Notre Dame

March 15, 2013-NotreDame-2945
Notre Dame de Paris’, French for Our Lady of Paris, construction started in the twelfth century, and it was finally completed as it stands today in 1345.  Many people of the world solely know its name from the Hunchback of Notre Dame.


After traveling for the past two weekends and not having a chance to sleep in for a few weeks, waking up at 3:00am was a little rough.  The wake up call did mean one good thing, we’d be flying to a new place for some new experiences!

We hopped on a night bus (considering people were still out from the night before, including the other roommates!) to Roma Termini to get on the first shuttle to Ciampino airport.  There’s plenty of positives and negatives of flying on a budget airline: it’s cheap, they’re frequent, and they’re on time.  The downsides are also a little tough: they’re cheap, they fly to airports farther from cities, they’re flying billboards with advertisements and non-stop pestering to buy things on board, and they’re a little cramped.  We had to fly into Beauvais airport, which has two terminals and roughly 6 gates TOTAL!

The shuttle company from BVA has a bit of a monopoly on the market, which means it’s not going to be cheap.  Everyone flying into the airport is basically forced to take these 16 euro shuttles EACH WAY to arrive in Paris.  So two hours later (due to traffic), you’re finally standing in Paris!  Another hour or so, we made it to our hostel after roughly 8 hours of travel.

As I said in last week’s posts, I was pretty excited to hear French again.  We sat down at a restaurant near our hostel for some lunch.  I got some French onion soup and salmon.  Hard to say I was disappointed!  After that, we had a few hours to walk around the area before our room would be ready.  That meant we were going to not only just walk around to walk around, we were on the hunt for some crepes.  We walked up to the top of Jardin des arènes de Montmartre, which is home to some great panoramic views of Paris and Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.  There was  “Place de Tertre” near the Basilica where a bunch of artists were displaying there work AND a small creperie.  Parfait!  I got a crepe with chocolate and bananas… Too good.

March 15, 2013-ParisStreet-2834Paris Streets (northern part of the city)

After checking out the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (funny how we have seen two now!), we walked back down to check into our room at the Plug Inn Hostel.  We booked a three person room, to make sure our one night of sleep wouldn’t be interrupted again by some random welsh girls..

Some of Grant and Andrew’s friends from school are studying in Paris, so we walked down to the Louvre to meet one of them, Steve.  After finding him in the hundreds of people milling about near the Louvre’s signature glass pyramid, we walked south towards the Luxembourg Gardens.  These Gardens are home to the Luxembourg Palace, which is the seat of the French Senate.

March 15, 2013-LuxembourgPark-2896Fountain near Luxembourg Gardens

We found a small creperie that was suggested to us by one of the Arcadia interns who studied in Paris for a few years.  I got a plain Nutella crepe this time and was still not disappointed.

On our way back to Steve’s apartment/dorm, we stopped by Notre Dame.  It is such a touristy place that they actually built bleachers in front it the church itself.  I’ve seen so many churches now that they’re all kind of blending together, but Notre Dame had some of the largest crowds inside that I’ve seen so far.

March 15, 2013-NotreDameInside-2988Inside Notre Dame

March 15, 2013-NotreDameTomb-2986Papal Tomb




March 15, 2013-NotreDameHeadless-2990Crazy Headless Statue Outside


For dinner, we went to a small place near Steve’s dorm.  I had the night’s special of Ravioli de Royan, a ravioli stuffed with a cheese and spices.  It was one of the better raviolis I have had in my life – the huge shavings of parmesan cheese didn’t hurt either.

We stopped by their Carrefour Market before heading back to his apartment, and I have to say, I’m a little jealous of their selection.  Carrefour is a French based company, but their selection and prices were WAY better than the store we go to here in Rome.  Oh well, what can you do!

March 16, 2013-ParisNight-3005Late Night (Drunkie)

After a nice 3 mile stroll through the city, we were ready for a good night’s sleep before another busy (and long) day!

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