Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Paris - Part 4 - The Last Full Day

I nearly forgot to post about the end of the trip in Paris! Whoops.

Our last day and a half in Paris included jumping in front of big tourist attractions to snap a picture or two and say we've been there, unknowingly buying 6 pieces of string at a ridiculous price, eating cheap at McDonald's (really, the string was expensive), having a credit card declined (and then later finding the 300 Euros you were looking for in your wallet at the hotel), feasting on crepes, and watching French music videos. 

It was tourist day for us. We hopped on the metro and headed to Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur after our coffee and croissant breakfast. 

The walk to Montmartre showed us the not so glamorous side of Paris, but that all changed as we climbed the steps to the Sacre Coeur. What a stunning place!
Those stairs were a nice early morning work out!

The view. 

When we got to the bottom, some friendly guys were there and reached out to shake our hands. Then they said "oh, let me see your finger!" and immediately started tying a string around it, all the while being incredibly distracting spewing stupid English phrases they could have only learned from movies. It was entertaining, I'll admit, but we knew what they were up to. Stian and I were both chatting to them, all the while thinking that we didn't have any small change. There was a kitschy souvenir shop just nearby, and I had planned to pop in there to make change for the big bills I had and give them maybe a euro for the bracelets they had made (that we didn't really want...). I started to walk away, and turned around only to find my dear husband had just handed over 20 euros. 

I won't tell you what I was thinking, but this could be lesson # 1 in communication with your significant other. 

They got 20 euros for 6 pieces of string they tied around our wrists. We, stupid tourists, fell into the trap they set at the bottom of Montmartre. Not a great start to the day for us, but they did quite well! 

We moved on, and headed for the Champs E'lysees with our first stop being the Arc de Triomphe. The lines were too long to care so we just looked at it (like most things in Paris, it's massive!) and snapped a few pictures. 

The biggest roundabout ever!

From here, we walked the entire length of the Champs Elysees...all the way to the Louvre. That wasn't exactly our plan as were really hoping to find a bicycle kiosk, but we made it. (I'm quite proud actually...walking the entire Champs Elysees AND the walk from Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., to the Lincoln Memorial are two major life accomplishments in my book!). We took a little rest in McDonald's for lunch, and attempted to buy a new watch from Swatch. Attempted. We couldn't seem to figure out how we had spent so much money (only to realize later that evening that we had nearly 300 euros in cash back in the hotel), and our bank cards were declined. Slightly embarrassing, but it happens. 

On our stroll (hike?) down Champs Elysees: 

The Concorde (I couldn't tell you the significance...) with the Arc de Triomphe in the background: 

And we made it to the Louvre: 

We were there!

We didn't go in because the lines were horrendous here as well. And that was really no problem - after a walk like that last thing I wanted to do is drag my aching feet through a crowded museum.

We popped back over to the Eiffel Tower to snap a few pictures in the during the day before heading back to our hotel. 

The sun was trying so hard to come out!

Goofin' around: 

Enough of the Eiffel Tower...we moved on to behind the Notre Dame where we devoured some delicious crepes: 

I got sweet with nutella and bananas, and he got savory with ham and cheese. yum. 

We spent about 20 minutes looking for the lock we put up the day before (it's 19 or 20 fence posts over from the Notre Dame side of the river, fyi) - there are too many!

I got sucked into an children's act with a street performer, and he gave me a heart-shaped balloon when it was over: 

That night, we went to a few cafes for some popcorn and wine before deciding it would be way cheaper to buy a bottle at the grocery store, plus a few French goodies. 

So on our last night in Paris, having walked many miles and seen what we came to see, we sat in our hotel room drinking a bottle of wine, eating chocolatey dinosaur cookies, packing our suitcases, and watching French music videos. 

There's one final vacation post to come! 

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