On the 10th, we caffeinated and hopped the Metro back into Paris. The ticket gate was “accidentally” wedged open, providing free transportation to all! (No, of course we would never take advantage of such things 🙂 This was Louvre day, a bit of terrible planning on our parts as it was also Sunday and sure to be packed with tourists stepping on my toes.
First, we went to the Arts Decorifs for Rachael and her Marc Jacobs/Louis Vuitton exhibit. Much to her delight, her student ID actually got her inside for free–and she then spent a happy time drooling over suitcases and the crazy shit that is high fashion. I have to admit, I like the Louis Vuitton pattern, not that I could ever, EVER afford it.
After, we marched through the plaza and bypassed the pyramids and their masses of stupid tourists and found the secret side entrance. (it’s good to have insider tips from Parisians) where we didn’t wait at all, no line whatsoever. Also, I didn’t pay, AGAIN. I swear, my TIE has saved me so much money this summer, it’s almost worth the pain in the ass bureaucracy I had to go through to get it.
We saw an overwhelming amount of paintings, some amazingly gorgeous and even the infamously little Mona Lisa.
There were a bunch of tourists everywhere, of course, but all in all it wasn’t too badly crowded. Eventually, Rae and I got our exhausted selves free of the Louvre at about 4:00–dreaming of food and plotting our escape. Or so we thought! We got out of the unending rooms of French paintings (and overly chatty French guards who kept popping up and offering unsolicited information about the paintings) only to realize…we’d just seen 1 wing of the museum!
On our last full day in Paris, my card didn’t save me any money because we’d stopped going into museums and monuments. Instead we wandered up to Monmarte and the Sacre Coure, getting derailed by Rachael finding her Mecca, an entire neighborhood that seemed to consist of nothing but fabric stores.
We eventually made it to the top of the hill, observed the amazingly touristy restaurants in the area, took our pictures (required of course by tourist law) whenever there was a gap in the tourist crowds and then climbed down the slippery steps to eat lunch. We watched in amused disgust as some guy next to us ate what looked like raw hamburger.
To finish up our cathedral day, we went downhill to Notre Dame to actually see the inside of the cathedral, sitting down for half of the vespers (me to listen to French hymns and Rach to take a quick nap).
Bored of churches, we went out into the Latin Quarter–where I was distracted momentarily by the Shakespeare & Co bookstore (Rae says we were there for an hour…Lies!) and convinced myself that the backpack can’t carry all the books I wanted to buy.
We got back to Saint Denis with time to see it’s medieval Basilica (though not early enough to get inside, damn!) as well as a bunch of stores selling ugly polyester dresses.
Dinner was delicious supermarket pasta and us hearing about Andromeda’s experience unintentionally volunteering herself as a vote-counter in the local elections. And then we passed out incredibly early, preparing for our unpleasant 4:45 a.m. wakeup…and the unanticipated pain in the ass that came with flying to Italy…