritual experience inside of the cathedral. I felt a deep desire to pray even though I’ve never been particularly religious. Unsure if it was inappropriate or not, but I spent some time thanking the in the sky for making my trip so safe and pleasant thus far.
I walked around the Montmarte neighborhood for a while and enjoyed walking around/trying to take some candid street photography.
I walked for a while and picked up some onigiri from a trendy looking shop and decided that I wanted to eat them at the Eiffel Tower, so I took the metro over and ate my lunch. Soon after, I took a classic jumping picture by putting my phone on self timer mode and propping it up against the base of a tree.
I walked to the other side of the Eiffel Tower and got aggressively followed by a lady with a clipboard wanting me to sign a petition, which is one of the more common scams in Paris. I’d been approached multiple times at every major monument/touristy area I’d visited to, but up until this point I’d never had anyone follow me or try to grab me. I guess I yanked my arm back and gave her an angry enough look she didn’t feel like it was worth it to pursue me.
I grabbed a nutella crepe from a nearby vendor and ate it as I sat on a ledge opposite this one and did some quality people watching. I was surprised by the number of Korean people doing their full-on wedding photos at this exact location, even with the crane and construction going on in the background.
I then decided to walk to the Arc de Triomphe and paid to hike up to the very top. The view was nice, but I wish I’d planned it a little better and gotten up there closer to golden hour/sunset.
Spent about an hour at the top watching traffic before it got a little too chilly, so I headed down and walked down the Champs Elysees. Did some window shopping, and at some point I felt the need to use the restroom so I dipped into what looked like a shopping mall. As I left the questionable bathroom of a McDonalds, I saw Pierre Herme, a super bougie looking pastry cafe, and decided to check it out.
I ordered an espresso and a 2000 Feuilles cake, which had caramelized puff pastry, hazelnut puff pastry, cream with hazelnut praline. It was insanely delicious, I couldn’t believe how good it was. I wasn’t even hungry for dinner. I had a really nice conversation with a French woman who sat next to me at the bar and gave me a bunch of good recommendations for other patisseries and restaurants.
day four: sainte chapelle, luxembourg gardens, perfume making class, amazing dinner
I took day four at a bit of a slower pace. I’d walked so much the previous two days and I was starting to get blisters so I thought I’d be a little nicer to my body and take a few breaks to stretch and relax throughout the day. After getting breakfast at the hostel, I walked to Sainte Chapelle and spent some time looking at all of the amazing stained glass.
Then I walked to the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens and journalled for a while.
I got hungry around noon and decided to get a crepe from a cart nearby. I ordered in French, and because of this, I think the crepe tasted infinitely better than it otherwise would have.
I then walked over to the perfume shop where an Airbnb Experience I booked was being held. For ~$50, I got to learn about perfume making and left with a 50ml bottle of my very own fragrance! I didn’t know what to think of it at first, but it’s definitely growing on me. The dominant fragrances are jasmine, orange blossom, cardamom, and vanilla.
Afterwards I headed over to Comptoir de Gastronomie, a highly rated restaurant I found on Trip Advisor. I ordered escargot, foie gras ravioli in a truffle cream sauce, and a glass of Bordeaux. Everything was absolutely amazing. The waiters were super friendly and gave me good advice. I felt very comfortable and at peace.