On with the surreal Paris weekend, part two! Day two, and we did it all over again. To Notre Dame in the morning, which was a really powerful experience because it was Palm Sunday and the service was an incredibly elaborate production, as you might imagine from one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. We ate breakfast at a café nearby, at which a cat named Lilly curled up in my lap as I drank my coffee. What is life! Then, in attempting to find a Metro station, we literally happened by chance upon something we really wanted to see: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore! If you are unfamiliar, the bookstore was a famous gathering place for writers in the 1920s, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce, at which they might stay for however long they liked in exchange for helping out in the store. It was just…one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. Of course I had to buy a book; Hemingway’s The Moveable Feast, appropriately.
Next were the Catacombs. We waited more than an hour to get in, but it was worth it. Two kilometers of underground tunnels housing an ossuary of neatly stacked bones of over 6 million skeletons…well, there is no other way to describe that. Eerie and wonderful. I really only shuddered at one thing: seeing a skull with its jaw askew and just one tooth still left in its mouth. Eep! But next, and considerably more cheery was the Jardin du Luxembourg, even in winter. Kids sailing little boats around the fountain, and some flowers already in bloom across the lawns. We ate (crepes of course) at a cute café right in the park. I had four or five crepes in one weekend, by the way. I could literally never get sick of such a perfect food.
Then we were on a search for another obligatory food: macaroons. We were headed back to LaDuree, but unfortunately we did not know that that day there was a huge planned march of anti-gay rights protesters through the city (which, by the way, really? So not cool of you, Paris!) so we literally couldn’t get off the Metro for awhile, anywhere close to the Champs. We walked for a long time trying to get around to the other side back to the Eiffel Tower, but there were police barricades everywhere, and it was actually a bit frightening the level of security enforcement they were using. It was intended and I think remained a peaceful protest, but we had no idea what was going on at the time, and we wanted out of there fast.
But that couldn’t dampen our spirits! Eventually we found ourselves back at the Eiffel Tower at night, all perfectly lit up as you imagine it, eating macaroons from Cafè du Trocadéro. Life-changing, those macaroons. And the perfect end to a life-changing weekend. I would go back to Paris in a heartbeat!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Ariana is a junior at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. On campus, she is busy with bellydance and yoga, and as an executive member of the student health club. She has ridden elephants in Thailand and gone whitewater rafting in New Zealand, but her time studying abroad in London will be her first experience of Europe, which she hopes to make the very most of. Writing is how she makes sense of the world, and she hopes to share this blog with you while she explores jolly old England!</span></p>