23 May, 2013

Paris (21 May)

Today at our bus stop we met three ladies from Brazil. They are staying at a hotel nearby and were trying to figure out the buses to go to Notre Dame Cathedral, which was where we were headed. So our party of five turned into eight. We took up a lot of space on the bus.

it only took us two buses and another helpful French lady to get to the area around Notre Dame. Once there we said goodbye to our new friends since they wanted to go to the cathedral right away and we were going to the Conciergerie first.

Thé Conciergerie is an old palace that Charles V turned into his law courts. So it went from palace to prison and housed many prisoners from the French Revolution - including Marie-Antoinette. The ceiling in the main hall is absolutely beautiful. 

Then it was time to eat, again.

After lunch we walked around the Crypt in Notre-Dame which are escavations made in the late 60s to 70s in front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. What was found was ruins from 27 BC that started the formation of thé île de la Cité (the origins of Paris) when it was only the Gallo-Roman town of Lutetia. Not only that but also ruins from the Middle Ages all the way through the 18th century. It was cool to walk around and see all the old foundations and where roads once had been.

Soon it was time to head above ground again and into the line for the Notre-Dame we went. This one moved fast as it was only the line to walk about inside the Cathedral area. 

The line that really took a long time was the entry into the Towers of Notre-Dame. That one was so long that Courtney and I got a coffee and I treated the children to a Nutella Crepe. Yum.

Not only was the line long, but it started our Marathon le Stairs. (We've come to the very stereotypical view that adding "le" to a word makes it French.) The write-up says there were 400 steps, but I think they missed a few.

After being so high up we decided to head down more steps back underground - into the sewers of Paris. Which despite what you might think are really, really cool! (And yes, you can find reference to Jean Valjean's venture through the sewers.)

After all that it was past our dinner time and we still had to get home, plus shop for food for the next few days. Solution - we picked up some croissants and cheese to eat on the bus ride home. We also found a really large supermarket and did some proper food shopping for a hungry family of five.

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