Wednesday, August 17, 2016

paris: day three

Day three is when I realized I had fallen head over heels in love with Paris. Like, I was heartbroken that I had to leave to go to Rome. You know you're hooked on a place when you're about to go to ITALY and your heart is like "nope! I want to stay here forever." As soon as I got home I looked up the rates for renting an Airbnb next year for a whole month. I wish I could live there.

Every single place I went, I loved. I loved the little hole-in-the-wall stores, the parks, the people, the cats, the history, the SCENT (Sabrina wasn't kidding when she said Paris smells its sweetest after it rains.) At home I normally feel so uncomfortable talking to people, but in Paris the language barrier was almost a godsend. Rather than being awkward whenever I had to break my silence, I really tried my hardest to speak what little French I knew, or asked (in French) if someone spoke English when I reached my linguistic limits. A saleswoman at The Galeries Lafayette taught me how to say "I don't speak French" in French. The guy who worked at Cine Corner teased me about my crush on Alain Delon. I chatted with a shopkeeper about my tradition of going on carousels with my grandmom when I was buying a souvenir at a tiny handmade toy shop in the Latin Quarter. Somehow I felt more at ease talking with other humans, which was totally unexpected -- if you read my first trip post you'll remember that I literally holed myself up in my hotel room when I arrived because I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to communicate with anyone!

I keep throwing around the word love, but honestly, I just loved everything and everyone I met and I can't wait to go back and discover more.

Okay, so ... Day Three! 

I started out at Montmartre Cemetery again. Remember when I said that I had a five-minute staring contest with a cat in a cemetery? This is that cat. (If you're having trouble spotting him, he's between the two green plants.) This photo was taken right before we started staring.

I sat for a while on a bench in the cemetery writing in my trip journal (I did SO good at writing things down in Paris, but then didn't keep up with it in Rome. I still want to go back and jot some stuff down before I forget!) but then I noticed a tiny spider in my hair and realized that maybe a cemetery isn't the best place to hang out.

My next stop was The Galeries Lafayette, a giant elegant shopping mall with a (free!) rooftop terrace with an EPIC view of Paris & The Eiffel Tower. My mom tipped me off to this before I left on my trip, but I was still stunned when I walked out onto the terrace and took in this view. It was scorching out, so I got a mango sorbet and that just made everything even MORE perfect, just when I thought it had reached peak perfection already.

I also did a little shopping... it was mostly upscale retailers (like out-of-my-price-range retailers) but I did pick up a sweater on clearance and a little scalloped Ted Baker bag (this one.)

My next stop was the Café de la Paix for a giant bottle of water and light "lunch" (cough, dessert, cough) I was being a giant movie nerd here -- the main reason I went was because Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard had their first date here. Earlier this year I saw Anna Karina at The Film Forum & heard her tell the story in person, so it was just a really special movie geek thing for me.

Speaking of being a movie geek, the next thing that I did was to get a taxi to the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, where they were showing one of my favorite movies, Le Samourai. I think the ticket-taker was a little confused since I clearly didn't understand anything she was saying to me in French when I was about to watch a movie without English subtitles, lol!

I was hoping that I'd seen it enough WITH subtitles that I'd be able to follow along just fine without them, and I was right. It's not really a very dialogue-heavy movie to begin with (the first word isn't even spoken until about 20 or so minutes into the film) and it was genuinely fun to watch it without having to glance down at the bottom of the screen for a translation every few seconds. I could pay attention to the visuals, the actors' faces, even their voices were resonating more with me now that I was really listening, not just putting all of my energy into reading. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip!

After that I went to McDonald's again (bathroom break!) and people-watched for a little bit before getting a taxi back to the Notre Dame area. It was getting late, so I thought I'd try to walk to The Lourve from memory and then get a taxi back to the hotel from there. Once I got to the Lourve (I *did* remember how to get there! eep!) I saw a couple walk into the museum, even though I knew it was closed on Tuesdays. So I followed them, and discovered that the grounds are still open even when the inside is closed. It wasn't very busy (I guess most tourists are like me and assume the whole thing is shut down on Tuesday) the sun was just about to set, and it was BEAUTIFUL.

I honestly can't put into words how magical this night was for me. I had my headphones in, and I just aimlessly wandered the grounds of The Lourve listening to my favorite music, people-watching, sitting by the fountains, all with a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. I strolled into a park (I'm not entirely sure if it's part of the museum or just situated next door?) and found a little food stand where I bought a sugar crepe & mineral water and then sat by a lake.

DOES THIS SOUND IDYLLIC? BECAUSE IT WAS. I can't think of any other time in my whole life that I felt so overcome with beauty. It was so peaceful, lovely, in-explainable. I wish I could close my eyes and be back there.

As I left The Lourve, I walked through this little fairground area that just screamed "Kate, take pictures of me!" Then I got a taxi back to my hotel, and stood by my window eating a baguette, watching The Eiffel tower sparkling in the distance, putting off sleep as long as possible because I didn't want it to end.