December 14th, 2015

Today was a long day…not to mention we covered a lot of ground. We ended up putting in just under 38,000 steps, which translates to about 20 miles.

After waking up this morning we left our bags with the reception of our hotel. We’re switching to an Airbnb later today and we didn’t feel like carrying the bags around until then. First up after dropping our bags was caffeine. Starbucks was a necessity after staying up to midnight last night. We figured that putting in the extra time planning before we explored Paris would pay off and it did.

After we got our caffeine fix we started to make our way towards Notre Dame. On the way we walked by St. Jacques Tower looking for tourist info. We didn’t find tourist info but we did get a few shots of St. Jacques Tower…

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Then it was on to our main objective… get to Notre Dame before the crowds show up. We did just that! We managed to make it to Notre Dame and climb all 387 stairs to the top of the towers with little waiting. We were happy we went early because when we left the lines were getting a little insane.

Did we mention that we saw some Gargoyles?

Here’s a look at Notre Dame…

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After we made it down from the towers it was off to visit St. Chapelle Cathedral. St. Chapelle Cathedral isn’t as well-known as Notre Dame but it is definitely worth the visit. Honestly we enjoyed it as much as Notre Dame…the stained glass windows were amazing! While we were there we also purchased two museum passes, we did the pricing out last night and it saves us quite a bit of money.

A look inside St. Chapelle Cathedral…

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After marveling at the stained glass it was time for a quick lunch. We were told to visit the Latin Quarter, which is a popular place for restaurants. Two French Onion soups and a French coffee later it was back out into the cold to visit the Pantheon.

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The Pantheon in Paris was like France’s “Westminster Abbey”. It’s the final resting place of several notable French citizens including Marie Currie and Victor Hugo. It also had some great art inside.

Paris’ Pantheon…

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At this point we were running short on time because we had to make it back to our Airbnb to meet our host and grab our keys. So we squeezed in two quick stops, the Luxembourg Gardens and St. Sulpice Cathedral. It’s winter so the gardens looked a little barren but that was to be expected and the Cathedral was charming.

Then it was time to move to our Airbnb, which was located next to the Louvre. We picked up our bags and made the change. Then we were on the move again.

We made a quick visit to the Opera House on our way to the tourist info center. Then we headed over to the Arc De Triomphe. We walked through the Christmas markets on our way there and took in some views of the city at night. We also got our first real look at the Eiffel Tower.

Here’s a look at the Arc De Triomphe and our nighttime walk…

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On our way back to our Airbnb we grabbed some chocolate con churros. They were delicious but they were covered with at least a ¼ cup of sugar.

Our feet hurt and we’re about to pass out from exhaustion. It’s time for us to go to bed…

Happy Travels,

Ryan & Melissa