Our second day in Paris, we decided to get the two-day museum pass. And we decided to take advantage of it. That was the plan, anyways.
Our first stop was the Pantheon, which was actually pretty random – it was just the closest place to the hotel that sold the museum pass. However, if you have the pass, the museum is worth visiting for the cool crypt, which includes the tombs of Marie Curie and Victor Hugo, among others.
At that point, it was time to conquer the Louvre. That was quite a mission! When we first started out, I though to myself, “This isn’t going to be so bad, we can do it!” But it truly was an overwhelming amount of exhibits, and in the end I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to.
I did get to see a lot of French paintings, which I haven’t had too much exposure to before. Of course we saw the Mona Lisa, which was a little bit of a let-down since the relatively small painting is housed behind glass and roped off. Not to mention the relentless crowd swarming the area – more focused on snapping photos than actually looking at art.
We tracked down the Venus de Milo sculpture, but I actually enjoyed the Winged Victory of Samothrace better. The museum also has a pretty extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts – so extensive that I unfortunately didn’t get through them all. There was only a small section of Spanish paintings, which I’m realizing are my favorites.
Funny enough, we ran into our Chicago/Indiana friends from the champagne cruise at the museum, too. Either it’s a small world, or us Chicagoans like our art.
After a few hours trying to make it through the Louvre, we had to call it quits (after a visit to the gift shop, of course).
We go outside to sit on a bench in the shade and relax. I have a nice view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance…and all of a sudden Daniela and I feel something hit us. It’s bird shit! Daniela is freaking out because a piece of it landed in her white jeans. In the meantime, I have crap all over my hair! I know it’s good luck to get shit on, but it was pretty damn gross. After some stern words, I finally convinced Daniela to get over the grossness and help me scoop the poop out of my hair. Needless to say, we hurried back to the hotel where I proceeded to wash my hair a few times.
After recuperating, we walked across Ile St. Louis to the Le Marais neighborhood for dinner. We promptly got rejected from a couple fancy-looking restaurants located on a quiet street right next to a big church as the hosts looked at us in disdain when we tried to get a table without having a reservation. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like we truly experienced French food while in Paris. It seems like we just chose a lot of random, mediocre spots to eat.
After dinner, we walked through the Le Marais neighborhood which I liked a lot. It has a bit of a boystown vibe, but it’s the old Jewish quarters of Paris, so this part of town is made up of those old school, narrow streets I love.
This is where our walking mission began. We strolled through Bastille to the (nearly) 12th arrondissement to see our champagne cruise host aka aspiring musician, Brendan, play at some random cafe. The gig was actually in a nice area – Daumesnil Avenue – and there was a charming viaduct/promenade area there with restaurants and shops. However, it was late and maybe wasn’t the best idea for two girls to be walking across Paris at night alone.
Regardless, we made it there just fine in the end. Unfortunately, we missed our buddy Brendan’s set. We did, however, catch this other character – a middle-aged American (or Canadian) blues rocker who clearly had some stories to tell. His repertoire included such classics like, “Nobody ever called Pablo Picasso an asshole” and “Paco Apacolypte.” Our closest taste of any kind of Parisian nightlife!