The trip to Paris
We have been living in the Black Forest for almost a year now and are lucky enough to be able to board the TGV in Emmendingen and get off in Paris, Gare de l’Est. (Zum deutschen Blog.) This is a short trip, namely in less than three hours and above all stress-free, because only those who have a reservation with the corresponding ticket can go. In the app it is even possible to pre-order breakfast or any other snack and Wifi is also available on board in 1st and 2nd class. The conductors speak French, German and English.
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So, we board the train shortly after 7 a.m. on a Saturday and are already in the French capital in the early morning. We walk to our Hotel Best Western Littéraire Arthur Rimbaud, which is only some few minutes away and very quietly located in a side street. We already get the key to our room and leave our stuff there. The only one negative thing is, the room is extremely small. Opening two normal suitcases would be impossible. Well, one night works without any problems.
Then we march off, towards Sacre Coeur. The last time I was there was on my 14th birthday, so it´s a while ago. Actually, we want to walk, but of course it´s all uphill and it’s pretty hot. So, for half of the way we take one of the e-scooters standing around here. A QR code on the handlebars takes us to the website and we download the app. Just a minimum credit of € 5,- and you’re off. About 15 minutes later we are at the foot of the steep staircase to the
and here we leave the e-scooters. The short fun costs each of us €4.60. A taxi or Uber certainly wouldn’t have been more expensive, but it was funny.
Arriving at the church, we line up in the long queue of tourists who want to go inside the church. But the queue moves fast and after our bags have been briefly checked, we are allowed in. Nuns are singing right at the front of the altar, but due to the huge amount of unfortunately not exactly quiet tourists, some even make phone calls, little of it is to be understood. Dirk, my husband, even climbs the tower, I admire from below the view over Paris from one of the huge terraces.
Around noon we stroll slowly over the
with its many artists, small shops and countless cafes and restaurants down to the foot of the hill. Slowly we get hungry and we lucky to get a table at the “Koff“. Here you will find very tasty and freshly prepared burgers and other quick dishes. The service is extremely attentive and fast. Burgers aren’t exactly typical French, but that doesn’t matter. Here our hunger and the table that has just become vacant, count. Sometimes you can’t be too picky.
Actually, we want to go to the Invalides Dome, but at the metro station Abbesses we see a signpost to the
and so, we spontaneously decide to visit the cemetery. I’ve always wanted to go there.
About 15 minutes later we stand on the large bridge that spans the cemetery and look for the entrance. We cross the bridge to the left and then find a staircase down and the entrance. There are even plans to find the grave sites and tombs of the most important celebrities more quickly. We do not take one, instead we let ourselves be “driven” a little. Like all other visitors, we are watched with argus eyes by the cemetery guard. A lady who has sat down on the footpath to rest in the heat is mercilessly ordered to get up and walk along. Unfortunately, there are no benches to marvel at the tranquillity and the partly beautiful tombs.
Now we want to go to the nearest metro station to extend our morbid moments to visit the catacombs.
Unfortunately, we take the wrong direction and after a few minutes we stand in front of the Moulin Rouge. This is a completely different genre, but nice to see…
We turn and go back. As we leave the metro at Denfert-Rochereau station, we already see the long queue of visitors who, like us, want to visit the
Are we really doing this? In the meantime, the sky has turned grey and the sun is no longer burning down on us so mercilessly. Nevertheless, I am happy about my broad sun hat when I see the burnt faces here…
So, we are joining the waiting masses, but the queue does not seem to be moving forward at all. Directly behind us is a nice German family. We talk to each other and we make the wait a bit more bearable with some nice stories about their and our holidays and even a downpour we withstand together. In the meantime, we have researched that you can buy time tickets online. But for the next four days, everything is gone. Well, that´s what happens when we decide spontaneously on a visit like this.
Two and a half hours later we finally made it, we are at the check in. We now know why this took so long. Only 200 people can stay down there at a time. And in order not to lose track, these 200 people must all have left the catacombs before a new amount of 200 people is allowed down. And it takes about an hour to go through….
