On our last whole day we pay another visit to the Eiffel Tower, walk around Parc de Champs de Mars, where we relax on the grass and watch Parisians doing a race in flippers. Yes, flippers. In a park. This would have been enough curiosity for the day if we had not gone further into the direction of the business district. Walking along the Seine you see the typical big French mansions, the occasional café and the Statue of Liberty. Yup, exactly. Since the French were the ones who gave the “real” Statue of Liberty to the Americans, they also have a small copy of it in their capital. It’s very weird.
We also pay a visit to “L’hôtel des Invalides”, a huge complex containing several museums where you can see a statue of Napoleon, canons, and mostly tombs of other French war heroes.
Almost starving, we go back to the hostel, grab some lunch and then hop on the metro to meet our friend. We sit down in a café on the Place de la Bastille with perfect view of the July Column (Colonne de Juillet), which commemorates the Revolution of 1830. This is the place where I have the best hot chocolate in my life at “Café Francais”. Made from dark chocolate it has a very strong flavour and quite a thick consistency. Heaven on earth, my friends.
Our plan is to watch the sunset from Sacré-Coeur. Just in time we leave the café and make our way towards Montmartre, one of the most famous quarters of Paris. Passing various tourists and annoying souvenir vendors, we hurry up the hill and up the stairs towards the iconic basilica on top of the city. Accompanied by street artists and musicians we watch the sun go down and the city illuminate as it gets dark. Big cities at night have that certain atmosphere that makes me sigh from happiness.
I don’t want to leave but the others insist on further exploring the quarter so I surrender. We end up in a touristy yet original area where we have a drink at a restaurant. The whole atmosphere is as French as it gets with waiters wearing Berets, striped shirts and even neckties! Montmartre is definitely my favourite place in Paris. However, sometimes I think that the city looks way too Mediterranean to be located so far in the north…
What’s still missing on our been-there-done-that list is to see the Moulin Rouge. During the day it probably isn’t much of an attraction, but at night the red light district comes to live and so does Moulin Rouge.
Being already really late, dinner is overdue. We go back towards Rue Mouffetard where we get a massive pot of cheese fondue for all of us and celebrate the amazing days we spent together.
Merci, Paris, et à bientôt!