Our $32,000+ Honeymoon in Paris for only $2,000! – Paris Day 2; Notre Dame and the Paris Opera

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Paris Day 2
Daraius in Paris

The next morning, we ordered room service, and had French toast, eggs, Serrano ham, chocolate croissants, and a fruit salad.

Paris Day 2
Breakfast with Serrano Ham, Eggs, and French Toast
Emily Jablon:  After breakfast, we went to Notre Dame cathedral. This is one of Europe’s most famous churches and most visited sites (next to the Vatican). Daraius:  We decided to go on Rick Steve’s historic Paris walk, which covers some of the most famous sites including Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter.  Rick says to plan on 4 hours, but we took 5 hours to stroll leisurely, eat lunch, and get back to the hotel by 3:00 in the afternoon.
Paris Day 2
Notre Dame Cathedral

We stood in line (which moved quickly),  went inside and walked around and admired the beautiful stained glass.  We also wanted to climb the 400 stairs to the roof, but were deterred by the 2 hour wait in line.  There wasn’t a separate line for  Paris museum pass holders, so we decided to move on.

Paris Day 2
The Last Judgement

Work on the cathedral started in 1163 and took 2 centuries to finish!   Most of the work was done by volunteers.

Paris Day 2
Side View of Notre Dame Cathedral

My favorite part was actually the side and back of the church because it shows the detailed architecture of the church.  There are several flying buttresses, gargoyles, and the architect has a statue of himself on the roof of the church.

The bridge across the river was adorned with “love locks.”  Too bad our TSA-approved locks were in the hotel!

Paris Day 2
Love Locks

We followed the walk to Ile St Louis, a little island on the Seine river.

Since we were hungry we decided to stop at La Brasserie de l’Ile St Louis for lunch.  The restaurant served Alsatian (Alsace is in the eastern part of France, near the German border) food.

I ate some of the best French food I have ever had in Alsace, and it was chicken with a Riesling sauce with spaetzle (noodles) and vegetables.  So Daraius picked this among the restaurants in the book.

Paris Day 2
Pate, Onion Tarte, and Coq au Riesling

My Chicken with Riesling was a little different than I expected, but it was still good (though it did not even come close to the chicken with Riesling in Alsace!)

Daraius ordered foie gras and an onion tart.  We sat outside and the view outside was great.  We’d go back, but more for the atmosphere and the people watching outside, than for the food.

For dessert, we went to Amorino Gelati , and I got a “petit cornello,” which is a small cone.  I decided to get cookie, caramel, and coffee flavors.  Half of the fun was seeing how they arranged the ice cream—my cone looked like a little flower when they were finished!  It was the most beautiful ice cream cone I’ve ever seen.

Paris Day 2
Emily with her Amorino Ice Cream

After the ice cream we browsed through the cute shops and stopped at a sweet shop.

Paris Day 2
So Many Choices!

On our way back, we walked down the stairs to the river and were surprised at how deserted it was except for a few other couples.

Paris Day 2
Emily and Back View of Notre Dame

Our next stop was the Left Bank booksellers.  These are booksellers who have cabinets built into the city walls that they unlock when they want to work.  They sell a large selection of books, old magazines, printed artwork, souvenirs, and postcards.

We went into Shakespeare and Company, an old bookstore, and explored the  remains of medieval Paris, and sat in the Square Viviani and refilled our water bottle from the fountain.

Our next stop was St. Severin, a small church that took 3 centuries to build. Here we got to see gargoyles up close, and found out that they are decorative drain spouts which serve a second purpose: to keep evil spirits away.

We then made a detour through the student filled Latin Quarter which was filled with student friendly restaurants and bars.

Paris Day 2
The Latin Quarter

And saw the narrowest building in Paris.

Paris Day 2
Narrowest Building in Paris

After that, we wound our way to Boulevard St. Michel which is the main artery for Paris’ cafes and arts district, and made our way to Place St. Andre-des-Arts which is lined with lots of coffee shops.

We eventually made our way to Sainte-Chapelle, but there was no special line for museum pass holders, and we decided to come back since the line was long.

So we ducked into the Conciergerie, a former prison where victims of the guillotine were housed before they were executed.  There wasn’t much to see there, so we continued on to the Cité Metro stop from ~1910 that is still being used today.

The Art Nouveau styling was beautiful, and it signifies all that Paris stands for: elegant beauty, an appreciation for nature, and the preservation of history.

Paris Day 2
Emily next to the Cité Metro stop Metro Stop

We then walked to Place Dauphine, where we saw couples kissing and a group of people playing boules.

Paris Day 2
Playing Boules

On our way home, we stopped at a bakery and got an onion quiche and a cheese quiche, as well as a strawberry custard and a macaroon sandwich with raspberries.  We paid under 10 euros for the food which was going to be our dinner!

We got our food to go, then went back to the hotel to get some work done before we had to leave for the opera.

We ate dinner right before we left, and it was delicious! The quiche was so flavorful and rich.  I love it when cheap food tastes better than expensive meals. 🙂

Daraius:  I like Opera and one of our first dates in Bloomington, Indiana was when I took Emily to see Madama Butterfly at Indiana University.  I was eager to experience an Opera in Paris, so I bought 2 tickets to the Barber of Seville online and had them shipped to me in the US.

We got to the Opera 3 minutes before the show started, and the ushers were urging all us late-comers to hurry up the stairs to the Opera house, or be left out!

Emily Jablon:  We went to the Opera, and Daraius got us tickets to see the Barber of Seville.  I was lost during most of the show, but I think I understood what was happening:

A barber’s friend falls in love with a woman, but her dad does not like the man. Eventually he comes around and they live happily ever after.

Paris Day 2
The Paris Opera

Despite not understanding the lyrics, I really enjoyed the classical music and singing! It was a very spirited play and the two main characters were excellent.

When we got back to the hotel we had cheese filled puff pastries with mustard. The pastries were delicious, but very rich!  Perfect for a midnight/pre-work snack!

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