An American in Paris! (Part 5)

Bonjour, again!

Speeding towards the last three days of my stay in Paris! Let’s go! 😀

Thursday (9/10): After the crazy, run-in with the security guards at the Eiffel Tower the previous day, I vow myself to make the rest of my family’s time in Paris a smooth one. Didn’t help that my whole family had been sick for most the time that we landed in France; I was the only one holding out on the common cold (thank the flu shot that I got before leaving!). For the most part, they’ve been troopers, but on Thursday, my dad felt so bad that he opted out on the itinerary to the Bastille and the Notre Dame. So it was just me, my mom, and my sister who went out that day.

First went to a nearby photocopy store to scan their passport photos to be placed onto their cartes Navigos, just so we won’t get into trouble with the metro inspectors again. Then set off for the Place de la Bastille, which had their open-air market that day (opened Thursdays and Sundays). Walked around a bit to check out the sights: lots of touristy stuff like clothing, souvenir trinkets, and lots of fruit/vegetable, nuts, cheese, butcher, and fish stands. I ordered a chorizo and cheese crêpe at the crêpe stand that I’d been to the previous year. The crêpe that I got this time was way too salty; I could definitely feel my sodium levels shoot up with each bite. 😛

Place de la Bastille (from last year).
Place de la Bastille (from last year).

Finished our crêpe meals, then headed over to Place des Vosges about six minutes away: it is a small square, considered one of the oldest in Paris and the most high-end ones as well. One of its “places” served as Victor Hugo’s mansion, which has now been turned into a museum. My mom, sister, and I decided to check the place out (and subsequently needed to use a restroom…). Admission was free, and we spent a little while wandering through the rooms, in a house that once belonged to an iconic French writer.

Victor Hugo's mansion (from last year).
Victor Hugo’s mansion (from last year).

Bought some chocolates at Joséphine Vannier, a chocolaterie within the square and where I had been to the previous year. Amazing chocolates, even if expensive (10 pieces for about 7-8 euros, what?!).

Left afterwards to visit the Hôtel de Ville (Paris’s city hall and also an iconic landmark), then walked across the bridge to visit the Notre Dame, another popular tourist attraction. Line wasn’t long to get in, moved pretty quickly as well. Saw the inside of the church- lovely stained glass windows, candles, and the huge altar at the center. Second-time around, and still lovely. 🙂

The Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame.

Afterwards, we went up to the Latin Quarter to check out La Sorbonne, Paris’s prestigious university, as well as the Panthéon, a museum to commemorate famous French citizens like writers, politicians, and whatnot. Some are even buried in the crypt underneath the building! Didn’t go inside, either, but nevertheless sat outside of the Panthéon for an afternoon break.

Le Panthéon (from last year).
Le Panthéon (from last year).

Decided to call it a day afterwards, then took the metro back to our apartment (had to take three different lines, since there wasn’t a direct one). But we ended up going out again later that evening to the same area for dinner. Checked out this pretty good French restaurant near La Sorbonne, which has been in business for over fifty years! Ordered some pretty good food, including a delicious French onion soup and a café gourmand for dessert.

However, here’s when shit happened (quite literally). Story time, again:

As we were heading back to our apartments after dinner via metro, I started feeling…strange. All of a sudden, I started getting really cold (like, chills) and super tired. The condition worsened once we arrived back and I took a shower. Decided to sleep on it, and spent the entire night tossing and turning in bed. The next morning, I woke up with an extremely horrible stomach-ache, and ended up going to the bathroom twice to, you know, take an unpleasant number 2. Ugh… 

My family and I speculated that it was because I had drank that shot of espresso with my café gourmand dessert the night before. Considering that I never drink coffee, all of that caffeine upset my stomach, and so I was in so much pain. It hurt to walk without doubling over from the effects- my god, it sucked so much. So freaking much.

Friday (9/11): I was still feeling shitty as hell (quite literally, again), but decided to be a trooper and go out with my mom and sister (again, my dad wasn’t feeling too well with his sickness) to Montmartre in the 18ème arrondissement. I wanted to show them the Moulin Rouge and the Sacré Coeur, two of the iconic landmarks in the neighborhood. I was suffering throughout the excursion, but tried not to make a big deal out of it (although I’m pretty sure that I failed miserably). Any case, the sights were still nice to see, as my mom and sister were able to experience them for the first time.

Moulin Rouge (from last year).
Moulin Rouge (from last year).
The Sacré Coeur (from last year).
The Sacré Coeur (from last year).

Afterwards tried to find a cellphone store that sold SIM cards (for my eight-month stay abroad), but ended up just getting a reference to buy it (along with a monthly plan) online. Returned to the apartment, and I just crashed for the next one to two hours, trying to fight off this blasted stomach-ache from caffeine poisoning. Basically ate almost nothing but a few small pieces of baguette (still delicious even if feeling nauseated as heck) that day, and definitely felt the weight being dropped. Didn’t fully recover until the following morning, and for that I was eternally glad.

Saturday (9/12): Last day in Paris! It was only a half-day stay, as we were pretty much packing to leave the city. My family (mom and sister) were heading to the airport to return to the United States while my dad and I were traveling to Normandy by train, a region where I’ll be situated for the next eight months. The process of getting to the train station, taking the train, getting off at the right stop, and getting transportation to our hotel went really smoothly.

So, all in all, my second visit to Paris has been a heck of a ride. It was nothing like I had expected, and nothing that I would like to see happen again. Sure, there were some high points throughout the trip, but the not-so-good encounters with the security guards and food poisoning are memories that I never want to relive again. I still enjoyed Paris, but perhaps I won’t visit it anytime soon in the near future; maybe wait a while before returning.

That’s about it for my stay in Paris, folks! Look out for more travel-log posts from me once I set out on more new adventures in the future. Until then, ciao! 🙂

For my previous posts on this stay in Paris, check them out here:

— The Finicky Cynic

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5 thoughts on “An American in Paris! (Part 5)

  1. yes, at least once!
    I loved Paris, was slightly underwhelmed bun in hindsight it was enjoyable.
    I can’t even imagine being sick and then strolling around Montmartre with all those stairs. you’re a trooper, for sure!

    1. Yup, I was feeling really sick that day, but I did it for the sake of my family. Thankfully, we took the cable car up part of the way, so I was able to avoid at least some of the stairs! Never again, though…

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