The catacombs were created because in the 18th century the cemeteries in the city were no longer sufficient due to epidemics and partly due to the decay of the bodies, the groundwater was contaminated, and even more diseases broke out. So, it was decided to dig up the dead again and store the bones in the catacombs. Now the bones of about 6 million individuals are newly buried here. Only a small part of the catacombs can be visited.
When we leave the underground corridors at 7 p.m., many people are still waiting at the entrance. I don’t think everyone will make it today.
We are sweaty, hungry and a little tired. But the light is wonderful for taking pictures and so we decide spontaneously to go to the ruins of Notre Dame.But how do we get to the bus stop at No. 38? The whole neighborhood here has been cordoned off by police. What’s going on here again? Unfortunately, we don’t know that, but we find the bus stop.
Actually, you have to purchase the tickets before entering the bus or you need matching small change. € 1.90 we do not have each, but a 2 Euro piece. There is no change, but you must be careful to devalue the ticket. Otherwise you just bought one, but you still ride the bus without valued ticket.
The place around the
is full of people, musicians and traders, tourists and honking motorists. The light is great, but you don’t get too close to the church. Everything is fenced off. So, we take the photos from a distance.
But then our hunger gets huge, and we continue on foot towards the hotel. On the way, past the Centre Pompidou we find, again with some luck, a free table in a Lebanese restaurant, the Falafel Café. A super nice waiter quickly brings us, in addition to our ordered drinks, a large carafe with cold water. How did he know what I need now? After a good meal we make our last part of the way to the hotel. It goes almost straight on for about one kilometer. We take a quick shower and then go to bed.
The next morning begins with a fire alarm at 7:15 a.m., thank God it´s not really burning. Maybe somebody had a smoke under a fire alarm system. No sleeping in today as was planned as it seems…
So at least we’ll have time at breakfast. The breakfast room is stylish, the buffet good, but the chairs and tables uncomfortable. Maybe you shouldn’t linger that long…
We try to plan our day a little, but as it´s always with us, it will again amount to a few spontaneous re-decisions.
Today, the first stop really is the Invalides Cathedral and the Military Museum. But what’s going on in front of it excites us a lot more! Many classic cars stand on the square in front of the Military Museum or cruise around it. Proper “hotties” can be seen. I take countless photos. Finally, we walk towards the
The Military Museum is less of an interest to us, here I only make a short video in the imposing courtyard. Then we would lijke to go into the cathedral. But as life plays out, we are denied the entrance, as a mass with and for war veterans is underway. That´s it.
We walk on to the Pont Alexandre III bridge, admire the great old cars that pass us more or less loudly, and then admire the great bridge and the good view of the Eiffel Tower.
We cross the Champs-Elysées and see the Arc de Triomphe in the distance on the left and the Obelisk on the other side. It’s very hot, so we walk along under the big trees of Avenue Gabriel to the obelisk and into the gardens of the
The long queue at the toilet there deters me,there must be some more?! No, misjudgment. No more in this big garden. The Tuileries are full of people. On the left a kind of fair is situated, with rides and a very high Ferris wheel. That’s where Dirk wants to go. Since we have already visited the Louvre ,we leave the museums´district to the right of us.
And there, next to the Ferris wheel is a mobile toilet! Very good, because now I can really enjoy the three rounds on the high wheel. Paris from above, also a pleasure during the day!
We still have a bit of time left before we must pick up our suitcases from the Best Western Hotel.
We have a coffee to go and a quick stop at Galerie Lafayette, which is full of shopping-addicted Chinese people.
“Unfortunately,” we pass the Hard Rock Café and the one T-shirt there in the shop is just too nice…. Tired legs get more cheerful right away.
Shortly after 5 p.m. our train leaves the Garde de l´Est and in the evening we are back home. We walked 15 km every day, but in no hurry. Many routes could have been done by metro or buses, but we wanted to experience the city up close. That’s what we did, and I hope you, too.
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