Paris, Day 2
I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween weekend. And now, back to regularly scheduled trip recap.
I should start by saying that the very first thing I saw upon exiting the train in Paris was a woman in a beret eating a baguette. "Yup, this must be the place," thought I.
On Sunday morning, after gorging ourselves at the local boulangerie (HELLO, PAIN AU CHOCOLAT!), we got another hop-on, hop-off bus tour for Paris. Unfortunately, poor David had gotten the cold I had, so it was his turn to be sick. It was much more difficult to find herbal remedies in Paris than in London, partly because of the language barrier ("Je...veux...la...vitamine...C?"). But we forged ahead.
Such a different city from London. The architecture is so much more emotional, grand, and ornate.
The Musee Orsay.
Le Grand Palais
I'm pretty sure everyone knows what this is.
In the 20s people would fly planes through the Arc. That is nuts.
Art Nouveau everywhere!!
Wait, what is that in the distance??
There really were lovers all over this city! It was fantastic!!
Le Place De La Concorde's Egyptian obelisk.
And then...this. This is the part of the story I probably can't explain very well. There is a lot to this. This is years and years and years of buildup. This is about nineteen years of longing and hoping and wishing to see this place, and then finally actually doing it was so surreal. It's like it was an abstract concept in my mind that finally became a real, manifest one, and my brain sort of broke. A flood of emotions of every variety hit me in this moment of finally seeing the Opera Garnier. It was a huge release followed by what I can only describe as a new, blank slate. I have done the thing that was in the back of my mind nagging me for my entire adult life, and now the whole world is open to me. There was this incredible sense of release and newness and letting go. I felt my mom very closely in that moment.
Anyway, we didn't go in that day. I couldn't even really properly think straight or look at it closely. David had to take me to a cafe and make me sit for a while and sort of process. I felt like a robot with circuit overload.
We got back on the bus and went by the Louvre.
We then made it just as the sun was setting to Notre Dame cathedral.
We were fortunate enough to be there as a huge mass was taking place.
The dying light of the day filled the stained glass windows.
The organ was playing as a large choir sang.
It was absolutely stunning. I have never in my life been so spiritually lifted and affected by a church's architecture. There is a reason this is the ultimate gothic cathedral (quiet, Chartres, we haven't seen you yet).
We left that place elated and dreamy.
I was so in love with the gargoyles.
View from the Seine.
Our first full day in Paris ended with being serenaded by an accordian player on the bridge over the Seine.