On Sunday, our third day in Paris, we decided to take it easy in the morning, kind of like how we did on the Sunday we spent in London. It was a rainy, cool morning, and we had peanut butter and jelly toast for breakfast on the porch.
We got ready and walked to the Eiffel Tower. Once there, we bought tickets to take the stairs to the top, and we were off. We took the stairs because we wanted to, not necessarily because we’re cheap (although sometimes we are), and because I thought we’d get neat views of Paris while climbing up. Well since we were inside of a bunch of metal, we didn’t really have many good views, but I’m still glad we took the stairs. There were plenty of good views from the first and second floor viewing platforms…
From the Eiffel Tower, we walked down the Champ de Mars towards the Dome Church. On our way, it started raining hard enough that we were getting wet even under our umbrellas, so we waited it out for a little while in a doorway.
It seemed to me that the primary purpose of the Dome Church nowadays is to house Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb. Perhaps there’s more to the church than we could see, but the main attraction was definitely the tomb of Napoleon, followed by those of his son, his brothers, and a few other important folks. There wasn’t any kind of signage or visitor’s center, so I’m just combining what I saw with what Wikipedia tells me.
From there, we took the Metro to the Pompidou Center. After our experience at the Tate Modern, we weren’t too interested in seeing more modern art (that’s what the Pompidou is all about), which was fine since we were in the area to eat lunch, not visit a museum. We were in search of HANK, which is a vegan burger place we’d read about online, and stands for Have A Nice Karma. I know. Vegans are a little weird. We made it to HANK just 15 minutes before they closed at 3pm, but the owners were nice enough to let us stay and eat. The food was really good, good enough to make up for how out of the way the restaurant is.
On our way back to the Metro, we came up on some sort of environmental march. As in, hundreds (okay, maybe thousands) of people wearing green, holding signs, chanting, and holding up traffic in a big way. It was pretty interesting since we’ve never been in the middle of a real protest, and I even tried to join, because, you know, I’m pretty into the environment and all, but Danny wasn’t having any of that, so we braved the crowd and kept walking.
We took the Metro to the base of Sacre Coeur, and walked up the stairs for a great view of Paris. Now, there’s something called the funicular that can take you from the base of the hill to the base of the basilica, but honestly, I wouldn’t recommend taking it unless you seriously have trouble walking…in which case you probably shouldn’t be in Paris, but that’s beside the point. It’s not very many steps to the top, and there’s plenty of chances to rest along the way. Honestly, I can’t think of a good reason (besides being physically unable) to not take the stairs. Once we made it to the top (along with approximately 3,728 others), we went into Sacre Coeur and walked around, and I can’t remember but I’m guessing that picture-taking wasn’t allowed since I only have one photo to prove we went inside. We didn’t go up into the dome because it cost money, and seeing how we were at the end of our trip and I was starting to think about saving money for our next trip, we skipped it and kept moving.
From Sacre Coeur we walked around the Place du Tetre, which is essentially a square full of artists. We really enjoyed admiring all of the different ways and styles of depicting the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and Sacre Coeur (obviously the artists there know their demographic – tourists) and were glad that we had picked up art in London for only ten pounds. While there, Danny got a blackberry jam crepe, and I enjoyed some apricot ice cream, which may have been the best thing I ate in Paris (until our last day – that’s when I discovered Parisian macaroons).
We asked for directions at the Montmartre visitor’s center (located right in the Place du Tetre – super helpful) for 42 Degrees, a vegan restaurant that was recommended to us earlier in the day at HANK. Because we had eaten lunch only about two hours earlier, we headed towards the Montmartre cemetery first, which was literally closing its gates as we walked up, but we were able to sneak a peek in from a bridge above it.
From the cemetery, we walked to 42 Degrees on a route that took us by the Moulin Rouge, which is famous, but also in a bad neighborhood. We walked quickly through that area and on and on…and on. It was a haul to 42 Degrees, especially since when we arrived we found out they’re closed on Sundays. Haha. Not really funny at all at the time, but we can’t say we didn’t try. We settled on an Italian cafe nearby, where I ate spaghetti and Danny had a veggie pizza.
Before our trip I had read all about how Sacre Coeur is so beautiful at sunset, and since we were sort of in the area, we walked back. Yes, we made a big circle, starting at the Sacre Coeur, to the cemetery to 42 Degrees/Italian cafe, and back to Sacre Coeur. What did I say about walking a lot in Paris? We walked up all those stairs again to the base of the basilica and waited for the sun to set.
Well, as you can see, the sun set, but it didn’t produce anything spectacular while doing so. Oh well. I know I would’ve thought “What if…” for the rest of my life (or at least the next few weeks) if we didn’t at least give it our best shot. We took the Metro to the Eiffel Tower to see it ‘sparkle’ and then we walked home and called it a day.
Obligatory Eiffel Tower picture(s) of the day…
Day 3 involved a lot of walking. But really, what day on our London/Paris trip didn’t? My highlights of the day were walking in the leaves on our way to the Eiffel Tower in the morning, eating at HANK in the afternoon (finding good vegan food in Paris was harder than finding macaroons in Colorado Springs so it was a tasty treat we really savored), my apricot ice cream on our walk through Montmartre, and seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night.