Paris Day 2, Monday 7/15/2013

It has  been that quiet in our hotel that we slept that well that we almost missed our breakfast which we finally got around 10:30 am.

Notre Dame seen from Pont l'Archevêché
"Notre Dame seen from Pont l’Archevêché"

Afterwards we took the metro to Pont Neuf, the oldest and only bridge in Paris not covered with houses in former times. Metro line 7, servicing station Cadet close to our hotel provided a direct connection to Pont Neuf. Before we had bought a ticket for 10 rides for the price of  € 13.30.

Crossing Pont Neuf we explored the Ile de La Cite and passing the Palais de Justice and Sainte-Chapelle which had been built in Middle Age we reached Notre-Dame.  Here we made our first experience with the masses of tourists invading Paris every day. Entry to the cathedral was free but a huge waiting line convinced us to skip this visit. Guided tours into the cathedral and to the top of the towers have been available as well for € 8,50 , but again: a long wait for several hours. Notre-Dame is best visited in the late afternoon when the light of the setting sun illuminates the western face of the impressive building with the three huge portals and the large circular window  ( which we did two days later ).

We orbited the cathedral, crossed one of the bridges decorated with hundreds of padlocks left behind by romantic lovers and walked along the southern bank of the river Seine. From here unique views not only to Notre-Dame can be seen, but bad smells convinced us to not stay here for too long.

Jardin du Luxembourg
"Jardin du Luxembourg"

Starting at Fontaine Saint-Michelle errected in 1860 we explored the  Quartier Latin, called that way because in former times professor talked to their student only in Latin language.

We got us some Cidre in one of the many Cafes here, then we strolled along the many alleys with many restaurants to  Jardin du Luxembourg, a huge park with old trees and fountains, surrounding Palais du Luxembourg, which was built by Maria von Medici as a residence when she got older and after her husband Henry the IV. passed away; the Louvre which had been their castle before became too big for her and she started feeling lonesome.

Le Sorbonne
"Le Sorbonne"

We took a break on one of the many benches in the park and had a small lunch in form of some crepes, before we continued our expedition to  Sorbonne and Panthéon, then further to a ice cream palor for another break ( Paris can be strenuous ) and to Jardin des Plantes, another nice park with a botanic  garden and a zoo. Under Ludwig XIII. this park was used to grow medical plants for the royals.

In the Mosquée de Paris opposite of the park we drank some real sweet tea in a shady courtyard. Then we used the metro again and took a ride some stations back into the Quartier Latin to the Odéon and started to look for a place to have dinner in this area. We found a nice restaurant in  a small alley and took a seat at one of the real small bistro tables outside.  We had a nice dinner and some bears, then we bought us some chocolate in one of these tempting chocolate shops before the metro brougth us back to station Cadet and we ended our first full day in Paris.

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