Today was our first full day in the city of Paris. After a nice, nice sleep (5 hours nap + 8 more hours that night), we’d officially rested up from our exhausting trip from London to Paris. After our good experience with Sandeman’s free walking tour in London, we decided to go with them again to explore Paris.
We arrived at our meeting point at Plaza de Saint Michel a bit early so we spent about an hour wondering the streets and enjoying Paris. This part of town is considered central Paris, filled with different shops, small alleyways, quaint cafes, and cobblestone roads. We definitely felt like we were in a movie, that is, until we found a Starbucks.
No shame, but we needed our wi-fi fix. Oh, and coffee. Right. Feeling connected again, we met up with our tour guide Adam and started a fun three-hour walking tour spanning all the major sights in Paris. I was really impressed with the cool stuff we saw, from the Seine River and Lover’s Bridge to historical buildings such as the Louvre Palace and Notre Dame.
Lover’s Bridge was really cool because there were thousands of locks attached to the metal railings, left there by couples to symbolize their eternal love. A lot of the locks have the names and dates written, and it’s tradition to throw the keys to the river after closing the lock.
Adam also shared some interesting historical stories, such as the incident when one of the French Resistance Army soldiers made it to the Nazi general’s room and forced surrender because the Nazis didn’t lock the front door of the occupied building (they had snipers on the rooftops pinning down the French).
All in all, an enjoyable and educational tour. We had lunch at a local French restaurant and met some other cool backpackers from our tour – Joanna, Annie, Kevin from Vancouver, Andrew from Atlanta, and Kevin from London. After lunch, we parted ways and my group spent the rest of the afternoon walking around in the chilly and slightly rainy weather. Since it was so cold, we decided to save the Eiffel Tower for another day and instead walked through the interior of Notre Dame.
Notre Dame was celebrating its 850th (wow) anniversary, and after our walk through the magnificent stained glass-covered interior, we sat right in front of the building, just taking in the sight and speechless from how amazing it looked.
Tomorrow is another big day – we’ll be making the trek to the Palace of Versailles, an opulent palace and garden built by Louis XIV.
Steps taken: 20,424 | Miles walked: 6.76
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