Since the long line deterred us from going up the towers of Notre Dame earlier in the week, we decided to get there early on Thursday. (Unfortunately it is one of the places you cannot skip the line with the Paris Museum Pass.) Even though we arrived before it opened, the line was already very long. In fact, longer than it had been on Monday! Grr. But we were running out of days in Paris, so we decided to wait. To make things worse, the weather was much colder than the forecast. Dan waited patiently in line, while I wandered around the cathedral, hopped up and down, and tried to contain my crabbiness.
Part of the long line (Dan is in back)
A different part of the long line (Dan in front)
About 25 people were admitted every fifteen minutes, so it was a long wait. Eventually we made it to the front, and it was our turn to ascend the spiral staircases. Even though I am very bad at waiting in line, I really enjoyed seeing the statues in the chimera gallery up close. And the views of Paris were spectacular, even on the overcast day.
Contemplating the city, Sacre Coeur in the distance
Shock & surprise
Overlooking the Seine (and the long line to get into Notre Dame)
After all that waiting and climbing 400 stairs, it was time for lunch! We crossed the Seine and walked by the Hotel de Ville to Le Trumilou. Dan was pleased to see a crock of mustard on the table. We were the first to arrive, but later the place filled up a bit. All the other patrons were speaking French. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and shared a carafe of the house red wine. For entrees, he had the charcuterie plate, and I had a giant artichoke. Then for the plat, roast goat for Dan (we think, as the menu was French...chevre is goat, right?) and beef bourguignon for me. Everything was delicious, and it may have been our favorite restaurant during our stay in Paris.
Hotel de Ville
Charcuterie, ready for mustard
A giant artichoke
Then we walked along the Seine toward Musee d'Orsay. It started to rain, so we hopped on the RER. The Orsay seems to be the favorite Parisian museum of many, and it was crowded. But the former train station is a beautiful space, and I enjoyed viewing the collection.
View from the top floor
Backwards clock, Jardin des Tuileries in the distance
After the museum, we walked toward Rue du Bac in St. Germain, and stumbled upon a little shop filled to the brim with old and new china (Bain Marie, maybe?), so many lovely things! Then we made our way to Deyrolle. I can't remember where I read about it first, but what an incredible place. It really feels like a museum... taxidermy animals of all kinds, and an astounding collection of beetles, butterflies, and more. Dan wanted everything, but it was slightly out of our budget. Photography is not allowed, you need to see for yourself!
I was ready for a snack, so we headed to Laduree on Rue Bonaparte. I had hot chocolate and a plate of macarons, and Dan had an amazing millefeuille. Mmm.
Teatime at Laduree
I wanted to try the macarons at Pierre Herme too, but it was wet and rainy outside. We hopped on the Metro and picked up a box at the shop, then walked over to St. Sulpice to see the Delacroix paintings. By then I was feeling tired and the rain was coming down. I looked for a bakery nearby, and we found our way to Poilane, where slices are sold by weight...perfect! We picked up a few slices, then on our way to the Metro passed a little traiteur where we got some beet salad. Back at the apartment, we made a little dinner with our bread, beet salad, and some cheese, pate, and wine. Then Pierre Herme macarons for dessert, yum! (I thought they were better than Laduree.) Another great day in Paris, despite the crowds and rain.