It’s something about the easy doesn’t end up being easy I think.
Since we have been to Paris quite a few times, there were really only two things I absolutely wanted to do this time: visit the famous flea market on the weekend, and see a concert in the beautiful stained glass area of Sainte Chappelle. It’s not the weekend yet, so we will see about our flea market adventure, but Sainte Chappelle today was a complete bust. Even though we stood in line and even though everything else.
We are staying in the 9th arrondisement, which is very close to the famous Paris Opera House. It is kind of fun to stay in an area you have never really explored before, but also a bit nerve wracking until you get your bearings. Today’s plan was to head towards the Seine River, then find Notre Dame Cathedral, then we would be close enough to Sainte Chappelle to go there. Unfortunately, there are no concerts just now, so that experience will have to wait, but we wanted to see the stained glass anyway. How busy could that be? I looked at buying our tickets in advance, but they are timed entries and you have to pick a time. I didn’t know when we would get there, so didn’t do this simple but necessary step. Unfortunately.
But before I tell you that sad story, here are some great photos of our walk to that point:
The above are on Rue Montegeuille. So many little places to get treats!
Eventually we bumped into this beautiful church called St. Eustache – which, coincidentally, is my Granddad Melton’s middle name.
Eventually we did find Notre Dame and the Seine. Poor Notre Dame – the fire really destroyed or damaged a lot of the insides and restoration is going to take years.
And here’s a toilet for you:
And a wiener dog
And, a propos of nothing, is this a thing?
Now for “the rest of the story” about not seeing one of my only two must do’s.
This is what it looks like by the way – not my photo. Obviously.
So we see a long line up – this after hours of walking and it being lunchtime, and Don says, “Forget it”. To which I reply, “let’s just go see”. So we finally figure out which line is for people with tickets and which line is for idiots like us. (Spoiler alert: the long one is ours.)
So I think – no problem, I will just go back online and buy tickets for the next entry and Bob’s your uncle. And I kind of manage to do that, until all of a sudden – (and after I paid my 30 euros), my screen went black – never to open again. Hence – we would be unable to produce our tickets for the time slot in 15 minutes.
We got out of the line (the big guy at the front looking like he would have absolutely no interest in my plight), and decided to go back to the hotel via the metro, get on the wifi there (which I wasn’t on) and see if things could be rectified.
In the intervening years since we were in Paris, we had completely forgotten how to do the Metro and neither of us could read the minuscule writing on our Paris metro map. Long story short, it was very frustrating because it turned out that we couldn’t access the line to our hotel stop from where we were and had to figure out where the paths crossed from the ones that came to where we were at. Once we kind of figured that out – turned out we were on the wrong side of the tracks. To be honest, I was about to have a good old fashioned cry right there, but a) it wouldn’t have helped, and b) I still would have had to figure it out anyway, so somehow we managed to get where we needed to go and out near our hotel.
But now I am thinking about how it will be impossible to fix my phone if it won’t open at all. Luckily, we came upon a cell phone store full of young people. And one of them very kindly showed me how to do a forced restart, which solved my entire existential crisis (except for the fact that our tickets were now expired).
“Let’s have lunch!”, says Don. This guy is my rock in difficult times like these.
And a nap of course.
By 6:00 we were ready to go for a little walk and check out the local spots for dinner. We walked to the famous shopping store called the Galleries Lafayette. There is a free terrace on the rooftop where you can see the Opera house and even the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
The inside of the store is amazing.
For dinner we thought we’d have something light because those croque monsieurs at lunch were huge.
I’m going to sign off now, but I will leave you with Don’s quote of the day: “I’m so full, I think I will fast tomorrow. Just one croissant and a coffee.” To which I replied, “that’s what you call a fast?”. “Ok, one croissant and two coffees, but that’s it.”
3 responses to “You Know What They Say About the Best Laid Plans”
Sounds like you had a good day after all in spite of your mishaps and drama. Your pictures are amazing and the food looks SO yummy. I’m looking forward to going back to Paris as well. We stayed near the Eiffel Tower in a cute boutique hotel. Our highlights were riding bikes along the Seine, picnic dinner with wine in the park at the Eiffel Tower, Versailles… Thank you for sharing your adventures with us Jan! ❤️
Love love your stories and pictures.
I decided you can’t come home yet because your stories and pictures make me feel like I’m almost there with you ❤️
Beautiful Churches beautiful buildings and the stain glass. It must be amazing to walk around and through each place.
Just enjoy the good with the challenges.
My daughter is wearing a leather skirt I bought in Galleries Lafayette about 40 years ago. Still looks great! Planning to go with her soon!
Great stories, Jan! ❤️