Apparently, we were more tired than we thought last night, as we woke up this morning around 9am. It felt amazing.
We headed out to the Eiffel tower (croissant in hand) to catch the hop-on, hop-off open bus tour (a great idea!) The first route we went on took us around some major sights – Hotel des Invalides, Place de la Conchorde, Opera Garnier – and let us switch bus lines to visit the Place du Tretre, a small artisan square in the hills of Montmartre. Our path to the place was through a small alley lined with people enticing tourists to play the game where they shuffle three coaster-type things around and you try (for money) to guess which one has a white dot under it. Not sure what that game is called, but it took me back to my role in our 7th grade Renaissance faire, where I played a similar street vendor, except with three cups and a ball.
It was like a scene out of a movie, with people standing around gambling and watching all of it but the alley was just a bit too crowded and chaotic for our liking. Once we reached the Place du Tretre, we greatly enjoyed walking around the tiny square, admiring all of the beautiful paintings for sale and watching the artists themselves paint new ones right in front of us. There is something mystical about watching an artist paint – I see the individual brush strokes and wonder about their purpose, and only later see how that line seems to portray a bit more of the painted scene.
After a delicious crepe lunch at a restaurant in front of the square, we caught a bus to finish our tour of the Monmartre. While we wanted to head out to see the Place de la Bastille, apparently there was a large protest going on there (fitting), so we finished sightseeing at the Champs-Élysées. We walked up the street toward the Arc de Triomphe, through a movie premier filled with movie stars, paparazzi, and star-struck girls competing for autographs and photos. The street itself struck me as a large outdoor shopping mall, as wide as it was crowded. The Arc de Triomphe was much larger than I had imagined it, though we didn’t get to observe it up close (we are going back tomorrow).
Our evening consisted of an amazing nap and a overpriced, underwheming dinner near our hotel. Luckily we stopped by a little crepe stand on our way back and bought a crepe filled with apple sauce, sugar, and cinnamon – much better and exactly what I was craving all day! We’re finishing the night with a movie in our hotel room, excited to make the most of our last full day here in Paris!