There are so many things to see in Paris! I was so glad we had a full week to spend there, because even with our days packed, I feel like there is still lots to see.
For our fourth day in the city, I have to admit we didn’t do much. I think it’s because we woke up rather late, then spent a lot of time waiting in line to get into museum. So we were only able to fit in the Orsay Museum and l’Orangerie. Tickets online were more expensive, so I thought we’d buy them there. It wasn’t too bad, we only waited for around 45 minutes, but with a late start on the day, it didn’t leave us much time to visit the museum. Because they all close at 6 PM, we had to be out of there and in the Orangerie by 5, at the latest!
But I have to admit we did see a lot of lovely things. I’m a huge fan of the impressionist movement, so I was delighted to see so many of those paintings in the same place. I remember seeing my first Monet painting in London and how amazed I was. I had the exact same feeling in Paris. There’s something I love about his paintings that I haven’t found in anyone else’s. So even though we lost my sisters for a few minutes and rush through the gallery a few times, I did spent a few minutes in front of the Saint-Lazare Station by Claude Monet, admiring it.
In the Orangerie, I also had the chance to see more Monet (actually, the last picture above is his), and even though not everybody gets it, the white rooms in there did exactly what they were supposed to do: they relaxed me. Painted after WWII, Monet wanted to bring peace and quiet to Paris and that’s why the two white rooms were created in the Orangerie.
I have to admit that even though we didn’t get to fit as much in our day as we usually do, it was still a great one to me!
The next day, on our fifth day, we kicked ourselves in the butt and got out of bed early! Actually, it’s not getting out of bed that is so hard, but getting ready. Two girls take a lot of time… But since we were going to the Ile de la Cité, my sister and I didn’t mind rushing ourselves a bit!
Our first stop was the Notre-Dame cathedral. As fans of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, we did have a lot of fun there. We started by visiting the inside of the church, which is beautiful with all its stain glass and columns. It’s a very impressive building, either from the inside or the outside. If you happen to be there, take the time to go inside. The line might be long, but I consider it worth it. We actually had a lot of fun waiting in line, as the couple before us had three beautiful daughters who were running after the pigeons. They were so adorable and it made our waiting time a lot less painful.
On top of visiting the cathedral itself, we also went in the paid wings they had, where they have all the church’s treasures. The piece that interested me the most is the one showed right above. It’s portraits of all the popes, including the newest one. It was interesting to see that the tradition is still alive and that even the popes that I knew during my lifetime had their own portraits done.
We couldn’t go to Notre-Dame without climbing one of its towers! Did you know that after they were built, the towers started leaning toward the outside and threatened to fall? They had to be stabilized so they wouldn’t collapse. I trusted that they would be able to support my weight well enough in 2015 to climb them, though! The hike up made us all a bit dizzy, as the stairs went up in a small circle. Turning continuously for hundreds of stairs isn’t the greatest for the body. But once we manages to get to the top, the view was beautiful. It was also very nice to see all the gargoyles from so close! I guess the only reason I love them so much is because of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, but aren’t they impressive anyway?
Next on our list was the duo Conciergerie/Sainte-Chapelle. I heard that the Sainte-Chapelle was worth it if you liked architecture, so I decided to buy the ticket that allowed us to go inside of both. The Conciergerie is an old prison, where they also put Marie-Antoinette before she was decapitated. It was interesting to learn about the history of the building, but for some reason I didn’t get the same level of interest as I did everywhere else. But maybe that’s just me?
I did, however, fell in love with the upper level of the Sainte-Chapelle. The whole room is surrounded by the most beautiful stain-glass I’ve even seen. It was so full of colors. I can’t even begin to imagine how amazing this church looks like when the sun is coming in through the stain-glass. It was pretty cloudy when we were there, so we didn’t get to see that. But that doesn’t take anything away from the awesomeness of this room. I think it might have been my second favorite place, after the Opera.