We slept in till 11 again and decided to just eat some leftover pesto pasta for breakfast before going out to a cafe for espressos. After breakfast we decided to take the metro to Notre Dame. We could have walked but our legs were sore and we had a long day ahead. While we were buying our metro tickets I overheard English speakers trying to buy tickets on the next machine over. They looked confused and harried with their two children and bags, so I asked if they needed help. I we ended up helping them buy the cheaper tickets for their trip and on their way. It was nice speaking English to someone and getting to use our new found knowledge to help someone else. After we got off the metro we found the free walking tour by Discovery Walks that we had planned for the afternoon.
As soon as we arrived the two young ladies in pink vests, that were our tour guides, shook our hands and introduced themselves. They talked to us and the other tourists about our trip while we waited for the tour to start. We only had about eight people on the tour with us and it was a great size for the tour.
The guides were locals and talked to us about the history of Notre Dame, and a few other places in the neighborhood, they also gave us tips for seeing other sites, told us funny stories from their childhood, and answered lots of questions. The only costs was whatever you tipped the guides at the end. I would recommend these types of tours to anyone and we plan on going on more in Italy and Greece. We would have enjoyed just seeing the area on our own but we got so much more out of the experience because of the guides.
After the tour we found a small cafe to grab some late lunch. The food was amazing! Kayhad an omelette and I had some kind of savory crape with a fried egg, ham, and cheese. We didn’t catch the name of the cafe because there wasn’t a sign but it was on the corner of Saint-Germaine and Reu des Anglais south of Notre Dame.
After the cafe we went looking for the Abby bookstore, which is a famous English bookstore in Paris. Before we found it though, we ran across a beautiful old church called the Église Saint-Sulpice. There was no line and just a few tourists walking around inside. It was an operating church and someone was practicing the organ which combined with the breathtaking architecture gave the place a distinctively otherworldly feel. The church had paintings by Georges Rouault, relics of Saint Ursula and her maids, and beautiful stained glass windows.
After walking though the church we continued our search for the Abby Bookshop and shortly found it a few streets away. The store was packed with old and new books and even spilled out into the street with its contents. The attendant had setup coffee outside on a table because there didn’t seem to be any room inside. The rows of books were so tightly packed I could barely make it down the isles. It m was great to explore but we didn’t buy anything because we would have to carry it around Europe with us, but I found plenty of books I wanted.
On our way home we stopped at the local cheese shop for some bri, the deli for some cured meat, and the bakery for some baguettes that we planned to take to the Eiffel Tower that night. Meanwhile though we took a break and caught up on news and social media. After a couple hours we headed out with our picnic dinner and some wine to watch the sunset and the tower to light up.
The night was perfect! The weather had finally cooled down from the 98 degrees it had been the day before, the sky was clear, and their was just a hint of a breeze. We relaxed and watching the sun set while enjoying each other’s company. It is easy to see why people say Paris is romantic. Before we came I doubted it would live up to its reputation but it really did. The city has a soul you can feel; it’s different than all the other places I have gone except maybe parts of Israel. Israel feels different, a different vibe, but it too has a soul that sets it apart by giving visitors a special feeling that can’t quite be described.