Upon boarding the night train, we initially felt that we had hit the jackpot, because we were the only two people in our four person room. We passed three or four stations without gaining any roommates, but in Milan, after the two of us had already made our beds and were trying to sleep, a husband and wife joined us. Luckily they tried to be quiet and quickly lay down, but the dream of having the cabin to ourselves was over. The bathrooms on the train were anything but glamorous, but I suppose that was to be expected. We arrived in Paris at around 9:30 in the morning and promptly ate breakfast in the station at the ubiquitous Starbucks.
Rather than travel straight to our hotel, we stored our luggage in the left locker section of one of the other train stations and headed for the Louvre. Of course I had heard stories of its size, but it was MUCH larger than I expected. After a few hours, we hadn’t even covered a fourth of it. We ate lunch at the museum café overlooking the famous pyramid, sought out the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo before declaring ourselves finished with museums for the day. A short, pleasant walk along the Seine and we arrived at Notre Dame. The line to get inside the church moved quickly, but we stood in line to climb up the tower for close to an hour. Those stairs were our first experience of the tiny, endless, spiral staircases which came to almost define the City for us. I pride myself on being in shape, but by the top of those stairs I was struggling a bit. The view was completely worth it.
We climbed another tier for an even higher, better view, before winding our way back down, conveniently exiting directly across from a crepe stand. There is nothing more delicious than a warm, Nutella crepe.
After our snack we collected our luggage, checked into our hotel, and rested for a couple of hours before going to the Arc de Triumph where we encountered yet another long, tiny, spiral staircase preceding a breathtaking view. A nearby café provided a healthy dinner salad before we called it a day.